Bitcasa announced today that Eric Sheetz has joined the company as vice president of sales. At Amazon Web Services (AWS), Sheetz was well-known for his success developing comprehensive, long-term solutions that were tailored to meet the needs of large, global partners.
Sheetz will be responsible for partnership sales and management at Bitcasa. His appointment rounds out the company’s executive team as platform momentum grows behind the company’s mission to transform the drive.
“Eric has been hugely valuable to us as a strategic advisor as we transformed the company from a consumer cloud storage offering to the premier cloud software solutions provider for device manufacturers, network operators, and software developers,” said Brian Taptich, CEO of Bitcasa. “With Eric in place full time, we are looking forward to fully leveraging his deep experience and help our customers move quickly in this growing marketplace.”
Sheetz drove strategic and enterprise customer relationships at AWS, including Autodesk, Adobe, and other Silicon Valley bellwethers. He is also an accomplished software developer with deep cloud storage experience. Prior to AWS, Sheetz was an enterprise architect at Oracle responsible for advising customers through complex transitions and creating best practices in software architecture and operations.
“I have long believed that the companies that have created the Device Economy require seamless, system-level cloud storage to create differentiation for the consumer,” said Sheetz. “Bitcasa’s platform achieves this. I am excited to be part of the opportunity.”
Bitcasa has a growing roster of global partners that utilize its white-label Turn-key Drive applications including Hutchison Telecommunications, which services more than 82 million customers throughout Asia and Europe. More than 23,000 developers also use Bitcasa’s CloudFS APIs, which provide a simple way to integrate cloud storage into applications and services.
First of all, what exactly is EFS and how is it different from AWS’ two current storage services, Elastic Block Storage (EBS) and S3? EBS is block storage that is mounted to only a single AWS Elastic Compute (EC2) instance within a virtual private cloud environment. S3 is an object store that works over HTTP and accessible via Internet. In contrast, EFS is a File System. It supports standard file system protocols (Nsf4), and unlike EBS can mount to multiple EC2 instances. But like EBS, connections only happen inside Amazon’s virtual private cloud. It becomes apparent that EFS is intended as a high performance, behind-the-firewall NFS (Network File System) for uses such as server-side content repositories and big-data home directories.
Bitcasa’s CloudFS is intended for vastly different purposes. CloudFS is HTTP-based and is built for developers. Its main intent is to extend applications’ functionality by integrating cloud storage into them. The powerful APIs abstract a file system and make it easy for apps and devices from anywhere to create, access and manage personal file systems in the cloud.
Readers will be quick to point out that similar functionality already exists through APIs from other cloud storage providers, namely Dropbox. Not so fast, we say, as in order to use those services, your users are first directed to the storage provider’s cloud platform for authentication. Furthermore, users must already have pre-existing accounts with the cloud storage service. The 3rd party cloud storage provider’s brand stays front and center during the process, and there is a clear separation between your application and the cloud storage service.
The above need not always be the case. With Bitcasa’s CloudFS, you can create a user storage account with one API call, do it behind the scenes, and make it happen on the end-user’s behalf. Bitcasa’s philosophy is that you own your end-user records. And because you have ownership, your apps also access the cloud storage account on your end-user’s behalf. No redirection to a 3rd party service is ever required. From the user’s perspective, they only authenticate one time through your service. We call this transparent authentication. We believe that cloud storage functionality should feel seamlessly integrated with the rest of your application rather than like an add-on appliance from a 3rd party service. For emphasis, we’d like to drive the point home by saying, “Own your users. Own your UX. Don’t give up your brand!”
Amazon’s important new offering validates the current market trend towards public cloud services and the ever increasing demand for storage. As this IDC research shows, the digital universe will grow 10x to over 44 trillion GB by 2020. Expand that idea to the Internet of Things where consumer digital devices and apps play in a world of shared content. That’s where CloudFS can fill a need and provide a vital role.
For more information, please visit our CloudFS product page and sign up for a free developer account to test-drive the power and simplicity of the APIs and seamlessly extend your application into the cloud.
Building this new app required the developers to look for a variety of solutions to several issues they faced, including storage. Since In My Diary maintains redundant servers, they needed servers to have instant access to all saved documents, newsletters, forms and notes. Saving uploaded files to the local server’s hard drive would not achieve the required redundancy across multiple servers.
As the subscriber base of In My Diary grows, additional servers will be introduced to distribute the load. These new servers will need instant access to the stored documents on the cloud storage.
Also, newsletters and notes uploaded through the web interface needed to be instantly available to users through the app.
The developers from In My Diary found their cloud storage solution at Bitcasa. With Bitcasa, accessing documents from the app has no impact on In My Diary servers since documents are accessed directly from Bitcasa cloud storage through the app, freeing up more resources on In My Diary for the Web administration and the app API.
Bitcasa and other independent providers offered all of the components need by the app, including cloud storage, mass emailing, push notification and cloud DNS. They considered AWS for all of these needs, but found that by carefully selecting providers like Bitcasa they achieve competitive prices with better tools and support for their solution.
“Bitcasa offers a range of tools, documentation with sample code and support to get started with their CloudFS API,” said Jonathan Staskun, Technical Director at In My Diary. “We found it quick and easy to implement CloudFS using their REST API for our web-based interface. Implementing CloudFS into both the iOS and Android versions of our In My Diary app were equally quick and easy.”
Jonathan said Bitcasa’s CloundFS API offers good functionality allowing them to control all files and documents from code level, which allowed them to tightly integrate CloudFS into their solution. He said they found response time between their servers and CloudFS to be very good, with excellent security with the use of tokens.
The app is running well and is offering a new option for organizations to stay in touch with their members. Through an intuitive and responsive administration website which drives the In My Diary app, organizations can effectively present all forms of electronic communication to their members, including calendar events, messaging through push notifications, newsletters, forms, and a blog. The way information is presented in the app reflects how and when users accesses the various types of organizational information.
This week, we’re all about sharing the love. If you missed it, check out our 10 Things Developers Love blog post. In the same vein, we believe in freely sharing expertise and developer-centric knowledge. As such, we’ve pulled together wisdom from across the web to enrich your week. Enjoy!
In other cloud news:
Love is in the air! With Valentine’s Day looming, many conversations about romantic getaways, fancy dinner outings and overindulging in chocolate can be overheard in the office. At Bitcasa, we want to show some love too. With our Valentine’s Day spirit sky high, we asked around our developer friends and put together a list of things developers love. Enjoy!
Got an idea for app? Need an excuse to develop it? We’re putting up $3,000 in prize money to help persuade you to turn that concept into reality.
Bitcasa and our friends at ChallengePost are hosting the DevCasa Challenge, which will run until March 24th.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to add cloud storage to a current app or create a new one by using Bitcasa CloudFS.
What is Bitcasa CloudFS? It’s our set of APIs that make it quick and easy to integrate secure, and accessible cloud storage with your application. But unlike those other cloud storage moguls, CloudFS give you control over the UX and user data. It’s your customers, your cloud, and your data.
You’ll need to create (or have created) a working software application that utilizes Bitcasa CloudFS via the free prototyping account. We’re judging your submissions based on the following criteria: quality, implementation, and depth of integration with our CloudFS APIs.
The competition is now open for submission and closes on March 24, 2015 so don’t miss out.
Accept the DevCasa challenge and register here: http://devcasa.challengepost.com/
Ready, set, hack!