2 competitors to Storj DCS?

Are these competitors? Or might Storj DCS even be able to partner with them:

https://tebi.io/

Tebi is innovative s3-compatible geo-distributed object storage with extremely high speed and 99.99% reliability

And what is this??? :open_mouth:

The ultimate destination for all Polycloud data is our distributed network, which is composed of NAS devices in consumer and business locations. But we often stage data within a more traditional cloud environment while we manage the flow of data into and out of the network.

According to them:

  • Over 250.000 nodes
  • More than 400 Petabytes capacity
  • We are not built on top of Sia or Storj. Our technology has been developed for the past decade and is independent.
  • $0.004 per GB mo, no egress fees

Interesting discussion here: Polycloud: S3-compatible object storage | Hacker News

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Did some more research. CrowdStorage seems very real. They had partnered even with Western Digital:

https://support-en.wd.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/29634

So it seems that they offer one or more apps for NAS devices and users can backup their personal data for free or cheap while at the same time they allow CrowdStorage to sell their unused space on the NAS.

@keleffew
I am seeing following potential:

  1. According to Polycloud: S3-compatible object storage | Hacker News Crowdsource

We also purchase storage in datacenters.

So Storj might be able to win them as customer. Their contact is: Have a question? Contact us. - CrowdStorage

  1. CrowdStorage / Polycloud pricing seems to be in about the same range like Storj DCS pricing. So maybe Storj DCS reaches out to their customers? Here is what I have found from their websites:

Vivint https://www.vivint.com/
CBSi https://www.cbsi-corp.com/
Telarus https://www.telarus.com/
Call One https://www.calloneinc.com/

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PACGlobal is supposed to also announce YANDNA which is supposed to be an IPFS as well. That should happen on 9/30 so I’m curious what their process will look like.

Tebi seems to just be datacenter based, so more of a traditional provider I’d say.

As for crowdstorage. They make a lot of claims about storing data on devices including consumer devices around the world. But for the life of me I can’t find a shred of information on how to provide storage space nor specific examples of storage locations. Even in the topic you linked they dance around these questions.

So my guess is that

Is at the moment pretty much all they do.

There is very little detailed technical information available, but what there is suggests it is fairly similar to the storj approach, by using reed solomon erasure coding and over provisioning transfers. They are severely lacking in transparency of where data is stored though.

That said, other decentralized solutions aren’t really the competition for storj. Their success would only help Storj break through in a market dominated by centralized solutions. For now, growing that market is the rising tide that will lift all boats.

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Yes. But if they really have 250.000 nodes and 400 Petabytes of space there must be node operaters and clients somewhere to find.

Here is a little more general info:
https://mutable.io/marketplace/stories/reliable.-affordable.-secure.

If other decentralized solutions manage to attract customers that store Petabytes of data on there, then I would say it is competition. Quote from Vivint CTO:

We use CrowdStorage to store and stream petabytes of video for over one million customers. They allow us to capture significant savings compared to using AWS with better SLAs.

It’s pretty trivial to just spin those up on traditional cloud platforms. This doesn’t mean anything really.

Yeah, again they mention storing data on lots of NAS devices, but offer no information on how you would go about providing that storage to the network. I’d love to give it a try, but all I can do is sign up for their storage service, which I’m not interested in. It’s also unclear how they compensate you for using your storage. My best guess is that their customers are required to share free space in order to get the rates they quote. That sounds like a bad deal since Storj offers similar rates without that caveat. Maybe there is more info about all of this if you sign up, but since I’m not interested in their product, I’ll skip that step.

You know who manages to attract quite a few more customers? Amazon, Google, Microsoft… Having more people consider distributed solutions gives any distributed solution a much better position against those giants. Trying to focus on competing with other decentralizes solutions will have you fish in a tiny pond compared to those centralized giants. New customers need to come from there and any success of decentralized competitors will just help make centralized storage customers consider decentralized options. This is not the time to go after other decentralized options. It would be much more fruitful to go after centralized competition together.

But their claim suggests they are not running on traditional cloud platforms but on 3rd party NAS devices. So the operators of those devices must be somewhere to be found and it is in fact a bit weird that we don’t hear from them too much. All I have found so far are the comments in the WD community.

There is not much official information from them, but his comment gives a strong hint:

Did I somewhere say Amazon, Google or Microsoft are not Storj competitors? But all of them, including the decentralized ones offer similar products or services, which is the definition of competition:

A company’s competitors are companies who are trying to sell similar goods or services to the same people.

The advantage of going after users who use decentralized storage already is, that you don’t have to convince them anymore to use decentralized storage, which seems to be an issue for the time being:

Dennis Hahn, Omdia’s principal analyst of data center storage, is skeptical that enterprises will want to adopt Storj’s technology.

They may be willing to use it for non-sensitive and non-mission critical data, but the issue is cultural, because enterprises want to know where their data is, he said in an interview with DCK. With other cloud providers, the data is stored off-premises, but at least they know it’s within AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud’s data centers, he said.

And in case you have missed it, I have also suggested the option to sell Storj capacity to Crowdstorage, because they claim to purchase storage in datacenters. Wouldn’t that be amazing, if Storj would substitute their centralized datacenter storage? This sounds exactly like what you suggest to focus on.

I think based on the fact that there is no info and the comments you linked, all of that data is actually stored on other customers devices. So in order to get their rates, you need to also supply space. They probably then augment that with traditional data center storage. So they basically have almost no storage costs (only the data centers they use to augment the storage), because the storage space is supplied by their paying customers. Which… I guess I wouldn’t be too open about either then.

Well sure, if you want to go with that definition. My point is that they shouldn’t be considered adversaries. It’s not uncommon that when new ideas enter a market, those new players band together to lift the mind share of that idea as a whole. It’s better to grow the pond you’re fishing in than to try to outplay others fishing in that still very small pond.

Yeah, sure, that would be nice. They would have to have a similar mindset as I have though. If they see Storj as merely competition, I doubt they’d want to give them the revenue.

Then Storj can still go after their customers… :grin:

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we are not too worried about tebi, they indeed looks like some players trying to go heads on with AWS. however, crowdstorage does looks more equivalent to storj i must say.
0 cost for egress… that’s a no brainer…

Here are some more interesting background information:

https://www.vivint.com/company/newsroom/press/space-monkey-acquisition

Vivint™, a leading provider of smart home technology, today announced the acquisition of Space Monkey, an innovative cloud storage company. Space Monkey uses a peer-to-peer network, rather than a data center, to offer greater speed, security and cost savings for personal storage.

Smart homes generate a surprising amount of data — for video alone, we are already collecting and storing more video data per hour than YouTube. To store that much data, Vivint built a vast storage network of distributed smart drives, which require industrial design, electrical and mechanical engineering, low-level system software, firmware, and device and security updates. It also requires expertise in erasure codes, distributed system design, and cryptography.

In an exclusive to Forbes, Vivint is announcing its acquisition of consumer-focused cloud storage startup Space Monkey. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Space Monkey’s consumer cloud storage works a bit different than competitors like Dropbox. Instead of syncing up all of your files on some remote server farm, Space Monkey puts the data on a networked hard drive in its customer’s home. And this isn’t just some external hard drive. Your small Space Monkey hard drive links up to all of the other Space Monkey hard drives to become a “distributed cloud.”

For an additional $10 more a month, your starter Vivint subscription fee turns into the Smart Home Video service plan, which includes 30 days of continuous DVR recording for up to four cameras if you’ve purchased a 1TB Vivint Smart Drive for $250.

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1713952/000119312520090305/d899195ds1a.htm

For example, in August 2014, Legacy Vivint Smart Home acquired Space Monkey, a distributed cloud storage technology solution company, in 2019 Legacy Vivint Smart Home completed a spin-off of its wireless internet business and in 2020 the Company consummated the Merger.

In May 2019, the Company acquired majority ownership interest in CrowdStorage, Inc. (“CrowdStorage”), a distributed cloud storage solution company.

https://mutable.io/marketplace/vendors/crowdstorage

The Utah-based company currently offers two core products:

“Device Backup” utilizes unused space on Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices to create cloud storage through “virtual” data centers. When consumers store data through this solution, CrowdStorage splits their data and stores different pieces on NAS devices across different businesses and consumers’ homes. It’s marketed as a win-win solution: in exchange for cheap backup, users agree to free up their excess space only to the extent that it is unutilized. It also appeals to those with security concerns: completely encrypted and sharded, no individual device is able to access or read the data where it is stored. As there are no infrastructure or operational costs typically associated with traditional brick-and-mortar data centers, data storage is available to consumers at a much lower cost.
Their second product, Polycloud, is geared towards enterprise clients looking for traditional cloud storage backup. The solution is simple: data is still stored in data centers, but across multiple North American public cloud providers like Google, Wasabi and Backblaze.
CrowdStorage’s algorithm shards and tiers data with a level of efficiency that standardizes redundancy and geographical dispersion as premium multi-region storage offerings such as Amazon S3; mitigating potential damage for enterprises should large scale outages occur.

One of their core partnerships is with leading data technology manufacturer Western Digital, launching as a cloud backup solution to their “My Cloud Home” device - one of the most popular network-attached storage devices.

All of this gives a good idea about how the company started, who owns it and what they offer. I have to say, that it is pretty clever of a smart home company to own their own distributed datacenter. I had previously already suggested that Storj should have a look into the cctv market.
And Crowdstorages deal with WD is ingenous even though it seems that they are no longer partnering: 3rd Party App: My Cloud Home CrowdStorage Support Notice

The CrowdStorage app is no longer available for installation on My Cloud Home products.

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I loathe Onedrive and Sharepoint. One of our clients uses Onedrive for a distributed app and it is always breaking and then you need to un-link and re-link the pc to it in order to persuade it to work again. For a brief period a least.

So, they doesn’t pay for sharing your drive and contrary - you will pay them extra, am I right?

Yeah, I’m not a fan either. But to be fair, the direct competitor wouldn’t be either of those, but rather Azure Blob Storage.

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This is how I understand it. That the compensation is not a payment but cheap and secure storage. Whatever cheap means in that case.
A bit similar as when I would use earned STORJ to pay for Storj DCS.

Except, you’re paying the same price for storage as on Storj DCS, but at the same time are required to supply their storage. And while the first 100% of amount stored can be egressed for free, you pay more for egress after that.

So pricing is similar, except for that pricing Storj actually pays node operators, while they require their own customers to supply the storage space with no compensation and they pocket all of that money. It’s clever, I’ll give em that… but doesn’t really sound like a fair deal.

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That’s obviously the deal, correct.

On the other hand CrowdStorage at least does not have to struggle with payouts or tokens like Storj does.
If they were really able to gather 250.000 individual node operators then I’d say let those decide if it is a fair deal for them to provide some storage to receive some storage. You could also ask, if the current payout situation at Storj is a fair deal, if a SNO provides his hardware but doesn’t see a payment on L1 for a indefinite rather long time. I wonder if it is at least possible now to use the undistributed payout to buy storage on Storj DCS? I believe I had read something about that recently but I am not sure.

Yeah, I used to use a service called Symform, which let you supply storage space and then use half the amount you supplied on their service for free. So share 2TB, get 1TB worth of storage. It does remove all the hassle, but at least they realized that if you provide the storage space the service should be free. I think they ended up selling the unused space and made money that way. But they went under, so I guess the model didn’t work. I’d say it’s kind of bold to have your customers provide the space AND pay for it too.

I guess that’s fair, though I wouldn’t call them node operators. They’re customers.
However, I think both customers and node operators are better off on the Storj network. With CrowdStorage the central orchestrator just pockets all of the income. If you would replicate the CrowdStorage setup where you are both node operator and customer at the same time. With Storj you’d actually be able to pay for your storage or at least compensate some of the costs.

That’s kind of your own choice then. There’s a better option out there. I read that they were working on L2 payments for Storj DCS. I don’t think I’ve seen anything mentioned about using undistributed balance.

I am no longer sure that is always the case.
But honestly it is really hard to figure out what and how they are doing it.

They have this Vivint company and they obviously are selling or at least have sold this smart drive: Home Security Video Recording & DVR | Vivint

I don’t know if this is automatically used to store other peoples data or only in case you buy their 30 day retention subscription. Which at least was $10 a month.

But they also seemed to have the connection with Western Digital under the CrowdStorage name and I am not so sure if these users had to pay for their backups:

So maybe their Polycloud prices are only for user who don’t share storage.

Maybe it was about L2, could be. However using undistributed balance to pay for Storj DCS might be an interesting additional alternative with absolutely no fees.

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:crazy_face:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jtolds

Lead engineer for a massively distributed storage system that is presently running across 80k active devices around the globe. The system was a culmination of my distributed system work and concurrent school research, including distributed hash tables, cryptography, Reed-Solomon erasure codes, NAT traversal, fairness mechanics, game theory, security, FUSE, embedded Linux, deployment and packaging, user and inventory management. In the process I created and open-sourced a number of popular libraries for the Go programming language. As an early employee I was heavily involved in investor pitches, recruiting, etc. We won Best Startup at LAUNCH Conference 2012, had a successful kickstarter in 2013, and were acquired by Vivint in 2014.

I was one of 5 “vertical leads” (essentially general managers) for Vivint. In this role my job was the success of the distributed cloud storage division that came out of the Space Monkey acquisition. My new and additional responsibilities included sales, business development, training up new managers, etc. I also spent time trying to help improve Vivint overall - driving remote-first teams to widen the recruiting pool, driving adoption of video conferencing, starting an employee outreach blog, and pushing for increased software engineering rigor across the company. This was fun but the budget got cut and it didn’t end in success lol. It’s not clear why Vivint Smart Home had a cloud storage division to begin with.

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