Category Archives: Bitcasa News

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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

 

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Can You Trust the Cloud?

Can you trust the cloud?

Storing and sharing photos, videos and documents through the cloud is supposed to be safe now, right? The technology isn’t THAT new…aren’t the security bugs worked out by now?

Many consumers are still concerned, which is not surprising after the NSA’s online spying program was revealed last year. A 2013 survey of consumers in the UK found low confidence in cloud storage’s ability to protect privacy, and recent privacy breaches are only adding to the paranoia.

The risk comes from using platforms that don’t have top-of-the-line security measures. Never intended to be primary cloud storage, services like Dropbox and Box entered the market early, and were designed for file sync and share — as a result, they have intrinsic security weaknesses (which they have been working to repair ever since). Use these services and your files may not remain your own.

The thing is, private and secure cloud technology does exist.

Unlike Dropbox and Box, Bitcasa has operated from its start on the premise that people use the cloud to store everything and, therefore, everything needs comprehensive protection. We designed Bitcasa’s storage platform to replace your local hard drive, giving you a place not only to store all of your content, but also to access it from any device at any time. Of course, with this approach, security had to be front and center from the outset.

We secure your data by giving you the keys to it. Your Bitcasa account encrypts data on your device before sending it to our servers. So even we can’t see your data. No one can, except you. Even if we were compelled to hand over data to the NSA, or if someone gained access to our servers, all they would see is tens of billions of unattributable scrambled blocks of code. Absolutely nothing you have saved to the cloud would come through in any readable fashion to anyone other than you, or people you choose to share your data with.

Other popular services cache user data locally before sending it back to the United States to be stored (regardless of where the user is located), which leaves data vulnerable to interception and surveillance. We are the first popular consumer cloud storage service to offer region-specific storage, which gives our users the ability to store data in their region. For example, customers in Europe and Asia Pacific will have their data stored in their region, instead of in the United States. This puts information out of reach of foreign surveillance, and also improves the performance of our service in these regions.

So can you trust cloud storage? Absolutely. Should that trust depend upon how you’ve chosen to access the cloud and store your information on it? Yes. Is it wise to use cloud storage platforms from familiar brands that may not offer the best in security? We can’t see the logic there.

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Bitcasa – Building for Bigger, Faster, Stronger

Over the last few months, we’ve had users ask us what we’ve been up to. So, we here at Bitcasa felt it was time for an update so everyone can see just what we’ve been working on.

Since launching our service out of Beta in February of 2013 (we’re over a year old!), we’ve spent a lot of time rounding out the feature set of our apps and have come a long way improving the user experience and stability on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and the Web. In that time, we’ve grown our user base immensely and are now storing and incredible 40PB of user data both safely and securely in our cloud.

Although we’ve made a lot of progress, we’ve certainly heard a number of our users when they mention lower than expected performance. Some noted that they are experiencing slow download and upload speeds while others mentioned that it took too long to load their Drive or their photos. As a company that uses our own product internally on a daily basis, we definitely felt your pain! However, over the last few months we took a long, hard look at our infrastructure and it became clear that it was time for a re-vamp.

Doing what we’re trying to do here at Bitcasa is difficult. Bitcasa’s fundamental message is that you can have all of your data on the cloud and no longer need to store it on one single device. We all know devices break, get lost or stolen or just simply run out of storage space way too soon. Bitcasa lets you safely and securely keep every file you’ve ever owned at your fingertips. But in order to make this happen, we need to bend the laws of physics. Making files seem local when they are, in fact, in the cloud – and doing it in a speedy way for users in 140 countries – isn’t easy. But if Bitcasa is going to continue to keep customers happy, we’ll need to keep getting better and faster.

So over the last few months we’ve been heads-down improving our infrastructure. The goal is to make Bitcasa faster and even more reliable than it is today, without compromising our commitment to security. This work will be released over the summer in 4 parts:

  • Fully regionalized storage
  • New download server infrastructure
  • New upload server infrastructure
  • New API infrastructure for better app performance

We’re very excited and proud of the work our team is doing and look forward to sharing details over the next few weeks. Most importantly, we at Bitcasa are so grateful to all of our customers for providing such great feedback and showing support while we continue to change the way the world’s data is stored and accessed.

 

- Luke Behnke, Director of Product

We’re Evolving – Introducing the Bitcasa CloudFS Platform

Brian Taptich

Over the past couple of years we’ve been working hard to build the most secure, scalable and feature-rich consumer cloud storage service. Our unique user-controlled encryption, streaming capabilities and sharing functionality have helped thousands of consumers manage, protect and enjoy their digital belongings. During this time, our service has been well and truly battle-tested to the point where we now store more than 40 petabytes of data, with local storage in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, achieving 99.999 percent uptime since launch. Late last year, we announced our consumer API and now have more than 5,000 developers using it to build feature-rich apps.

Now, we’re responding to overwhelming demand from the developer community, and today announced our plans to deliver the Bitcasa Cloud File System (FS) as an API. With the Bitcasa CloudFS API, developers can reduce costs and development cycles, and tap into a high performance, secure and scalable file system that connects multiple public clouds and regions.

Whether you’re a developer looking for a high performance file system that’s secure and scalable, or a telecommunications provider looking to offer customers a branded cloud storage service, the Bitcasa CloudFS Platform reduces risk and costs while accelerating time to deployment.

Exposing our applications through an open API interface was a natural evolution for us. We’ve invested in the difficult part so developers and brands can focus on their customers, instead of trying to reinvent the cloud storage wheel.

With this evolution we have also expanded our management team, adding a new SVP of marketing and product, Ranajit Nevatia; VP of engineering, David Lai; and a new VP of business development, Joe Lyons. All have in-depth experience in cloud and storage technologies, and will help grow our business and deliver on our vision.

For existing customers, our commitment remains unchanged and we’ll continue to invest in and develop our consumer offering. In fact, much of the new innovations that the Bitcasa CloudFS Platform will generate will help us to continue to extend our consumer offering.

The Bitcasa CloudFS Platform will be available later this Spring, but developers can sign up now to be part of our beta. For more information on the platform and benefits to organizations, developers and service providers, visit www.bitcasa.com/platform

These are exciting times for us, as we look to open up our platform for developers and organizations to build on. So next time your developer buddies are complaining about the hassles of storage and back-end infrastructure, tell them to quit complaining and talk to Bitcasa.

Bitcasa CloudFS Platform API

 

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Why I Joined Bitcasa

I’m very excited to join the Bitcasa family as head of products and marketing and want to take the opportunity to introduce myself and share my enthusiasm for being here.

I’ve spent a good part (10+ years) of my professional career immersed in enterprise storage software focused primarily on file systems at VERITAS (almost open-sourced it) and more recently with file system-enabled cloud storage products at Riverbed and Panzura. Interestingly, Bitcasa provides me an opportunity to tackle both again and take it to a next level.

In the pursuit of my next career move, I had the chance to explore many startups in the storage space. After much evaluation, Bitcasa’s vision and direction is what intrigued me the most. Simply put, Bitcasa is doing to cloud storage what network-attached storage (NAS) did to storage area network (SAN) or files did to blocks but with an API twist. Their passion for a high-functioning consumer driven product is what continues to shape the company’s future. By providing a familiar, enhanced and feature-rich file interface on top of a scalable storage, Bitcasa is making it easy for consumers as well as mobile/web developers to build and deploy their applications. You will hear a lot more about it soon – look out for our announcement next week at Techcrunch Disrupt NY.

The Bitcasa Platform is battle proven and tested with more than 40 petabytes (PB) stored and accessed by millions of client devices. Originally built for the personal storage market, Bitcasa’s backend has all the architecture and design fundamentals of enterprise-style storage; from client-controlled encryption to performance-optimization and robust data protection. All of these elements are usually seen as an after-thought in a consumer offering. Most importantly, Bitcasa is operating and scaling these features at an unprecedented rate. Essentially, it’s an enhanced file storage service operating at hyper-scale, combining the best of the file system and cloud storage worlds.

There are many aspects of Bitcasa that aren’t widespread knowledge and I intend to change that in the near future. A few of the things that got me excited:

  • Its security, privacy and user control features make it a “zero knowledge” system (NSA proof – a necessary requirement these days).
  • The scale of global de-duplication and storage optimization is at a level I’ve never seen before.
  • The platform’s capabilities transcend the competition’s. Things like caching, encryption, streaming, transcoding and virtual drive technology set Bitcasa far apart from the crowd.
  • Bitcasa has the newest, most modern architecture, yet is still mature given the fast adoption by our users.
  • Customers have validated Bitcasa – it’s one of the top three pure-plays in the industry.
  • With more than 40 PB of data it’s one of the most scaled and well-utilized storage services.
  • Regularly accessed by millions of devices from mobile to web, desktop and TV.
  • It’s proven reliable with more than five 9’s (99.999%) uptime since launch.

This kind of differentiation puts Bitcasa on a great path for the next chapter, one that enables developers to do more without worrying about building their own cloud storage layer.  I believe that ultimately the winners in the personal storage space will offer storage as part of other anchoring services. Bitcasa is poised to enable that, making it possible for every developer and anchor to reduce risk and drive development and storage costs down tremendously. I’m eager to explore this new opportunity and bring these innovations to that market.

On top of letting me share in its impressive business achievements and potential, Bitcasa has brought me into its wonderful company culture. It’s a breath of fresh air—a young, vibrant atmosphere … with included Barista privileges downstairs (we sit on top of a cafe and a pub) – obviously I’m excited to be here (for good reasons). The Bitcasa product team has already been working actively along with support of a fairly involved developer community. I look forward to connecting with many of you and becoming part of the community, and I’m really excited to be part of these innovating new times at Bitcasa.

Register on our website (www.bitcasa.com/platform) if you would like more information on the Bitcasa Cloud Platform.

Ranajit

- Ranajit

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Bitcasa: Coming to a TV near you!

chromecast

With the world becoming increasingly connected, it only makes sense that you should be able to see what you want, where you want, on what device/screen you want.

At Bitcasa, we’re committed to making all your content-viewing dreams come true… one device at a time. Today, we’re excited to share that our latest Android update will include our first step towards full Chromecast support. We are enabling cast for videos and music in addition to providing a few core controls: pause, play and volume adjustment.

What does that really mean? It means you can now stream any of the content stored in your Bitcasa account, to your TV via Chromecast. Want to broadcast your son or daughter’s embarrassing baby pictures during her birthday party? Done! Want to reminisce over that time you sang “Baby Got Back” at a karaoke bar? Done!

When it comes to sharing and viewing content with your friends and family, mobile and PC just don’t cut the mustard. Now you can sit back, relax, bring out the popcorn and view your content the way it should be viewed, reliving your best-captured moments on TV! Because your cat deserves to be admired in HD!

As you try out the first iteration of Bitcasa’s Chromecast support, we’d love to hear from you so that we can integrate your feedback into our plans for a more immersive casting experience.

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Taking A Leap Into 2014

2013 brought lots of change to Bitcasa – as a company and as a product. We’re excited to announce that 2014 is going to be an incredible year for us.

Before we look ahead to what Bitcasa has in store this year, I’d like to take a moment to reflect some of the accomplishments that were essential highlights for us and our users.

  • Internationalization. We were extremely happy to launch localized versions of all of our Bitcasa apps and the web portal. Considering the fact that 75% of our users are overseas, this was a huge step for our global community, who are now able to use Bitcasa in their native languages.

  • Data Management Growth. Not many of our users realize that we hit a major milestone with data management during 2013. Bitcasa has now reached 35 petabytes of managed data and still growing!

  • Linux and API Integration. Bitcasa finally unveiled our headless Linux client, along with much anticipated API integration. Our goal is to promote development while also fostering developer interactions.

  • Community Forums. In effort to provide even more support to our customers, the dedicated Technical Support team created and began management of the Bitcasa Community Forums – a place where users can ask and answer questions while creating interactions with other Bitcasa users.

These accomplishments, along with many others, were the driving force to propel Bitcasa into another incredible year. Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect from us this year:

  • Continued API and Partner Support. Bitcasa API integration was a huge success in the development community and we are very much looking forward to carrying that into 2014 — we are 100% committed to offering 3rd party developers a range of tools to offer their users the best, fastest, and most effective cloud storage experience.

  • International Expansion. We will keep moving forward with our efforts to expand Bitcasa on a global scale. Along with improved international infrastructure, Bitcasa will be laser-focused on improving performance for our international users. [And planting our first flags in international territories will be one of the keys to success!]

  • Use Bitcasa to Collaborate. That’s right – in 2014 users will see the options to sync and share their data. The Bitcasa platform is going to provide a wide variety of ways to collaborate, providing you even more ways to get the most use out of it.

  • Upcoming Partnerships. We’ve got some extremely exciting partnerships that we’re very eager to announce in the upcoming year. Stay tuned to see what businesses we’ve teamed up with!

While this upcoming year is packed with some thrilling developments, we also understand that there were some inevitable hurdles we had to jump over during 2013. With every business, the path to success may include roadblocks and difficult decisions. It’s my hope that our users understand that while every decision may not have been an easy one, the most important goal was to provide the best solutions for our customers.

Bitcasa has grown faster than any other cloud storage in terms of data management. We’ll continue to leverage what we’ve learned in order to move forward and maintain our goal of revolutionizing the way you store and access your data. We’re here to make a difference and change the way people access the public cloud.

2014 brings a bounty of excitement for Bitcasa and I, along with the entire team, are so pleased to jump start into another outstanding year for our users.

Thanks,

Brian Taptich, CEO

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