Filebase’s S3 Compatible API aims to facilitate decentralized storage – the new stack
When Storj, the decentralized cloud object storage company, first appeared in 2019 calling itself “AirBnB for hard drives”, decentralized storage space was still rather nascent. Today there are a handful of other companies that have entered the space, but mainstream adoption is still lagging behind.
According to File base co-founder and COO Zac Cohen, that adoption is not lagging behind for lack of technological advantages, but rather ease of use and integration, issues that Filebase seeks to address by providing a Amazon Web Services‘S3 compatible API, which facilitates integration and summarizes interactions with the underlying networks by offering turnkey configurations in a SaaS model.
“We recognized early on that an easy ramp is the only way it’s going to work. Web3 will be a huge success or be cumbersome and difficult, ”Cohen said. “We really think the time has come to leverage decentralized storage in interesting ways and apply it to the cloud, but we also recognize that the only way it’s going to evolve is that there has to be a translation layer between the web for past ecosystems and the future state, and that’s really what Firebase stands for. “
The ‘Web3’ concept Cohen refers to is central to Filebase and the storage companies he works with, which currently include Storj Networks and the Sia network, and will soon include the Filecoin network and the Arweave network by the end of 2021. Cohen said they realized early on that Web3 would be the way to go.
“It was really around 2018, that we realized that this stuff was accelerating very quickly. The impact of virtualization on the data center, we strongly believe that Web3, and decentralized storage in particular and what we are working on at Filebase, will have a similar impact over the next five or 10 years, ”Cohen said. . “It’s still very early, so we’re very much aware of that, we’re not trying to get into Bank of America and pull them out and replace them from Amazon, but we really believe, especially when it comes to the object storage this can really be cheaper than AWS, as a whole. “
Unlike Web2, which ushered in an interactive web experience that is now dominated by Facebook and Twitter, and according to a definition “An internet dominated by companies that provide services in exchange for your personal data,” Web3 consists of decentralized applications running on the blockchain that “allow anyone to participate without monetizing their personal data.”
“In Web3 all of that goes away, and it’s fundamentally upset and data is stored somewhere on the internet in a decentralized fashion,” said Filebase co-founder and CEO. Joshua Noble. “It’s a massive shift from the storage layer to the monetization layer because of some of these technical changes.”
Still, getting started with some of these decentralized file storage services can be a big job. Noble explained that getting started can involve downloading special software and a blockchain, then indexing and analyzing that blockchain – a task that can take anywhere from 12 to 36 hours, even on a disk. Fast SSD, and that’s just the start. With Filebase, by comparison, you sign up for an account, connect and create a storage bucket, grab the API credentials, then plug them into any S3 compatible tool and get started.
“The process on Firebase is basically a lot more orchestrated, and you can pretty much complete the same operation in five minutes or less,” Noble said. “We make it simple and easy and take all the technical friction out of the equation.”
By facilitating the adoption of decentralized storage, Filebase also claims additional advantages over traditional object storage, including lower costs while providing geographic redundancy. In addition, Filebase has developed a smart caching layer that it claims allows customers to write and retrieve data much faster than if they were using network providers themselves. As for the cost savings – a 90% reduction, they say, which takes that 3x redundancy into account – Noble says the savings are the result of what he calls the “dirty secret of the cloud.”
“The dirty secret of the cloud is that Amazon and other cloud providers, but mostly Amazon, create an experience where they offer compute and storage, and then they offer all these other ancillary services, like hosted queues. , Hosted Elasticsearch, and hosted databases. , and things like that to keep you kind of, ”Noble said. “Anytime you want to pull data from Amazon, whether it’s serving your webpages to your customers using their CDN products, or even just leaving Amazon entirely, the dirty secret is that they charge you exponentially more for the actual outgoing data. charges.”
Built on everything from MySQL to Redis For Node.js, Ruby on Rails, Go, and Lua, Filebase has been available in production since 2019, with thousands of hosts around the world approaching the storage tier of an exabyte. With a recent influx of investment, the company is looking to expand and grow its customer base, which currently stands at around 4,000, but Noble also explained that it is also looking to bring its cloud-native foundations to production.
Currently, Filebase is available as SaaS, but they are looking to provide an easy way to deploy Filebase through a Docker image on Kubernetes to deliver “an on-premises S3 gateway that connects to decentralized networks in the background.”