We’ve been asked a few times now how we store the data and how safe it is. SMEStorage uses Amazon S3 to store the data you upload.
S3 can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It is designed to gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers.
Of course, not all of us are developers, and our aim is to leverage the Amazon S3 reliable cloud to provide our own API and value added functions / features that you will want from access to your data. That is why we have implemented consumer features such as in-browser MP3 streaming via the Yahoo Media component and also a way to view your photos inline. We’ve also implemented business level features such as file sharing with file expiry. This is very useful if you want to send large files or if your files keep getting blocked by corporate firewalls. We’ve also implemented group sharing and collaboration features in which you can share a file which then appear on the person you shared it with, shared file list. Other features such as email backup from any mailbox are currently being added.
It is features like this that we believe make data storage a ‘service’ and not just a cloud. We also believe channels and access points are important, that is why we are currently building out out Iphone access and mobile access versions. You can already use the service from any web browser and we recently announced the beta of our firefox plug-in. Pretty soon we’ll also have Java desktop version that will work across Mac, PC or Linux.
Of course a question you may ask, if you already have an Amazon S3 account, is can we use our own account for and get these service features ? A fair question, although when we started to build out this service we envisage it as a way that non-technical people could take advantage of a data service without worrying about the technicalities. Having said that, we are are working on enabling you to plug-in your own Amazon keys for a $1 a month access to our service features – keep your eyes peeled, this will be launched pretty soon !