The Developer’s Dilemma: Build it Yourself or Lose Ownership of Data and UX

On Tuesday we announced the findings of The Developer’s Dilemma study, which highlighted a number of barriers that currently limit developer cloud storage adoption.

The survey of more than 230 developers in the United States confirmed our suspicions that developer’s face a significant dilemma when it comes to deciding whether utilize cloud storage.

What is the Developer’s Dilemma?

Either: build your own file system on public cloud infrastructure, which is difficult and time consuming; OR leverage a third-party cloud storage API (like Dropbox or Box) and surrender your users’ data and lose control of user experience.

The Developer's Dilemma

 

Until now we had anecdotal evidence from developers that this was an issue – the fact that 15,000 developers have signed up to Bitcasa CloudFS also highlights the severity of the problem. But now we have evidence! Write it in the history books – the Developer’s Dilemma is as real and observable as the theory of relativity.

This also explains why developers have been so slow to adopt cloud storage. According to the survey, more than 50 percent of developers still store data on the device – despite increasing storage demands and growing competition for on-device storage from other apps.

With IDC predicting that the volume of digital content will grow by 10x to surpass 44 trillion GBs in 2020, cloud storage is quickly becoming essential for data-intensive apps. The next generation of apps depend on developers leveraging cloud storage solutions that solve the developer’s dilemma and make cloud storage simple and flexible.

Solving the Developer’s Dilemma

We developed Bitcasa CloudFS after hearing anecdotal feedback from developers and, to our knowledge, it’s the only solution in the market that effectively solves the Developer’s Dilemma. In contrast to other cloud storage APIs, CloudFS is the first service that allows developers to maintain full control over their user experience and data. The service offers developers pre-built file system functionality through a set of APIs that simplifies cloud storage integration.

Other interesting findings that the survey unearthed:

  • Two thirds of developers surveyed acknowledged the important role of storage in app design
  • 83 percent of developers expect storage needs to increase over the next few year
  • Top 5 considerations when selecting a storage solution:
    • Security
    • Cost
    • File system functionality
    • Backup and versioning
    • Time to market

The Developer’s Dilemma survey, completed by more than 231 developers in the United States, was carried out by an independent research firm. For more information on CloudFS visit www.bitcasa.com.

 

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Bitcasa Study Shows Developers Slow to Adopt Cloud

Today, we released the findings of a study showing that developers have been slow to adopt cloud solutions for application storage. The study titled, “The Developer’s Dilemma,” highlighted a number of barriers limiting cloud adoption and identified a common dilemma developers face when deciding whether to utilize cloud storage.

Although two thirds of respondents acknowledged the important role of storage in app design, and 83 percent expect storage needs to increase, many see the cloud as either too complex, or too restrictive. As a result, most developers (52%) continue to store data on the device, despite increasing storage demands and growing competition from other apps for space.

The Developer’s Dilemma is the choice developers have to make between building their own file system on public cloud infrastructure, which is difficult and time consuming; or leveraging a third-party cloud storage API and surrendering their users and user experience to the likes of Dropbox and Box.

The findings of the study confirm our hypothesis that developers need a secure cloud storage solution that’s both easy to integrate and offers full control of data and user experience. With IDC predicting that the volume of digital content will grow by 10x to surpass 44 trillion GBs in 2020, cloud storage is quickly becoming essential for data-intensive apps. The next generation of apps will depend on developers leveraging cloud storage solutions that solve the developer’s dilemma and make cloud storage simple and flexible.

We aim to solve the Developer’s Dilemma with Bitcasa CloudFS. The service offers developers pre-built file system functionality through a set of APIs that simplifies cloud storage integration. In contrast to other cloud storage APIs, CloudFS is the first service that allows developers to maintain full control over their user experience and data. More than 12,000 developers have already signed up for CloudFS accounts since its September launch.

Developer's-Dilemma-Infographic

The Developer’s Dilemma survey, completed by more than 231 developers in the United States, was carried out by an independent research firm. For more information on CloudFS visit www.bitcasa.com.

Happy Hour and How to Secure Your Users’ Data

The amount of data being stored and shared digitally has exploded over the past few years due to the combination of growth in mobile devices, content creation, and social networks.  But keeping this data secure is not easy, and app developers are not exempt – as a number of recent security breaches have shown.

Security is an absolute requirement for today’s data-intensive apps and services.

At Bitcasa, security has always been our number one priority. Our recent survey of more than 230 developers (being released this week) found that security is in fact the number one concern when it comes to app data storage.

Bitcasa’s vice president of product, Luke Benke will be presenting a session on securing user data at RocketSpace on Thursday (December 4) this week. The session will explore the business and technical decisions that need to be made when defining a security strategy, the pros and cons of each implementation method, and is meant to generate active discussion that provides all attendees with a better understanding of the best approach for their own specific situation.

Luke will share examples of recent security breaches, at companies like Dropbox and Citibank, offer tips to avoid becoming the next high profile security breach, and map out an implementation strategy for data protection.

The fun starts with a happy hour at 6 p.m.

GROUND SUPPORT: Lock it up! How to Master Security for Your Startup

Who: Luke Benke, Bitcasa vice president of product management

When: 6pm-8.30pm PT, December 4, 2014

Where: RocketSpace. 180 Sansome Street, San Francisco

Cost:  Free for RocketSpace members; $5 for non-members

Register: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/ground-support-lock-it-up-how-to-master-security-for-your-startup-tickets-14209867095?aff=es2&rank=1

We look forward to seeing you there!

* Want to keep up to date on our events in the San Francisco Bay Area? Sign up here.

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A Developer’s Guide to Thanksgiving

apiNothing says Thanksgiving like the smell of a roasted turkey and the click-clacking of a developer coding. With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s time to plan your free time accordingly.

Once you’ve fulfilled your obligations to eat, drink and be merry with friends and family, how will you spend the rest of your holidays?

At Bitcasa, we know our users are passionate about what they do, so we pulled together a list of developer-centric activities in the Bay Area for the upcoming holidays.

Thanks and happy holidays!

Bitcasa’s Top 5 Holiday Activities

  1. Walgreens ChallengePost Hackathon
  • Walgreens is offering $13,000 in total prize money in a ChallengePost hackathon for it’s Balance® Rewards API. The competition closes on December 1, so get hacking.
  • http://walgreens.challengepost.com/
  1. 2. Computer History Museum
  • Dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history and home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world.
  • 1401 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043
  • 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Daily (Closed on Thanksgiving Day)
  • Cost: $15
  1. A Programming-Focused Sub-Reddit
  1. Social Fridays Coworking at Citizen Space
  • Collaborate with other smart folks with lots of great ideas at a Citizen Space Social Friday event.
  • Citizen Space, 425 2nd St #100, San Francisco, CA 94107
  • Friday November 28, 2014
  • 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Cost: $10
  1. JavaScript Study Group (Hack Reactor)
  • Talk JavaScript and share the best family holiday stories with other likeminded developers on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
  • Hack Reactor, 944 Market St, San Francisco, CA, 94103
  • Monday December 1, 2014
  • 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Cost: Free

What is the Developer’s Dilemma?

Air is to life as storage is to applications, the results of our latest survey would suggest.

Over the past couple of months we have worked with an independent research firm to invite developers to participate in a study that explores the role of storage in application design.

The results, which will be released at the beginning of next month, show that developers have reservations about integrating cloud storage and a number of key barriers were cited that prevent them shifting data to the cloud.

Spoiler Alert!

Interestingly, the results have uncovered a dilemma that developers face when it comes to choosing between building their own file system on public cloud infrastructure; or leveraging a third-party cloud storage API.

Does this sound familiar?

The findings are in line with anecdotal feedback we’ve been getting from developers when we discuss storage at various industry events – feedback that led to the creation of Bitcasa CloudFS.

We’ll be posting the full report titled “The Developer’s Dilemma” at the beginning of December. Watch this space for more details….

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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