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ITMO University will start developing unbreakable data storage systems

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By estimates by some experts, the value of the quantum cryptography market will reach $1 billion by 2018.Therefore, it is not surprising that there are active developments in this area. For example, at the end of February this year at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, telecommunications equipment manufacturer Nokia and cellular operator SK Telecom presented a prototype quantum cryptographic system they developed.
A year earlier, scientists at Cambridge University and Toshiba demonstrated cryptographic quantum key distribution technology that works twice as fast as similar solutions. Cryptographic technologies are being developed in Russia as well.
ITMO University will start developing unbreakable data storage systems
/Flickr / Adam Foster / CC

Quantum experience

Quantum protection is based on the physical principle that it is impossible to read the state of a photon without consequences. The first exposure alters the particle, indicating an attempt to address the channel by a third party.
"Thus, information that is transmitted in the form of single-photon laser pulses through existing fiber-optic communication channels is protected from eavesdropping, and hacking the system is essentially contrary to the laws of physics, " notes Arthur Gleim, chief executive officer of the " Quantum communications " based at ITMO University.
Scientists at ITMO University have long been have been doing issues of quantum technologies and have experience in developing quantum communication systems. This includes an RD project that proposed generating single photons (information carriers) by phase modulation of classical pulses and transmitting quantum signals over long distances through an optical cable.
The system developed by the company "Quantum Communications" is based on application of subcarrier frequencies (quantum signals are carried out on side frequencies). The principle of operation of such a system is as follows: a pulse generated by a laser (at a given frequency) is passed through an electro-optical phase modulator. A signal at a lower frequency is fed to the modulator, resulting in coding by the parameters of an auxiliary sinusoid. The quantum information itself is transmitted by detuning additional frequencies (there may be several) in the pulse spectrum relative to the central frequency.
In this case, the spectrum is transmitted over the communication lines in a single pulse, so also any changes that the transmission medium introduces affect the entire pulse. Such an approach allows not only to trace any interference in the process of information transfer, but also to remove limitations on the speed and range of data transmission and to increase the efficiency of quantum cryptographic systems in optical networks.
Such systems will create a new type of infrastructure in the future. Going forward, we will see , as integral software-defined networks emerge that use both secure quantum key distribution systems and traditional encryption to protect data. Quantum repeaters can also be expected to emerge (e.g., SK Telecom has already is engaged in creating so-called trusted nodes) designed to increase the distance for quantum key transmission.
ITMO University scientists will also take part in building a new safe world. Recently, a team from the University won government grant to create a geographically distributed data center management system. The main feature is communication channels protected by quantum technologies.

New project plan

The project was initiated by the provider of telecommunications networks and services, SMARTS. The project itself was divided into two stages. Firstly, software systems for data center management based on SDN and virtualization technologies will be implemented. Then quantum systems of data transmission channels protection will be implemented in the solution. It is important to note that the quantum part will be developed with a view to work with distributed data centers (DPC).
Storage systems usually account for the majority of all IT infrastructure costs. By business statistics portal Statista, that number was $46.5 billion in 2016, and it will rise to $51.3 billion in 2019. Developers note that the system being created will improve the security of data storage and transmission and allow for more efficient use of the resources allocated for this purpose.
"Nowadays, large organizations place their data centers in different cities of a separate country, in different countries and even on different continents. And the challenge of making the aggregate resources of a distributed system more efficient is a critical one for these companies." tells Oleg Sadov, a leading employee of lab networking technologies in distributed computer systems.
Now the university team is working on systems that can be built into the IT infrastructure in the usual way for telecom operators – the emphasis will be placed on the modular approach. As the project manager and dean notes of the faculty at Infocommunication Technologies Sergei Khoruzhnikov, the system will be created using software-driven solutions and resource virtualization.
Thus, the developers want to set a new level of interaction with users, where different technical aspects are scaled to individual requests. The team is working on a technology for an unbreakable and efficiently managed data center. And since in other projects scientists create only individual elements of such systems, the ITMO University development, according to Sergei Khoruzhnikov, has no analogues in the world. At the end of the three-year grant period, the scientists will present prototypes of all the components needed to make the system work.


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