Vivint Smart Home and 20 other companies rely on CrowdStorage's secure, reliable and affordable data storage solution
Secure data storage is an issue for most large companies. Vivint Smart Home, one of the largest home security providers in the United States, had looked into building their own in-house solution in-house. Employees Colby Winegar, Bryan Mangelson and Jacob Willoughby were tasked with designing a secure, reliable, affordable cloud storage solution for Vivint.
The three were able to convince Vivint to spin off their project into a separate distributed cloud storage company called CrowdStorage. Vivint offered the founders an IP rights for equity deal thus becoming not only their first investor but client as well.
CrowdStorage’s solution to the reliability and cost issue for cloud storage was to connect underutilized storage space across geographies. By providing crowdsourced, distributed data storage technology on top of a sophisticated tech stack, CrowdStorage is better positioned to dedicate more energy into determining its market fit and building customer relationships.
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.
Privacy is at the forefront, as encrypted and fragmented data remains safe even if data center security is compromised. While the company started out using AWS, by migrating to Google Cloud to coordinate its large distributed storage network, CrowdStorage reduced cloud costs, leveraged the Kubernetes Engine and Google Spanner. They’re now capable of handling three times the traffic with 1/10th of the resources. Polycloud is soon moving from Alpha to Beta testing, with close to two dozen customers already signed on.
As other actors, especially within the Cryptospace, make distributed storage plays similar to Device Backup, Crowdstorage’s simple, affordable and secure solution positions them as an elegant alternative to other premium services for consumers looking to switch over from conventional cloud storage providers. 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.