Data storage service Bitcasa has today announced the Bitcasa CloudFS Platform API aimed at providing developers with access to a highly secure, global cloud storage service suited to managing and streaming content including video, email and document storage. The new platform aims to support the “extraordinary demand” seen from the developer community following Bitcasa’s initial API release in November of last year. ProgrammableWeb talked to Bitcasa CEO Brian Taptich and Ranajit Nevatia, Senior VP of Products and Marketing about the new platform API.
“We built this remarkable tech platform, and for the first 12 months, we were eating our own dog food so that our own customer applications were eating off our APIs,” Bitcasa CEO Brian Taptich told ProgrammableWeb. “What we learnt is we can scale massively and globally, we now have users in 160 countries.
“Since the release of our Bitcasa API, we have seen extraordinary demand from the developer community. This has a lot to do with our value proposition which resonates disproportionately well with developers: when you think about everything you have to plug in to the public cloud to make it useful to you, the amount of infrastructure to make public cloud useful to what you ultimately want to be building. We have already built all that, and now we are making everything available to developers via APIs that we are calling CloudFS.”
Taptich argues that Bitcasa has designed a cloud storage platform model suited to developers concerns:
“We see three things that are crucially important:
A high degree of security: content encryption and a high degree of security privacy — when partnering, you often end up giving away your users and giving away your application data, our system prevents the need for this.
User interface: we offer white-label solutions that you can match to your interface design
Highly efficient storage systems: You can store more, so ultimately, you save money.”
From Alpha API to Platform Service
“We floated an alpha version in November last year, which was about making our consumer version available via APIs, and 5000 developers set up. But the real demand is for what we are rolling out now,” explains Taptich.
The consumer-side of the service provides a place where end users can store all of their media content safely and securely. The service uses block encryption techniques that protect data privacy for users: “Everything happens on the client side. We have no visibility into what content you are uploading,” says Taptich. “We also have a thing called Manifest that (a) puts the encrypted blocks back together and (b) knows that block is encrypted to you.”
Now, developers have begun integrating this service into their offerings using the alpha API and are expected to gain more functionality as they move to the CloudFS Platform API: “The use cases we are seeing are things like Plex, which makes your personal media more accessible across devices, and Kloudless which does file management for email applications.”
Trends in international cloud storage security
Platforms like FI-WARE’s smart cities and IoT open-source platform are addressing international demand for non-U.S-owned data storage solutions for large data owners. They are already in talks with Japanese and South American government authorities and private companies who are interested in data storage solutions post-NSA surveillance.
It is a trend that Bitcasa also credits with a large growth in their business base.
“We are expanding right now into the EU (with a business center in London), and we are also looking at Tokyo,” says Taptich. “When we made APIs available there, Tokyo grew as a market from 2% of our business to 25%. That is from a combination of offering a localized API product in Japanese and the interest in Japan for data storage solutions located regionally.
“Brazil is also one of our fastest growing markets, where there are a lot of sensitivities [around data storage outside of the United States]. We want to make sure our data is stored locally. Right now, we can do it regionally, but on the roadmap is to take it down to the national level.”
Accessing the CloudFS Platform
While the CloudFS Platform https://www.bitcasa.com/platform was announced today, access will begin rolling out at the end of May, with early signups first in line to gain access. User documentation has been published to allow developers to get acquainted with the platform API capabilities in advance of the beta release. “We are going to have a closed beta at the end of the month,” confirms Ranajit Nevatia, Senior Vice-President of Products and Marketing at Bitcasa. “People signing up will be given priority. Plus all the documentation will be published.”
By Mark Boyd. Mark is a freelance writer focusing on how we use technology to connect and interact. He writes regularly about API business models, open data, smart cities, Quantified Self and e-commerce. He can be contacted via email, on Twitter, or on Google+.