Photosynth stores a LOT of data. Today we have more than a million synths and panos, and the number is rising rapidly. So far we've accumulated more than 40 terabytes (TB) of data representing more than 100 terapixels.
When we launched Photosynth more than three years ago Microsoft didn't have a general-purpose cloud-based storage and distribution network, so we used a partner to provide storage and CDN (Content Distribution Network) services. But things have changed dramatically in the last few years, and our own Windows Azure is now among the strongest cloud solutions in the industry. We're excited to be "eating our own dog food", as we say, and moving every last Photosynth pixel to Azure.
It started this morning. Right now 1/2 the uploads are being directed to Azure, and served worldwide via Azure's CDN. If all goes well, we'll increase this to 100% within a few days, and then start migrating the 40 TB of existing content from our partner's data center into Azure. That process will likely take a number of weeks, but should not interfere with your ability to view old synths/panos or upload new ones.
You shouldn't be able to tell the difference between a synth or pano hosted on Azure verses our old storage system, but just in case there are some glitches in the worldwide CDN, I've included 3 comparisons below. Please leave a comment on this page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you see any significant differences (particularly in loading speed) between the two storage solutions.
Medium-Sized Synth on Azure
Yes --in case you were wondering, this one does appear to be a forensics class homework assignment! Check out the other synths on this account: http://photosynth.net/userprofilepage.aspx?user=bchsforensicsci
Medium-Sized Synth on Old Storage Sysyem
Desktop Panorama on Azure
Desktop Panorama on Old Storage System
Mobile Panorama on Azure
Mobile Panorama on Old Storage System
Please leave us a comment if you see any significant difference in loading performance or speed to "resolve" the image when you zoom in, and please tell us what city and country you tried this from.
The Photosynth Team