If you haven't heard about BitCasa
yet, you are sure to be hearing about it soon. BitCasa is a cloud storage provider that offers UNLIMITED storage space at what will be minimal cost (it's free right now and they just opened their public beta). Unlimited space? How is that even possible? What the creators of BitCasa realized is that most data backed up to the cloud is extremely redundant, think of how many copies of Heart's "Barracuda" are backed up in the ether. So, they identify redundancies and are able to minimize the actual storage space each individual user requires.
Yes, this raised a ton of red flags for me initially of privacy concerns, lack of separation of individual user's content, etc. Everything is encrypted on the client side and then BitCasa uses "convergent encryption
" and despite not having access to your individual data is able to deduplicate the data on the server side. It's pretty amazing technology which is why it won last year's TechCrunch disrupt award.
I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation for their private beta several months back and I've got to say, the service is seamless. I simply select the folders that I want to sync to BitCasa and then magically they are available on both of my Windows laptops and the Mac Mini I've got hooked up to my television. It's like an infinite version of DropBox
as a consumer application.
I wrote a blog post a few months back about the future of enterprise computers no longer needing hard drives
and clearly BitCasa is a giant leap forward in that area. Who needs a local hard drive when they have instant access to all of their data from the cloud, especially when that data storage costs the enterprise a LOT less money?
I also see future potential application in the cloud server space, imagine an entire organization having a private version of BitCasa on the cloud and deduplicating data across all of its enterprise linked devices. The savings for companies could be huge, just think of how many redundant copies of files exist on the average Exchange server!
How about Big Data application? We could potentially store exhaust data galore and it could deduplicate against the same types of activities and/or user profiling within our data streams (and potentially, securely, between multiple companies).
The possibilities for the technology of BitCasa are pretty limitless and it is great to see them progressing to their next stage of a public beta. I'm sure they'll be on the short list of potential buyouts from Microsoft, Google and Amazon soon enough.