Bitcasa: Cloud Storage Startup Seeks to Change the Game

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 13, 2011

It's no secret that cloud computing is one of the biggest trends on the technology scene, and one that is profoundly affecting the open source arena. As more and more companies, organizations and individuals leverage the cloud for applications, data storage and more, they are also changing the way storage itself works. Just consider Amazon and the enormous amount of data that it deals with in the cloud via Amazon Web Services. There is a new startup making waves with a very different approach to cloud storage: Bitcasa. It claims to offer infinite storage for $10 a month, and it is getting noticed.

As The Register reports:

"Bitcasa says it is different from Nirvanix, Mozy and others because it is not a cloud-based backup company. It's different from Dropbox because it is not a file-sharing cloud facility. It is not online storage like Amazon's service and others because there is no icon for the Bitcasa cloud on your desktop...Instead, any content you create or import gets sent up to the Bitcasa cloud automatically. It is sent as a stream of encrypted binary data with Bitcasa knowing nothing much, it says, about files and folders. Bitcasa carries out data deduplication and stripes your bytes across multiple hard drives."

Bitcasa specializes in deuplication, minimizing the number of duplicated instances of the same data being stored. Bitcasa has also drawn notice from TechCrunch, which named it a TechCrunch Disrupt finalist. As the site reports:

"You don’t see it, it’s not an icon on your desktop, you don’t drag-and-drop files or folders into it. Instead, you write to the cloud when you save a file on your computer. The cloud is your hard drive, and your actual hard drive is just the cache."

In reading about Bitcasa's approach to deduplication, it seems like some privacy concerns could be implied. For example, I don't want a service identifying a file that I have stored as being the same one that someone else has stored, and then using the file as a shared single instance of the underlying data. It does seem worth trying this new service out, though, and you can sign up for beta testing now.