What’s With Cloud Storage APIs?

We recently surveyed 231 developers and found that more than half of them still store and manage data on the device. Really? In 2014?

With so many apps competing for on-device storage space, this no longer makes sense. And what happens when your users upgrade to a new device?

In the past, the alternative was to invest a lot of time and resources in building a file system on public cloud infrastructure. But now a growing number of cloud storage services have opened APIs to allow developers to integrate plug and play storage.

Why Use A Third-Party Cloud Storage API?

  • Speed: Building your own infrastructure takes time. With plug and play APIs, your app can be built in a fraction of the time it would normally take when creating a DIY file system.
  • Simplicity: File systems are a complex layer of logic, and building your own is difficult. Cloud storage APIs reduce complexity and make integrating cloud   effortless.
  • Scalability: Cloud storage removes on-device storage limitations and allows developers to easily increase storage capacity to cater for a rapidly increasing user base.
  • Data Accessibility: Removing data from the device ensures user data outlasts the device and is accessible from all future devices that user may purchase.

Sounds great, but what’s the catch?

Most third-party cloud storage APIs are less than ideal. App users are expected to register for the cloud storage provider’s service and are taken away from your application to access their data. All of this leads to a disjointed and confusing brand engagement, and poor user experience. To add insult to injury, the cloud storage service provider then owns and controls your users’ data, so they are less likely to remain a loyal user of your application.

You’re probably starting to think these cloud storage APIs sound problematic – rest assured, we agree. That’s why we’ve created Bitcasa CloudFS, a cloud storage file system that ensures developers can leverage a secure, scalable and flexible set of APIs and quickly and easily integrate cloud storage without sacrificing customer data and user experience.

We know that building an app is hard work, but integrating cloud storage shouldn’t be.

If you’re looking for a way to add storage without sacrificing user experience and user data, you can sign up for a free test Bitcasa CloudFS account at bitcasa.com/cloudfs.

Happy coding!

Tagged , ,

5 Reasons Why Encryption Matters

Encryption

With more of peoples’ personal information being managed via applications and stored in the cloud, developers have an increased responsibility to ensure personal information and user data is secure and private. If that wasn’t convincing enough, here are our top five reasons why encryption matters:

  1. Cloud skepticism. A recent survey found that 92 percent of U.S. Internet users are worried about their privacy online.
  2. Hackers gonna hack. Recent data breaches that have hit various financial institutions and retailers such as JPMorgan Chase and Home Depot prove that the threat of hackers on your private information could be catastrophic.
  3. Regulators. In certain industries, such as the healthcare industry, data privacy legislation (such as HIPAA and FATCA) mandate security features like encryption so becomes a matter of compliance.
  4. You want it. We recently conducted a data storage survey of 231 developers in which security was cited as the number one priority when selecting storage for their cloud-based applications. Stay tuned for the full developer survey findings…
  5. We got it. Every cloud storage provider now provides encryption, but not all encryption is created equal. Our client-side encryption encrypts users data before it leaves the device, so it’s secure and indecipherable before it even reaches the server.

And there you have it folks – five reasons why encryption matters.

Developers, if encryption and data security matter to you, try Bitcasa CloudFS.

Tagged

Important: We are Upgrading Storage Infrastructure and Need You to Take Action

Support FAQ

We have spent the last year upgrading our backend storage infrastructure to be faster, more stable, and more scalable. As a result, you will see improved upload/download performance. But to keep our zero-knowledge encryption in place for your account, you will need to transfer your account and all of your data over to the new Bitcasa system.

For those with Free, Premium, and Pro plans, this process should be quick and painless, however we do apologize for any inconvenience.

Simply log in to your account and follow the on-screen instructions to update your account, files, and billing information onto the new backend.

The current apps are not compatible with the new storage system and you will need to download the all-new Bitcasa apps.

**You have between October 22, 2014 and November 15, 2014 to migrate your data. All accounts and data not transferred to the new system will be deleted on November 16, 2014.

Unfortunately, the transition signals the end of Infinite storage plans.

While our Infinite offering was one of our early value propositions, we have since found that only a small percentage of people use it (only 0.5 percent of our accounts require more than 1TB, and less than 0.1 percent require more than 10TB).

Also, the reality is while we have tried to make our vision of infinite work, the low demand combined with the growing number of suspected abusers, means that supporting an Infinite plan is not a viable business for us. Our Acceptable Use policy has been a challenge to enforce with our privacy features, as we can only see the amount of of data stored – which for some customers, is at a level that seems impossible for individual usage.

What does this mean for Infinite plan subscribers?

Infinite plan users will need to transfer to a 1TB Premium plan or our new 10TB Pro plan to continue using our service. We have created a simple, intuitive guide to walk you through the transfer process and make the transfer as seamless as possible.

Please know that plan changes are difficult decisions we don’t take lightly. In our ongoing efforts to keep costs low and minimize rate increases, on occasion we must make adjustments to our business model. We apologize for any inconvenience.

More questions?

We’ve developed a comprehensive FAQ to help with any questions you might have regarding the transition, which you can find here.

Also, if you encounter any issues transferring files to your new account, please post your question to the Community Forums and one of our moderators will respond. If you have a paid account, you can also submit a request via the Help Center.

What’s next?

Our customer and developer base has grown and the change will allow the company to further focus on improving our offerings. We will continue to unveil additional features in the coming year and are confident in the value our new platform and infrastructure will bring.

Tagged ,

Hutchison Telecommunications Launches Bitcasa-Powered Super Cloud

3-Super-Cloud

Today, we are excited to announce a partnership with Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings Limited (HTHKH) to power cloud storage services for its operating companies worldwide – the first, of which will be 3 Hong Kong.

3 Hong Kong is world’s first mobile operator to leverage our Turn-key Drive solution to power its 3 Super Cloud.

What is Bitcasa Turn-key Drive?

Our Turn-key Drive solution gives customers all the storage, streaming, security and sharing functionality of Bitcasa’s consumer cloud storage product and pre-built mobile apps in a white-labeled solution, which they control. Think of it as “iCloud in a Box.” It offers a way for businesses to instantly solve the storage challenge for their customers.

Through launching their own 3 Super Cloud-branded cloud storage offering, 3 Hong Kong can provide a better service for its customers, who no longer have to worry about running out of space on their devices.

The new offering will include 3 Super Cloud-branded applications for iOS and Android devices, as well as Mac, Windows, and Web portal access. The service features Bitcasa’s block-level, client-side encryption for advanced data security, as well as smart caching technology and local region storage for enhanced performance.

What does this mean for 3 Hong Kong end-users?

Customers of 3 Hong Kong will now be able to integrate affordable cloud storage (3 Super Cloud) when they sign up for a plan, or buy a new device. Instead of storing images, videos and other files on the device, these will be stored securely in the user’s 3 Super Cloud drive and will be accessible from any device. When the user upgrades their phone, all their files will be instantly accessible on the new device.

For more information on 3 Super Cloud, visit www.three.com.hk. Also if you have any questions about our new Turn-Key Drive, contact us!

Let’s Talk Cyber Security

Cyber-Security

Halloween, football season, fall leaves, and a plethora of other good things that come with the month of October. But it’s also National Cyber Security Awareness Month, one of our favorite national observance months!

The world of 24/7 connection brings with it great risk, and you don’t have to look far to see why consumers faith in the ability of online services to protect their data is dwindling. At the time of writing, everyone’s favorite self-destructing photo app, Snapchat provides yet another example of an app that has struggled to keep user data under wraps.

Right from the outset Bitcasa was built with security in mind. When we began life as a consumer cloud storage service focused helping consumers replace their hard drives with cloud storage. With our users storing all of their data – images, music, videos, sensitive documents in their Bitcasa Drive, we had to ensure the tightest security.

We delivered this through block-level, AES-256, client-side encryption, which encrypts our users’ data before it leaves the device. Meaning that even Bitcasa cannot see users’ files.

Since then we’ve expanded our service to developers, mobile carriers and devices makers, so they can leverage our cloud file system APIs and offer their users’ high-performance, scalable and customizable cloud storage solutions for their users with the same robust security that we offer consumer. We’ve also added regional storage so European data stays in Europe, Asian data stays in Asia, and American data is stored in the U.S.A.

Turns out security is high on developers’ list of priorities too. Recently 231 developers participated in a data storage survey, which showed security was the number one priority when selecting storage for their applications. The full survey will be released later this month.

If you’re a developer and need a better way to securely and efficiently manage user data, this October check out Bitcasa CloudFS.

5 tips for a successful hackathon/online app challenge submission

Successful-Hackathon-Tips-Graphic

You or your team have worked hard on an app submission and now it’s time to sell your idea to the judges. But even a great app idea can fail if not presented correctly. Likewise, a less spectacular app will stand out with a great presentation. Whether it is in person or an online submission, follow these tips to stand out among your competitors.

Don’t forget your problem statement
Don’t lose sight of the problem your app is trying to solve. It’s easy to get lost in the technical functionalities of your app and lose sight of the big picture. Keep the problem statement short and dive right in.

Tell a story
To stand out in the crowd, it’s important to pitch something memorable or relatable. Stories are great at accomplishing both. Keep thinking of what that story will be throughout your development process. Not only will it help guide your app development but will require less stress when it comes time to present the story. Hint: Weave in that problem statement.

Read the directions
It’s something we’ve been told to do since grade school but is so often overlooked. The worst thing is to lose points because you missed a key criteria mentioned in the guidelines. Create a checklist upfront and check things off as you incorporate them.

Stick to essential workflows
Time is of the essence when you only have 3-5 minutes to present. There may be parts of your presentation that require basic or mundane flows. Consider setting up your demo in a way that you can skip these so you can focus on the juicy bits.

Recovery
This applies more to live presentations where things can go wrong and you have no control over it. No one expects the app to work perfectly. So if you know the app might give up on you at certain points, have a backup plan in place. At the very least, make a joke and move on as soon as possible. Don’t get flustered and forget to close the presentation effectively.

Now its time to put these to the test with our Bitcasa CloudFS challenge. We’ve partnered with ChallengePost in search of creative uses of our new CloudFS APIs and are giving away $7,500 in cash prizes to top submissions. We already have over 30 teams building so don’t miss out on the fun and a chance to win great prizes.  Accept the challenge!

Can you think of more tips to share from your experiences? Leave us a comment below!

Say Hello to the Bitcasa Cloud Storage Platform

Helping Solve the Developer’s Dilemma Since 2014

Developers – the day you all have been waiting for is finally here! Today we announced the general availability of Bitcasa CloudFS, the world’s first cloud file system APIs that give developers control of user data and brand experience.

We were recently at Boxworks – that’s right, we go to Boxworks – talking to a developer working in the healthcare space who was a leveraging a Box API. He described a cringe-inducing scenario where his users were forced to register for a Box account before they could even use his application, and much of the user experience was hijacked by our friends at Box. And the worst part about this poor developer’s setup – Box got to keep his customers’ data, which hardly seems fair.

But what’s the alternative? For many developers building their own file system on top of public cloud infrastructure takes too much time, resources, effort and expertise that they don’t have. Until now this has created a real dilemma.

With Bitcasa CloudFS, developers can leverage our high performance, scalable and secure cloud infrastructure to rapidly deploy new applications – effectively solving the Developer’s Dilemma outlined above, and ensuring developers can leverage customizable cloud file system APIs without sacrificing their customers and user experience.

Additionally, the Bitcasa Cloud Storage Platform offers developers unmatched security and privacy with zero-knowledge, user controlled encryption keys, and highly scalable, high performance application storage, featuring smart-caching and server-side transcoding, as well as multi-cloud, multi-region data orchestration.

But don’t just take out word for it….

According to Ashish Nadkarni, File & Storage Analyst at IDC, “The scale of the file system in Bitcasa’s consumer cloud storage service is unprecedented, and provides a solid base for developers to build on.”

Since we announced the platform a few months ago in May, we’ve had more than 7,000 developers register for the developer program. (If you haven’t signed up, there’s no time like the present)

We are offering developers a free test package so that applications can be prototyped with five end-users, 25GB of storage, 10,000 API calls a month and basic support. Bitcasa CloudFS also includes three paid tiers and custom pricing options for high volume applications. More pricing details are available on our website here.

What if you are not a developer? What if you are a Telco, an OEM, managed service provider or value added reseller who is more interested in offering your customers cloud storage services? We have you covered. Our new Bitcasa Cloud Storage Platform also includes our Turn-key Drive service, which allows the organizations mentioned above to offer their customers comprehensive branded cloud storage services.

Think of it like an ‘iCloud in a Box’.

Bitcasa’s Turn-key Drive solution gives customers all the storage, streaming, security and sharing functionality of Bitcasa’s consumer cloud storage product and pre-built mobile apps in a white-labeled solution, which they control.

Like Bitcasa’s CloudFS APIs, Turn-key Drive also features Bitcasa’s robust, user controlled encryption and zero-knowledge storage, smart caching technology and regional storage capabilities etc.

The general availability of Bitcasa CloudFS and Turn-key Drive is finally here. If you’re not a developer and you’re wondering “Hey, what about me?!” don’t fret! Our consumer cloud storage service is not going anywhere and we’ll continue to invest in refining our platform so everybody wins.

So, developers, consumers, telcos, OEMs etc, what do you think? We are interested in your feedback. Tell us what you think and share your views with the Bitcasa Developer community.

Tagged , , , ,

Start Building Today – CloudFS Open Beta

CloudFS-Banner-600x1361

Attention Developers! Ask and you shall receive. Today, we’re thrilled to announce the open Beta release of our new CloudFS API Platform. Every day developers encounter multiple hurdles when trying to create the next killer app and we know that isn’t easy. One of the hardest hurdles for application developers is developing a backend infrastructure where their users account and data will be stored, and for most, the cloud is an obvious choice. “Cloudifying” an app leads to an overwhelming dilemma – create a do it yourself file system that sits on top of public cloud infrastructure; or take a shortcut and use a third-party cloud storage API, ultimately surrendering users and data. With CloudFS developers don’t have to worry about solving the developers dilemma; now they can focus on creating the next killer app, simple as that.  

Developer's Dilemma

User generated content is growing exponentially faster than available storage space, and solving this “space gap” problem has been our mission since 2011; whether it be for our consumers, partners, or developers. To help our developers take back control of their application data and users, we debuted CloudFS at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC back in May. Since then, we’ve been working with a few of our partners to test CloudFS and what we’ve seen from them has further validated our mission and completely blown us away.

The "space gap" problem

For example, our friends at DCT, an image processing and document management company, previously integrated with a third-party storage company, but ultimately wanted to keep their brand, data and users within their ecosystem. In order to accomplish this, they needed to build a custom cloud solution for their application. After countless meeting with IaaS providers they came to the realization that it would take a minimum of 6 months and tens of thousands of dollars to re-invent the cloud storage wheel. With Bitcasa, DCT was able to integrate CloudFS into their SimpleScan application in 2 weeks, which is now being deployed at point-of-sale systems across the country.

SimpleECM-bitcasa-blog

With this open Beta we invite developers to come and build on a platform that has scaled to 45 petabytes of data for customers in 140 countries. Application developers can sign up for a free CloudFS account, which will give them immediate access to the APIs on the CloudFS platform. We have a huge pipeline of new features we’re putting final touches on. We’re working hard to expose our sync, transcoding, ACL, and other APIs, while giving developers access to a rich set of analytics to help them better understand their users’ behavior.

 

We are excited, and hope you are too!


Happy building!

The Bitcasa Team

Another one in the books – Three years and counting

cupcake

Time really does fly when you’re having fun! Three years ago today, Bitcasa came into being by way of official incorporation. The early days here could easily be described as a scene out of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” as our founding engineers lived together in preparation for TechCrunch Disrupt 2011. The team worked around the clock building a Mac and Windows beta that would be gracing the stage for its debut. After launching at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, the beta invite list grew to 50,000 users overnight and Bitcasa was born. 

TechCrunch Disrupt 2011

The Bitcasa vision and goal has always been simple: to solve the challenge of capacity and fundamentally change the way people store, share and access their files. In February 2013, the hard drive died when we came out of Beta and launched the “Bitcasa Infinite Drive”.

Bitcasa Killed the Hard Drive

In just one year, we’ve experienced a lot, to say the least. Last year we were a nimble team of 50 in Mountain View, California, storing 30 petabytes of data with customers worldwide. Now we’re a solid team of 70 people and steadily growing. To better accommodate the Bitcasa family, we recently had to say “Goodbye, Mountain View!” and “Hello, San Mateo!”. Much like the rapid growth of our team, the amount of data we’re storing is expanding vastly, as well. We’re now storing over 40 petabytes of data under management with users in over 140 countries with regionalized storage in the US, Asia, and EU to serve them.

We’re continuing to refine our product and have a lot of great things on the way. Our mission has always been to help our users solve the “space gap” problem, and we remain vigorously focused on that mission today; whether it be for our consumers, our partners, or developers on our platform.

Space Gap

A huge “Thank You” to our users who have been with us over the last 3 years! The Bitcasa community is smart, tech-forward, and passionate — the best kind of community we could have ever asked for. We are so excited for everything that the future has in store for us!

 

Love,

Your friends at Bitcasa

birthdayblog

Samsung to Bitcasa: Let’s Take Our Relationship to the Next Level

Korean tech giant, Samsung (you may have heard of them) has been flirting with Bitcasa for just under a year now. We began the relationship in August 2013 with a deal that meant Bitcasa’s Windows 8 app was pre-loaded on Samsung ATIV PCs with a free two-month subscription to Bitcasa.

From there, the relationship flourished and it wasn’t long before we were being pre-installed on Samsung Galaxy NotePRO and TabPRO devices, and offering customers three months of free storage.

Today, we took our relationship with Samsung to the next level with Bitcasa apps now pre-loaded on Samsung Windows 8.1 devices worldwide, and new Samsung customers receiving 50GB of free Bitcasa cloud storage for two years.

Samsung-ATIV-Tab-3-Preview-011

Why are mobile providers, like Samsung, so smitten with Bitcasa?

Samsung is an innovator, and is always looking for what’s next. As consumers begin using more devices – mobiles, tablets, smart-watches, etc. the migration of the hard drive to the cloud is inevitable.

While other file sync and share services have been around for some time, they were never designed as hard drive replacement, and lack security features to enable consumers to store important documents and files in the cloud.

Bitcasa was not built with file sync and share in mind; it was designed to replace the hard drive entirely. With this in mind, security and accessibility were key priorities in the development of the service.

In contrast to other cloud storage services that encrypt on the server, Bitcasa encrypts your data on the client-side, so that it is secure before it’s even sent to the cloud. The user-controlled encryption means that not even Bitcasa is able to see your data, it is completely private.

Last week we became the first popular cloud storage service to store data in the region of the user, extending our commitment to user privacy. This means our users in Europe and Asia have their data store in their region, not the United States. Our competitors may cache data in-region, but they will ultimately send your data back to the United States where it is subject to U.S law and surveillance practices.

To create seamless integration with devices, Bitcasa uses smart-caching technology that ensures the files you use most frequently are easily accessible, while our streaming and media transcoding capabilities give you the ability to stream a range of content and file types from your Bitcasa Drive.

Being the creator of innovative devices, large and small, Samsung knows that the hard drive of the future will reside in the cloud. By extending their relationship with Bitcasa, Samsung is helping customers ensure their data is secure and accessible wherever and however they want it.

 

Tagged , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 289 other followers