Bitcasa's CloudFS Driver Aims to Kill Local Storage

Users don't have to think about storage using a device with this driver; all content flows immediately into the secure Bitcasa cloud.

It's really just business and nothing personal, but Bitcasa wants to kill the local hard drive for storing personal and business files.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company on March 29 unveiled its new CloudFS software driver, which allows any device to access cloud storage automatically at the operating system level, eliminating the need for storage on desktop or portable drives.

Users don't have to think about storage using this driver; all content flows immediately into the secure Bitcasa cloud.

Made possible by Bitcasa's virtual drive architecture, which uses the cloud as primary storage as opposed to a sync mechanism, the CloudFS driver enables software partners with Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX)-compliant file systems and local caching requirements to natively cloud-enable devices. Integration of the CloudFS driver is as easy as adding a local drive, Bitcasa said.

"We all store our stuff all over the place," CEO Brian Taptich told eWEEK. "And we're effectively using the cloud as a Xerox machine to keep copies of everything everywhere. Whether you have a tower PC, a laptop, tablet or smartphone, we load them up with our stuff and we're instantly out of space.

"Bitcasa is a virtualized drive that holds local resources in very high regard and also thinks about things like security very differently. Bitcasa has sort of built an NFS [network file system] for the cloud, instead of for Unix."
Unlocking the true potential of connected devices requires an end to the dependency on local storage, Taptich said. "Our new CloudFS driver is the first step toward a platform that enables any developer to add the cloud as a ubiquitous setting in their hardware or software solution," he said.

The new CloudFS driver is able to securely store all data types, including media, apps, contacts and settings, by embedding the cloud at the OS level. This allows a user's entire digital life to be kept organized and accessible across any device regardless of local storage constraints, Taptich said.
Potential uses for the driver range from handsets that offer iCloud-like backup and transfer capabilities to small Internet of things (IoT) devices with no local storage running applications directly from the cloud, and hybrid servers created to manage elastic capacity requirements, Taptich said.

Key benefits of the CloudFS driver, according to Bitcasa:

  • Simple integration: A cloud drive can be mounted to a device OS as easily as a local drive, using a software driver and APIs that allow apps to communicate with the driver.
  • Native experiences: The cloud appears as simply another local drive to users, is managed through the device settings menu and provides developers with direct read/write access.
  • Patented security: Includes Bitcasa's recently patented zero-knowledge encryption method that also improves network efficiency to keep data safe.

The new CloudFS software driver is currently available through Bitcasa's product discovery program to qualified partners. The program includes a command-line sample reference application and complete documentation. Interested parties can apply for access here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...