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Decentralized Storage Benefits – Higher Data Security, Wire Speed Performance and Free Egress

Lori Bowers
July 26, 2022
Decentralized Cloud StorageEnterprisesNFTsPersonal Storage

Data has become the lifeblood of modern businesses, yet its storage, especially through decentralized storage solutions, creates challenges that compromise both security and operational efficiency. As file size and volume increase exponentially each year, traditional cloud storage providers do not offer performance at reasonable costs and provide no guarantee securing customers’ valuable data from growing threats. Their data gravity model also locks customers into high egress fees just to access their own files and prevents easy migration to other providers. However, a new type of distributed storage architecture is emerging that addresses these issues head-on. Decentralized storage networks like Züs, Storj and Filecoin are pioneering an Internet-native approach that promises worry-free storage with robust security, free egress, and wire-speed performance. In this post, we will explore how decentralized storage works and why it presents a compelling alternative to traditional cloud storage models for technology companies and their customers to transition from a traditional SAN and NAS type of storage to an IAS (internet attached storage) architecture for all their storage needs.

Centralized Storage vs. Decentralized Storage vs. Distributed Storage

Unlike a centralized storage solution that holds all data in one place, and vulnerable to security breaches, decentralized storage systems are made up of multiple providers that store fragmented data on several servers and are by design difficult to breach and highly available. Decentralized storage systems allow users to own and control their data. This design makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to breach the system, as they would need to access multiple servers to obtain complete data. This fragmentation also means that data is highly available since it is not dependent on one single source.

By adopting decentralized storage, individuals and businesses can ensure the security and reliability of their data without compromising on accessibility. Decentralized storage can also be a version of distributed storage where one or two entities provide a multi-cloud or a hybrid cloud solution with their servers in multiple data centers, or one entity in the case of a private cloud. Even in this case, the ownership and control of data resides with the user rather than the cloud operator, and the user can later switch providers if they desire or add if they need more redundancy or wider content distribution. Zus can offer a multi-cloud with a MSP partner and a global datacenter, a hybrid cloud with an enterprise, or a private cloud on the decentralized storage network that is essentially a self-managed, trustless, and transparent to enable any provider to participate on the network. Additionally, Zus can guarantee better performance SLAs than traditional cloud for the enterprise.

Keeping your data safe with decentralized storage

A decentralized storage solution uses a blockchain to keep track of data changes, verifies if the providers are storing the data, verifies if the downloaded data is correct, and enables automated payment for the providers on the network. As we generate more and more data in our digital lives and AI generated data is prevalent, it becomes increasingly important to have a single source of truth, and a secure and reliable way to store data. By leveraging the power of blockchain technology with decentralized storage, these systems can keep track of data changes over time, ensuring that your information is always tracked and protected. It is just about keeping your data safe.

These solutions also verify that the providers on the network are actually storing your information and allow for automated payment to those providers. This creates a secure and efficient data storage and self-managed ecosystem, all without a centralized authority.

Decentralized Storage Architecture

A decentralized storage architecture is essentially a multi-cloud powered by a storage protocol to provide data services, payment, integrity verification, and prevent byzantine attacks since it is an open network. Imagine a world where you never have to worry about breach or losing your data that is vulnerable to attacks.

Today none of the traditional cloud guarantee liability protection. You need to figure out security on your own by working with expensive IT security experts, and if there is an attack, you will need to resolve the situation with the hackers, and later with government entities and customers and address the breach issue. If you are going to spend capital to secure your data, then it’s better to use decentralized storage.

The decentralized architecture provides not only data security through multiple security layers, but also data services, payment options and integrity verification. What makes dStorage stand out is its open network, preventing byzantine attacks and ensuring your data is always secure. In addition, data performance and cost is better than traditional storage, and this is discussed in details later in the post.

A key feature of dStorage is to provide data security through its 3 security layers 1) Data Fragmentation, 2) Proxy Re-encryption, and 3) Immutability.

1) What is Data Fragmentation?

Zus Fragmentation Decentralized Storage dStorage
Züs Fragmentation for Decentralized Storage (dStorage)

Data fragmentation is where the file is fragmented and distributed over several servers.

Data fragmentation breaks files into smaller parts and distributes them across multiple servers, significantly increasing cybersecurity. This approach prevents hackers from accessing entire files, making data breaches much harder. It offers an extra layer of security, as compromising one server does not expose any meaningful data. For companies looking to protect their sensitive data, data fragmentation is an effective and straightforward solution.

2) What is Proxy Re-encryption?

Proxy Re-Encryption Decentralized Private Sharing Zus
Proxy Re-Encryption Decentralized Private Sharing on Züs

Proxy re-encryption allows users to share encrypted data securely and privately.

Proxy re-encryption is a data-sharing method that allows data to be shared privately and directly between parties in a decentralized manner. It allows users to encrypt their sensitive data and share it with a decentralized 3rd party through a proxy key. The original data remains secure and private while the selected 3rd party can access the shared data with their own public key. This method ensures encrypted data is shared securely in a decentralized manner.

With proxy re-encryption, only the intended recipient, with the correct credentials, can access the data and reconstruct the fragmented file. Meanwhile, the sender retains full control of its access, having the control to revoke access at any time.

3) What is Immutability?

Zus Immutability Data Safe Decentralized Storage
Züs Immutability Data Safe Blockchain Storage

Immutability prevents any deletion or change of their data in the case of a compromised server or client.

Immutability ensures stored data remains unchanged, protecting it from unauthorized alterations and preserving its original state. This is critical for maintaining the integrity and reliability of data. Immutability is particularly valuable for those who depend on precise data, as it guarantees the data retains its original state, even if it is ever compromised.

Capabilities all blockchain storage systems should have:

1. Blockchain monitors for potential attacks or breaches.

Blockchain tracking of changes to the storage allocation so that it can be used to monitor attacks or breaches.

The importance of data security cannot be overstated, as cyber threats become more prevalent. While traditional centralized storage systems can be vulnerable to hacking attacks and data breaches, decentralized storage offers a more secure and reliable alternative. Using immutability ensures that any attempt to delete or change data intentionally or accidentally, is prevented, and the allocation hash can be monitored on the blockchain. Zus provides a way to track changes on the allocation as each provider reports changes on their fragment to the blockchain with the help of a “write marker” and so this enables a comprehensive decentralized tracking of allocation changes if there is any upload, update, rename, move, copy, and delete file operations. This important feature can protect against server or client compromise, safeguarding sensitive information for the long term. By embracing decentralized storage with immutability, individuals, and organizations can have peace of mind knowing that their data is safe and secure.

2. Blockchain verification of data integrity

Blockchain verifies data integrity on stored data as a self-managed trustless system. The way this works is that when the allocation owner uploads data it sends the hash of the content to all the providers as well as hash of the content that is fragmented for the provider. When a user accesses the data and downloads it, the fragmented and content hashes are verified on a consensus basis to make sure that the provider did not change data by accident, bit rotting, or as a result of a breach.

Blockchain-based storage offers the ability to verify data integrity in real-time whenever the user downloads data and is usually done inline as an option.

3. Switching providers Freely with dStorage

Decentralized Storage gives you complete freedom in choosing providers.

Another key feature of decentralized storage is the ability for a user to switch providers at any time rather than get locked in with one vendor, which is a problem in the cloud storage industry today. This pain point is acute because egress is not free and migrating a large dataset is expensive. Some alternate cloud providers advertise a free egress; however, data retrieval is not actually free. There is a limitation on the bandwidth and the user is charged based on the number of API requests.

With this unique advantage decentralized storage offers the freedom to switch providers anytime. In the cloud storage industry, getting locked in with one vendor is a common issue that users face. Not only does it limit their options, but it also becomes expensive when egress costs and data retrieval limitations come into play. However, with dStorage, users have the flexibility to choose the provider that suits their unique needs, without worrying about incurring any extra costs. This feature offers a sense of freedom and control to the user, making decentralized storage an appealing option for those looking for a seamless storage experience.

4. Transparent and Upfront dStorage Cost

The cost of dStorage is lower because of the architecture and wider selection of providers.

When it comes to using traditional cloud services, there is a key downside that can end up costing you more than expected. These platforms often come with unpredictable costs, leaving you uncertain about what your bill will look like at the end of the month. This can be a headache for individuals and businesses alike, as unexpected expenses can throw off budgets and disrupt financial planning. Luckily, dStorage addresses this issue, offering more transparency and control over costs. By opting for a more tailored approach, you can eliminate the guesswork and enjoy cloud services without the worry of fluctuating fees.

dStorage saves costs by using innovative architecture and multiple providers. Unlike traditional cloud services, its pricing is transparent and has no hidden fees. Users get free egress and APIs, and pay based on stored data, ensuring predictable expenses.

Züs’ Decentralized storage comparison to traditional cloud 

As the world becomes more digitally advanced and reliant on cloud storage, the competition between cloud providers intensifies. Züs stands out from the pack with its unique offerings.

Let’s compare Züs to traditional clouds such as AWS, Azure, GCP, and Oracle and alternate clouds such as Wasabi, Backblaze, and Cloudflare R2. AWS has a slate of offerings on the storage side, more so than anyone else. Züs provides S3, and plans to offer archive, replication, and tiering services soon, along with support for NAS protocols for EFS type storage in the future, and SAN protocols for EBS solutions would also be offered sometime later if there is sufficient demand.

For the sake of brevity, Züs is compared to only AWS S3 here since they are targeting the same applications that use S3 for logs, backup, archival, analytics (AI), videos, and pictures. While Züs provides most of the services that AWS offers, they’re different in a number of ways. 

Züs- Decentralized Storage Design Flexibility

When it comes to storing data, flexibility is key. Züs offers a solution with complete design flexibility.

AWS S3 does not allow one to select where one can store data and does not enable private, hybrid, or multi-cloud allocations easily unless one goes through a partner that will take longer and is more expensive. In the case of Züs, the servers can be all on-prem and owned by the enterprise, or a hybrid combination of the enterprise on-prem servers and Züs servers, or a simple cloud of Züs servers in different zones where one can select the zones and server locations, or a multi-cloud of Züs and other branded servers on the network. 

Züs- No Vendor lock-in

When it comes to technology, the fear of being locked in with one vendor is a real concern.

That’s where Züs comes in with their implementation of a no-vendor lock-in protocol. This means that users can switch servers or providers without any hassle or disruption to their workflow. The added flexibility not only inspires confidence in users but also reduces the cost of downtime or server failure. With Züs, users have the freedom to choose according to their needs, and not be limited by any one vendor. 

Züs- Add redundancy and delivery on the fly

Having a reliable and efficient network infrastructure is crucial for businesses and organizations to deliver their content and services to users all over the world.

This is where Züs comes in with its innovative solution that allows users to add redundancy and delivery on the fly, starting from a local US region and then scaling up to Europe and Asia as needed. With the addition of servers in these locations, the system ensures that files are automatically erasure encoded to the new servers, ensuring maximum performance and reliability for end-users. This feature not only guarantees uninterrupted service but also provides a flexible and scalable solution that meets the needs of businesses of all sizes and types.

Züs- Private Data Sharing layer

Züs has transformed the way we share sensitive information with others.

For sensitive files that need data privacy, users can encrypt them and share them with a proxy key to the recipient with the click of a button. The generated proxy key actually resides on the storage providers and is not shared to the recipient.

This means you no longer have to worry about data privacy or the security of your confidential information. Whether you are sharing financial reports, legal documents, health records or any sensitive information, Züs offers the perfect solution for your privacy needs.

Züs- Prevent ransomware with Immutability

The threat of ransomware and cyber-attacks has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, and businesses are constantly seeking innovative solutions to protect their data.

While AWS securely protects data with server-side encryption, there is no recourse if there is an internal hack on AWS or if the client gets hacked and the files are exposed to ransomware or malware that does alteration or deletion. With Züs, users can set the allocation to be immutable and even if the hacker is able to get access to the client node or any of the servers storing the data. Nothing will happen because the immutability is set in all the servers and any update, move, rename, or deletion action taken by the client will be flatly rejected and even a breached server will not affect the content that is downloaded from the servers since the data integrity is checked at the recipient.

With the added security of immutability, businesses can have peace of mind that their data is safe from even the most sophisticated cyber-attacks.

Züs- Transparency

Transparency is a word that’s thrown around a lot in today’s world of technology. With so much data being collected and stored, companies need to be upfront about their processes and procedures. Unfortunately, not all companies are forthcoming with information about how they handle their data. This is where Züs comes in.

AWS lacks transparency on how data is stored and whether data integrity is checked regularly. In the case of Züs, the blockchain randomly challenges the servers and provides reports on failures for the servers, so that the user can swap them or change providers.  The end result is a safer, more secure data storage experience for users.

Züs- Data Ownership

Zus Own your data. Design your cloud decentralized storage
Züs Own your data. Design your cloud decentralized storage

Data ownership has become an increasingly important topic. With the abundance of personal information being shared online, it is crucial to understand who has ownership of this data.

The data ownership resides with the user and not the provider. So, if there are GDPR issues related to any privacy breach, the user has full control and is totally responsible for their own data privacy. 

Unlike other providers, Züs ensures that the data ownership always resides with the users themselves. This gives users complete control and responsibility over their own data privacy. The user has the final say in what happens to their information. With Züs, there is no need to worry about who has access to your data – you are always in the driver’s seat.

Züs- Uptime

Zus Best uptime and security protection decentralized Storage
Züs Best uptime and security protection decentralized Storage

When it comes to uptime for cloud storage, Züs stands out from the crowd.

AWS S3 has a 99.9 data uptime performance guarantee unlike Züs that can deliver 10x uptime with 99.99. This is because AWS replicates to 2 other zones in addition to the primary one to guarantee uptime even if 2 zones go down. On the other hand, Züs fragments the data across 9 different servers which are typically located in 3 different data centers but need only 6 to recover the data and so can sustain 3 server failures simultaneously.

Data Retrieval Costs – Decentralized Storage

Managing data storage can get complex and expensive when retrieval costs are taken into consideration.

AWS S3 and Glacier have additional costs associated with storage, such as retrieval and API costs, that can easily increase the cost of storage by 2-3 times the cost of storing data. This is important for data that needs continuous updates and downloads, such as for data lake, analytics (AI), logs, videos, and pictures.  Even archive data is generally accessed and checked for data integrity by the enterprise client once a year for disk faults, which would result in a much higher effective cost of storing data.

Züs- Bandwidth

When it comes to data storage and transfer, speed is always a top priority. This is where Züs‘ bandwidth comes in, offering a cutting-edge solution that far outpaces traditional options like AWS S3 and Glacier.

AWS S3 and Glacier have single server endpoints and bandwidth limitations of typically 1Gbps, compared to Züs where there are 9 to 15 servers, each with 1Gbps, and data is divided up into fragments and uploaded and downloaded in parallel simultaneously, and so the data transfer is much faster and would depend on the client bandwidth and the number of data shards. For example, a 2 data and 1 parity sharded allocation would have almost 2x the speed, assuming the client is not bandwidth limited. Similarly, 6 data and 3 parities will have 4-5 times the speed for upload and download of data as long as the client is at least 6 times faster than the individual storage servers.

Züs- Data Visualization

Have you ever found yourself frustrated when trying to preview a file on AWS S3 or Glacier? Having to use a separate tool just to access a file can be a real headache.

AWS S3 and Glacier do not provide visualization of the files and the user needs to use a separate tool to have access to the file to preview it. Züs offers full visualization of almost all different file types including images, videos, audio, code, and zipped files.

With Züs, you will never have to waste time searching for a separate tool again. Just sit back and let Züs do the work for you with its user-friendly and efficient file visualization features.

Züs- Single source of truth

The concept of a single source of truth is essential in the world of data management, especially when it comes to storage allocation.

All the changes in the storage allocation of the user are tracked on the blockchain to have a single source of truth and so any backup of data used or generated by an application or sent by the user will have a single version for analytics and AI, visualization of data or as a public reference.

With Züs, you have greater confidence in the accuracy and integrity of your data.

Züs- Archive retrieval cost

Archiving is a low-cost option for storing data, but don’t forget the retrieval costs.

While archive and deep archive are lower costs, the retrieval costs are high, and users need to verify if the data stored is compromised due to bit rot or any natural degradation of the physical storage hardware. For this to happen, the software needs to pull data and validate randomly if the files are corrupted and then appropriate repair needs to be done. If the egress charges are high (about $10 to $30/TB), then the cost of repair becomes very expensive, especially if it is done at least once a year for the entire dataset. 

For these reasons, it is crucial that you thoroughly consider all the factors associated with archive retrieval before committing to a storage solution. Züs archive is one such solution that has been carefully designed and maintained like all S3 servers to provide robust and reliable storage options.

The archive of Züs is continuously challenged and made sure that the server is performing well at all times similar to all S3 storage servers.

Züs- Cost comparison to alternate clouds

Looking for a cloud storage solution can be a daunting task, with so many options to compare. One of the main factors that come to mind when choosing a cloud provider is pricing.

The pricing of Wasabi, Backblaze and Cloudflare are attractive, as they do not charge for egress but have bandwidth limitations for streaming data and do not allow monthly egress to exceed the stored data in the allocation. e.g. if 100GB is stored on the media, Wasabi does not allow for more than 100GB egress.  Backblaze allows three times the stored data for egress after which they charge for bandwidth. For AI, log monitoring, or streaming services, you may exceed the limits and be charged for such access. 

Unlike Backblaze and Wasabi, Cloudflare charges for API requests beyond a certain number of writes and reads per month, regardless of the size of the data; their examples showcase the costs.

Züs will simply have one flat price that is decoupled from the f-number of requests or amount of data transferred from the allocation. Rate limits will be set to prevent DDoS attacks from a user, but apart from that, the platform allows for unlimited writes, reads, and requests.

Züs aims to make it simpler with one flat price, free of any size limitations or extra fees for API requests. This means that clients can be assured that they will not have unexpected overage charges or fees as their data usage increases, making Züs an appealing option.

On-prem alternatives

On-prem or private cloud solutions such as NetApp, Minio, Cloudian, Weka, Scality, and Qumolo provide a higher performance storage but at a higher cost. These technologies advocate using cloud or user’s own servers to achieve higher performance. The platforms use similar technology as Züs in the sense that they use erasure code at the client along with multiple server nodes for higher performance storage to provide scale out capacity. 

On-Prem Cost

When it comes to managing data storage, on-premises solutions are a popular approach, but they do come with a few downsides to consider.

One of the issues with this approach is that it is more expensive because some of the hardware is expensive and specialized. Some have all flash storage, and some have a hybrid with a fast motherboard for low latency applications. If the requirement is not low latency, then Züs would be a lowest cost solution since it has parallel data streams and can be configured to have a high-performance throughput comparatively.

Züs has free egress, which means that once you store that data and use it for analytics or AI, it is completely free. With Züs, the user can share it privately with any business partner without worrying about data transfer charges. If the number of downloads increases, additional servers can be added to the allocation on the fly to enable load sharing among servers.

Private Cloud with Züs

Zus Private Cloud Blockchain Storage
Züs Private Cloud Blockchain Storage

Are you tired of relying on public cloud services for your enterprise’s data storage needs? Look no further than the private cloud approach with Züs. This innovative option allows you to turn your own hardware into a private cloud, all while using the efficient Züs protocol.

Use off the shelf servers with the Züs protocol as a private cloud for your enterprise. The build option takes a few minutes if you can rent or install your own hardware on a datacenter. You can use the Chimney workflow to connect them to the network and subsequently use Blimp to select your own servers for your storage allocation.

Züs gives you the flexibility to customize your cloud storage to fit your specific needs with appropriate data and parity shards.

Use Cases

Backups for data centers and MSPs

There are over 5000 datacenters in the U.S. and 40,000 MSPs that need a high security and reliable backup solution. The backups today are slow, lack adequate security, and with just a single purpose mission without the need to incorporate different tools to retrieve, visualize, and share the data.

By using Züs as a backup destination, the user automatically receives the following values:

  1. Encrypted file sharing to partners, within the organization, and customers with one click
  2. Data visualization and streaming on a nice UI
  3. Free egress and API request charges
  4. Blockchain verified single source of truth
  5. Immutability to prevent ransomware

This is in addition to transparency, higher availability, higher security, user choice of servers, and better performance for the backed-up files.

The backup is faster than a single server backup because it is done in parallel with multiple servers and is constrained in the bandwidth of a single server, assuming the client has a lot more bandwidth compared to the storage servers.

Today, most data centers, MSPs, and web hosting platforms provide a vanilla backup, which does not have the level of security as Züs and typically has a slow performance. Now, with the choice of Züs, they can offer a higher level of security and transparency in terms of where the files are kept and observe the changes made to the allocation as they track their commits on the blockchain and track the random challenges executed to make sure the servers are storing the data. They can also provide their customers with easy visualization of their files that are backed up on the server including files, logs, database, etc. and also be able to easily share it with anyone for collaboration.

Data Center & MSP Business Model as a Cloud Service Provider

Built on top of Züs, MSPs and Datacenters can provide a Backup and Storage-as-a-service as a full slate of backup and archive services. Züs also plans to provide ransomware, de-dup, and compression as a feature so that they can be offered as a part of an inline storage service. Recovery-as-a-service can also be offered based on replicated storage with minimal or zero downtime.

AI 

The world of artificial intelligence is rapidly evolving, and customers are increasingly cautious about the quality and security of their input data. Without accurate and protected data, AI predictions are bound to fail. To address this issue, Züs has come up with three concrete solutions to safeguard AI input data.

In the AI category, customers care about the integrity and protection of the input data because the predictions are based on this data. Züs offers three layers—fragmentation, proxy re-encryption, and immutability—to ensure the protection of AI input data. The speed of the AI model is based on how fast the data is pulled from S3. This is where Züs can provide higher performance, which can be configured based on the bandwidth of the client machine and the number of data shards in the allocation.

The cost of egress and API requests are a major issue as well for AI and Züs eliminates this pain point with free egress and unlimited requests.

IoT 

IoT, or the Internet of Things, has become more than just a buzzword. It has revolutionized the way we live and work, allowing for smarter homes, more efficient factories, and even safer cars.

In the IoT category, customers need to store data for a long period of time, such as the dash cams from fleet or consumer cars that provide the capability to help protect their driver, record all incidents, manage and resolve incidents without any issues, and be able to stream it easily without the need of another tool to visualize it. Züs can stream, protect the video, and track changes on the blockchain to make sure the video is not tampered with when it is uploaded on the network and can, additionally, provide encryption to keep it private and be shared with only law enforcement, and can also make the data immutable to make sure no one can alter or delete any parts of the video.

Thanks to Züs, managing and resolving incidents has never been easier.

CCTV – Closed-Circuit Television

Safety and security have become major concerns for people in almost every area of life. One effective solution to address these concerns is through the use of CCTV or Closed-Circuit Television.

Surveillance is used in malls, downtowns, ports, parks, and schools to ensure protection and analysis of any crime committed in those areas. The most cost-effective architecture is to have the IP cameras directly send the video to the cloud and not have an onsite intermediate server to consolidate and store the video. The IP camera can have enough storage to make sure of that in the event of a network outage, so that it can still send the data after the network is restored easily, assuming a good connection to the network, which is typically the case for the use cases mentioned above. 

Overall, CCTV systems are invaluable tools for ensuring safety and security.

Education

Education is crucial for the development of every individual. However, the process of gaining knowledge can be hindered by external factors such as ransomware attacks. The prevalence of such attacks is evident in the numerous cases of colleges being affected.

Most colleges are affected by ransomware, which is due to the ability of the hacker to infect the client and be able to get hold of the client’s credentials, and then either lock up the device or change and delete data stored on the cloud. With immutability settings at the storage provider, this would be avoided.  In addition, for students, teachers, and researchers the ability to store data that can easily be accessible, visualized, and shared privately is a great feature to have without the need for additional tools.

This feature promotes seamless collaboration and enhances the learning experience. Read more about Redefining Education with Blockchain Technology.

Healthcare 

Healthcare is an industry that stores massive amounts of important data, which can become difficult to manage over time. One of the challenges is managing images from various disciplines.

In healthcare, the images stored for different disciplines, such as digital pathology, are on S3 for about 6 months for analysis and access and then archived for 10 to 15 years. In the case of archives, the retrieval costs are high, and it is difficult to visualize and share this data with consultants and physicians. With Züs, users can simply use Blimp to retrieve and visualize the archived file instantly and share it privately with anyone with a simple click of a button and without any additional cost of egress.

Züs is enhancing the healthcare industry by making data management more streamlined and accessible to all. Read more with Protecting Sensitive Data: Why Governments, Hospitals, and Universities Need Decentralized Storage.

Media & Entertainment

The world of media and entertainment is constantly buzzing with new content being created and shared every day. Whether it’s short clips on social media or blockbuster movies, one thing they all have in common is the necessity for video editing and sharing. However, the cost of constantly downloading and uploading large files for visualization and distribution can add up quickly.

In the media and entertainment industry, videos are edited continuously, and files are shared constantly. The cost of egress is high for the users if they were to constantly download and use it for visualization and sharing, something that can be avoided by using Züs. Blimp also offers a streaming service for videos so that users can easily share public or private videos with anyone with the click of a button.

With Züs, the high cost of egress can be avoided altogether. So, whether you are a content creator or a consumer, these tools can help streamline your media experience.

Financial Industry

The financial industry is no stranger to the importance of data security. Financial institutions must prioritize the protection of their clients’ data.

The important aspect of data for the financials is security since they are vulnerable to hacks and malware, and so having the 3 layers of security that Züs offers is important for the clients.  Another important aspect of Züs is the ability for users to visualize the data and share it with anyone without using additional tools. Bank statements of any month or year can be reviewed easily and then shared with your tax accountant with the click of a button, all on the same platform.

These features make Züs a valuable asset to anyone in the financial industry.

Data Lake

A data lake is a unified place where structured and unstructured data can be stored in a secure and traceable manner. The beauty of a data lake is that it can contain data from various sources within the organization, making it the go-to place for data-driven decision-making.

A data lake is a repository of all objects and files for the enterprise where the data can be structured, such as from databases or unstructured from emails, documents, images, and videos, and can come from various sources within the organization. It is a single store of data, therefore it is important to keep the data in an encrypted, immutable form and tracked on a blockchain, something that Züs is a perfect fit for all enterprises.  The data lake can be in the form of a private, hybrid or multi-cloud on the Züs network since it is configurable.

With a data lake and Züs working in tandem, enterprises can stay ahead of the curve and pave the way for a data-driven future.

SaaS apps

Backup 365, SalesForce, HR apps such as Workday, photo studio apps, and video and music editing apps, to name a few examples, can all use Züs as a platform to store data or use it as a backup and easily share it with their customers, partners, or within the organization.

For example, an event photographer can use their favorite app to edit the images they have taken. If the app provides a feature to automatically backup the user’s data on Züs, the photographer can do this and enable their users to privately access this data through Blimp. There can be different levels of integration, but this is the first step for a SaaS app to take to provide a simple backup feature so that their users can now easily access their data, visualize it, and be able to share it with anyone without any code changes to the SaaS app, and can even monetize such offering to their users. 

Another example would be financial institutions that regularly backup users’ data can now easily provide a feature for the user to access their backed-up data to visualize and share it with someone such as their accountants easily.

The same can be done for healthcare apps that routinely backup patient data, but now this data can be accessed by the patient and shared with their family members without any code changes.

And similarly for government data on individuals or their case files, they can be backed up and given access to the user for them to visualize and share with their accountant, lawyer, and family members.

Kubernetes

Kubernetes, the popular open-source container orchestration system, has gained significant attention in recent years due to its ability to streamline development and deployment processes. One of its most in-demand features is storage integration, which allows applications to access and store data seamlessly. The s3 server offering will be a part of a storage class that can be used to send data directly to Züs from the workload in the container.

With s3server, containerized workloads can send data directly to Züs, making the process not only faster but also more efficient. This capability is a game-changer for developers looking to optimize and scale their applications.

Züs Enterprise Offerings

With three unique offerings to choose from, including Multi-cloud, Hybrid, and Private options, Züs has everything your business needs to succeed in the digital space.

Blimp Benefits of Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Decentralized Storage
Blimp Benefits of Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Decentralized Storage

Züs– Multi-Cloud

What makes the Züs multi-cloud offering unique is that it is based on servers located in different data centers and run by various providers.

Züs’ multi-cloud offering is based on a multi-zone, multi-datacenter environment. The multi-cloud is based on servers located at 3 different data centers in 3 different zones and with 3 different providers and typically a combination of MSP, Züs and a datacenter provider. In this scenario, the enterprise does not have access to any of the servers. However, their storage allocation is distributed over 3 separate organizations to form a multi-cloud and store their data over them.

Typical erasure code configuration would be 6 data and 3 parity and distributed over 3 datacenters and 3 providers. Another configuration such as 8 data and 4 parity shards would have the same 1.5 expansion ratio but higher availability and better performance. So, with 3 vendors, 6/3, 8/12 or 10/15 data/parity ratios would be based on each pod being 3, 4, and 5 servers respectively in each data center.

Businesses can choose other configurations based on their needs, with higher availability and better performance.

Züs- Hybrid Cloud

By partnering with both the enterprise and data center provider, Züs has created a seamless storage solution that combines the best of both worlds.

With Züs‘ hybrid cloud, the enterprise is one of the storage providers that uses Chimney to be on the network along with Züs and the data center provider. Using Chimney technology to connect all parties involved, the enterprise can fully harness the power of the cloud to manage its data in a way that is both secure and efficient. Having a reliable and scalable cloud storage solution is crucial for any business, and Züs has proven to be an industry leader in this regard.

Züs- Private Cloud

There is a growing need for cloud-based solutions to help store, access, and manage large amounts of data – and Züs has come up with a unique solution.

Züs private cloud offering is solely configured through Chimney by the enterprise with rented servers from Züs with access to all the storage servers. Enterprises can configure and customize their cloud environment via Chimney. This solution for enterprises prioritizes data privacy and needs control over their cloud environment.

Create-your-own-private-cloud-with-Zus decentralized Storage
Create-your-own-private-cloud-with-Züs decentralized Storage

Züs’ Private Cloud offering caters to this need and provides a scalable, secure, and reliable solution that can be tailor-made to fit any business’s unique needs.

Bandwidth

In all of these offerings, it is important to note that all the storage servers have 1Gbps connectivity with unmetered bandwidth, so there is no charge for egress and there are no API limits. It is designed to cater to AI data lakes across all verticals, where the pain points are security, performance and cost of current cloud.

S3 + archive

The offering to the customers would architecturally be S3 allocations with replicated archive allocations in order to recover the data in case of disaster on any of the primary servers or vice versa the archive servers. Since both primary and secondary allocations are erasure encoded, so should any individual storage server go down, the repair protocol would recover the data from the surviving servers.  If there is a disk failure on the server, the hard drives are in a raid5 configuration, which can be replaced and repaired individually immediately should they malfunction. In general, if primary allocation goes down, the archive allocation is used to access data while the primary is repaired, and it would typically take a day or so to recover a full server failure. So, there is zero downtime in case of disaster, assuming the primary and secondary allocations are in completely different data center locations.

Decentralized storage performance

High performance Decentralized Storage with Zus
High performance Blockchain Storage with Züs

The performance of decentralized storage is much better than that of traditional cloud storage because all the file operations are done in parallel, which enables better bandwidth performance. The fragmentation of data into multiple providers allow concurrent operations and enable faster total speed as long as the client has a much higher total bandwidth.

This makes a big difference in productivity and helps users get more done in less time. This also helps with snapshot and recovery of production systems.

Decentralized Storage and AI

One of the most compelling use cases for storage is in artificial intelligence and data lakes for analytics. By ingesting input data for free and achieving high performance, decentralized storage allows for AI to quickly adjust its model and provide a nearly instantaneous response to incoming data streams. Given the immense potential of AI, dStorage also places a high priority on data security to prevent any unauthorized manipulation or alterations, which could have serious consequences for AI services. In doing so, dStorage is reshaping our understanding of AI’s potential for real-time solutions, emphasizing the importance of robust data protection, along with performance and lower cost..

Decentralized Storage Ecosystem

The evolving digital landscape is marked by the blockchain ecosystem, with Bitcoin and Ethereum at its helm. These leading cryptocurrencies are not only financial assets but also showcase the vast potential of blockchain technology, such as the immutable ledger offering an unparalleled level of security and transparency and smart contracts being able to execute complex logic on a ledger.

For decentralized storage, blockchain is utilized to track changes, challenge providers, and create allocation contracts between clients and storage providers. Crypto currency is used for purchasing storage, staking on providers, or redeeming rewards for providing storage.

Smart contracts, which are capable of executing complex logic on a ledger, are a prime example of the immense potential of the blockchain technology ecosystem.

Decentralized storage is poised to revolutionize the way we store and access data. Overall, it is clear that the blockchain ecosystem is ushering in a new era of technological innovation by offering a level of accountability that traditional storage solutions simply cannot match.

Smart Contracts with Decentralized Storage

The use of smart contracts in the design of decentralized storage are essential in ensuring that the storage provider and client transactions associated with the blockchain are carried out in a manner that is both efficient and secure. From file storage, staking, purchasing, payments, to data retrieval, smart contracts ensure the seamless operation of decentralized storage systems. In the web world, where speed and scalability are crucial, these contracts are essential components and need to operate within a few millisecond to ensure a fast blockchain finality for transactions.

The smart contracts in the design of a decentralized storage need to scale and execute transactions quickly.

There are four primary transactions that the storage providers and clients need to do associated with the blockchain.

1. Register as a provider on the blockchain

The first one is to register as a provider on the blockchain, so that they can later update settings such as their storage price, number of delegates, etc. The provider needs tokens to execute these transactions, so the provider’s operational wallet needs to be funded. The provider also needs to stake on their storage capacity so that they can be “open” for business for clients to put data on their servers. This is done by the provider’s delegate wallet or by any external wallet staking on this provider to share revenue and rewards. To learn more about staking and token economics refer to https://chimney.software/

2. Blockchain Health Check Transactions

The second transaction is for the provider to inform the chain that it is alive and working by sending their health check transactions on an hourly basis, otherwise the provider will not be included in the allocation creation process.

3. Data Integrity ensured by the blockchain

The third type of transaction is for the provider to pass challenges assigned to them by the blockchain to ensure data integrity. These challenges also enable the provider to earn, and if they do not pass, they get penalized on their staked amount and this penalty is burned on the network.

4. Committing write markers on the blockchain

The fourth type is for the provider to commit write markers on the chain for upload, update, rename, delete, move, and copy file operations to record all changes made to the allocation on the blockchain. A write marker is sent after a batch of operations is done by the client on their allocation and it contains the allocation root (a Merkle tree calculation of the directory structure) so that all changes are tracked on the blockchain to ensure data integrity and verifiable verified through random blockchain challenges. 

Scalable Smart Contracts

Scale Your Business with with Blimp Hybrid and Multi Cloud decentralized Storage
Scale Your Business with with Blimp Hybrid and Multi Cloud Decentralized Storage

Smart contracts are a crucial aspect of any blockchain network, as they enable the execution of trustless transactions without the need for intermediaries. However, as more people start using the storage network, it becomes essential for smart contracts to be scalable.

The smart contracts need to be scalable so that as more people use the storage network, more write markers are generated and they need to be processed by the blockchain. The other three types of transactions are reasonably bounded and have slower growth. The number of challenges per block is fixed on the network, and only one provider is randomly challenged per n blocks. The number of health check transactions will grow linearly with the number of blobbers but that is substantially less than the growth in the number of write markers with more clients, since more file operations will be conducted on the platform.

Hence, the scalability of smart contracts is key to handling such growth and ensuring the efficient execution of transactions on the blockchain.

Blockchain Speed – Decentralized Storage

When it comes to blockchain speed, the finality of transactions is what matters for a smooth user experience. And in this field, Züs truly stands out from the crowd.

The finality determines how fast transactions appear to the user. The faster the finality the better the user experience. Züs has the fastest finality blockchain among all the crypto projects with a block generation rate of 0.429s and a finality of 2-3s, and the latter is expected to go down to a sub-second finality. In fact, the other comparable blockchains that have fast finality are Avalanche with 2-3s, Algorand with 4-5s, Dfinity (ICP) with 1-2s, and Solana at 2.5s.

However, Züs remains the clear leader in terms of speed, giving users unparalleled efficiency and reliability, all while maintaining the decentralized nature of the blockchain. Züs high-speed finality enables a great user experience for write markers, stakes, and allocation transactions.

Security of client transactions

Security is paramount for any online transactions. With advancements in technology, the threat of mobile hacks and cyberattacks has become increasingly prevalent. As a result, ensuring the safety of client transactions has become a top priority, especially when dealing with sensitive information such as blockchain transactions.

The security of transactions is important for the client to prevent mobile hacks from affecting the security of their blockchain transactions such as sending tokens to people, staking on a provider, creating allocations, updating the storage price, and so on. With blockchain, transactions are recorded on a decentralized platform that is virtually tamper-proof and so clients can be rest assured that their transactions are protected on an unalterable digital ledger. This means that the only risk involved is on the client part in sending tokens, staking, creating allocations, and updating the storage price.

2FA with Decentralized Storage

With the increasing threat of SIM swap attacks, it’s vital to have secure authentication in place, and that’s where Züs comes in. Their innovative two-factor authentication (2FA) split-key technology offers a unique solution to ensure your online transactions are safe and secure.

Züs provides a two-factor authentication (2FA) split-key technology for users where they use their laptop and mobile to complete the transaction request before it goes to the blockchain. This is a serverless mechanism and not dependent on a centralized authentication server used by Microsoft, Google, and others, which is vulnerable to outages preventing access. Indeed, Azure users were locked out of their accounts for a day or so due to such an outage a few years back. With Züs’ 2FA technology, you can rest easy knowing your client transactions are safe and need approval from your desktop even if your mobile is compromised.

Züs exemplifies the ideal decentralized storage solution

Züs is not just another decentralized storage option in an oversaturated market. It stands out with its unique features and user-centric approach.

With the freedom to handpick providers and switch anytime, full transparency of where files are stored, and faster upload and download speeds, Züs also offers perhaps the most important feature – proxy re-encryption. With this feature, users can securely share their data easily with one click while retaining complete control over the access of the file.

This solves one of the biggest concerns with other decentralized storage solutions – how to securely share data without compromising decentralization or privacy. Züs provides an easy and secure way for users to control data access through private sharing options.

Züs is truly decentralized storage

Furthermore, Züs delivers on its promise of a truly decentralized storage solution by empowering users with choice and control. With its community-driven ecosystem, users can contribute to the development and improvement of the platform, giving them a sense of ownership and involvement.

Overall, the benefits of using Züs for decentralized storage are clear. It delivers on all fronts – cost, speed, security, privacy, control, and social responsibility – making it stand out as a leader in this rapidly growing industry.

NFT Storage

IPFS data is Immutable

Storage technology is advancing rapidly–and blockchain-based systems are leading the way. High-capacity data storage is vital for emerging markets like the cryptocurrency-driven NFT market.

Thanks to Ethereum and IPFS, the NFT market has seen rapid growth, yet storing large digital assets remains challenging. Storage providers leveraging IPFS technology, such as Pinata, Filebase, and NFT.Storage, offer solutions. However, IPFS has limitations, one being its immutable data. This necessitates a studio platform capable of allowing edits, managing files, and enabling the download of smaller formats before using IPFS for final, immutable asset storage.

IPFS does not provide redundancy

Another drawback is that IPFS does not force redundancy among providers and so most need to use their own servers or the above-mentioned centralized providers who are then responsible for any data hacks and breaches. Secondly, with IPFS, the performance is dependent on the node, so if an IPFS node provides a bad quality then the user experience will be affected and so the application using IPFS should communicate with only servers that will guarantee a good quality of service.

The performance of IPFS rests entirely on the node. If the quality of the node is subpar, then this can negatively impact the user’s experience.

Peer-to-Peer Sharing

In the formative years of the inter internet, prior to IPFS, file sharing was mainly known to the masses as Peer-to-Peer (P2P sharing. Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing systems such as BitTorrent paved the way for file sharing and made it possible for people to freely share files and music.  At the time, the mechanism used by P2P networking systems was very similar to what IPFS is today.

P2P storage involves a network of users that maintain shared files among themselves, essentially creating copies that can be accessed and shared by anyone connected to the network. This storage model is also mirrored in the decentralized storage systems that are now in production like Filecoin, Arweave and IPFS, where a network of storage providers offers a part of their hard disk space to store and replicate data, creating an easily accessible archive of information that is highly resistant to censorship and data loss.

Distributed network ensures redundancy

Unlike centralized cloud storage providers that rely on a single server or a cluster of servers, decentralized P2P storage utilizes a network of connected devices to store data. This distributed network ensures that the data is stored redundantly, meaning that if one device fails, the data can still be retrieved from other devices on the network.

The decentralized storage offered by Sia, Storj and Züs is a bit different in the sense that the data is fragmented over multiple servers similar to RAID for hard disks in storage systems. This erasure code technology provides an efficient eco-friendly architecture for storing data with high availability and redundancy. The reason this scheme works better now than in the past is because the computing power has increased dramatically on individual servers and bandwidth capacity and performance has increased by orders of magnitude across data centers and on clients.

Private Data Sharing

In general, most storage providers enable encryption, but it is difficult to share encrypted files to anyone in a secure but simple way. One can always store encrypted data in any cloud but to share to a private party one will need to download the file, decrypt it and then send it privately over a secure connection to the party so that they can visualize it. Or the alternative is to use a gateway to provide such decryption capability or send the key directly to the client which would give them access to the owner’s entire allocation.

Unlike other providers, Züs enables private data sharing using their proxy re-encryption protocol that allows the content owner to encrypt once and store it on the platform and then share it to any user by creating a proxy key with their public key and then sending this key to the decentralized storage providers. The providers in turn re-encrypt the file with the proxy key and send it to the requesting party, who then decrypts the file on their client and views it.  This ensures that the proxy key is not accessible by the recipient directly, and even if compromised, the access control resides with the dStorage providers, and they would reject an access request that is not signed by the owner in the form of a readmarker.  This encrypted sharing scheme is a significant convenience for applications such as in legal, finance, HR for businesses.

Traditional Cloud Compute with Decentralized Storage

The decentralized cloud is emerging as a groundbreaking alternative architecture to traditional cloud storage, offering unparalleled security, data privacy and performance. The cloud compute can remain centralized in the traditional the native cloud, but the storage is better on dStorage for improved security, cost, and performance. This also prevents privacy and ransomware issues because the data is owned by the customer and is fragmented across servers and can be encrypted and made immutable to prevent any breach or loss of data. Data localization issues can be prevented by placing the data on the servers that are within the localized region across multiple data centers and providers.

Overall, the combination of traditional cloud compute and decentralized storage is a major breakthrough in data storage and management that can offer unparalleled security, performance, and cost to customers.

Decentralized Storage Projects

There are five different decentralized storage projects that have gained traction in the market starting with IPFS in 2013 followed by Filecoin in 2014Storj in 2014  and Sia in 2015, and later Arweave and Züs, both of which started in 2017. 

Historically, the IPFS protocol followed the innovations of P2P systems, such as BitTorrent, to share files and replicate. 

There are few key elements that should be noted on the above 6 projects. 

Transparency with Decentralized Storage

The issue of file transparency and control is a significant concern for many users of cloud storage. While some storage services do provide options for user control, others leave users in the dark about where their files are stored and retrieved from. This lack of transparency creates uncertainty and can lead to frustration when files disappear or become inaccessible.

In all these projects except Züs there is no transparency of where the file is stored or retrieved from and there is no control of such for the user. In the case of IPFS, there is some control in the sense that the user can self-operate their own node to ensure that they will always have the data regardless of other servers. This is likely why IPFS based storage layers have been popular in web3 because a user can operate a node themselves or use a 3rd party that provides similar guarantees as AWS and traditional cloud storage and be held accountable for availability and reliability, and any associated penalty terms.

Züs provides the user with full transparency

Unlike IPFS and other projects, Züs provides the user a full transparency of the providers and their geo location. The user can plan out a multi-cloud storage strategy designed to keep their data secure and optimal for a region which can subsequently be replicated in other regions as needed to scale demand. Each file shows where the fragments are stored and located and on which server. This gives confidence to the user of their availability. Filecoin does not disclose the location of their miners and it has been acknowledged in the community that most of their miners are in China, which may not be ideal for most users. Storj, Sia, and Arweave do not provide any transparency of where the files are kept, and in a way similar to traditional cloud where the user has no transparency or control of where their file will be stored.

Indeed, the choice for most web3 enterprises users is to operate their own IPFS centralized nodes to store NFTs so that they can have guaranteed performance for retrieval of the NFT images and create webhooks associated with blockchain events.  This, however, is expensive to maintain performance and security compared to a clickable solution on Züs that can achieve a better result and provide guarantee.

Quality of service with decentralized storage

Traditional platforms do not include any protocol to account for the quality of service, leaving you to deal with slow or unresponsive servers.

The quality of service of upload and download is not incorporated into any protocol except Züs which uses its time limited challenge protocol to make sure servers have a good uptime and network performance to respond to challenges in a short time. Unlike other platforms, the Züs storage providers do not get paid by the client unless they pass challenges, and the incentive rewards are proportional to the number of challenges they pass. Therefore, it is in the provider’s best interest to have a good uptime and high bandwidth server running on a datacenter. The number of challenges is proportional to the data stored on the server relative to the network wide storage, and hence increases with more stored data on their servers. 

Storage providers on IPFS

A storage provider on IPFS, Filecoin, Arweave, Storj, and Sia do not have the incentive to perform well for their customers since there is no correlation between bad retrieval performance and rewards they get from the network. Also, users cannot easily switch from their vendor unless the gateway, in the case of Storj, does so in a centralized fashion. This is also another reason why web3 projects are hesitant to use dStorage as a primary storage solution and instead use traditional cloud such as AWS or their own IPFS server in the case of NFTs. 

Züs provides SLAs that exceed those of AWS because it uses more parity shards for availability and the data performance is an order higher due to multiple servers instead of a single server. Storj has an external monitoring solution through a centralized gateway to remove underperforming nodes and migrate data from them, but this is a tricky process and ultimately dependent on the centralized gateway, nodes and their operators.

Decentralized Storage File Operations

There is no built-in support for file operations other than uploading files in these protocols and is dealt with by a centralized intermediary for traditional users who would create, edit, rename, move, copy and delete files in their storage allocation. Hence, the files are immutable when uploaded and cannot be altered, else their hash content will change which will change their address on IPFS. So, for an enterprise offering a traditional file service to customers using these protocols will not work unless they have a centralized layer that will provide adequate performance and flexibility. Some of the protocols are slow such as Filecoin and Arweave and changes cannot be done in real time, and so there are limitations. 

Züs is the only decentralized storage project that provides free egress

There is also a problem of downloading the file as well, because none of the protocols provide an incentive layer for such as mentioned in the earlier section, except when users can actively switch them out if they do not provide good performance. Züs is also the only project that provides free egress. All other protocols charge for their reads and for Filecoin, Arweave the upload-download turnaround is too slow for primary storage usage unless it’s done in a centralized fashion. Züs not only matches the web speed for all file operations but outperforms them compared to traditional cloud storage. 

While other protocols charge for reads and have slow download speeds, Züs offers a clear solution for those looking for a better user experience.

Flexibility – Choice of Provider, Design 

When it comes to choosing a storage provider for your cloud storage, flexibility is key. Unfortunately, many projects on the market today do not make it easy for users to switch providers without incurring higher costs down the line. This is where Züs comes in, offering a unique solution that allows enterprises to design their storage allocation in a way that suits them best.

All the projects except for Züs, do not allow for the user to switch their storage provider(s) easily in an easy manner, something that has been a problem with the cloud since its inception. So, there is always a risk attached to selecting a storage provider because the cost of a future switch could be more expensive even if the provider is available at a lower cost. In the case of Züs, an enterprise can design their storage allocation in the form of a multi-cloud, hybrid cloud or a private cloud, and they have full control of data, security, privacy and performance. 

An enterprise can design their decentralized storage

An enterprise can design their storage and select providers based on brand, performance, location, the level of fragmentation for their storage allocation, the number of data shards versus the number of parity shards to balance performance, cost, and redundancy. Züs is an IT designer’s paradise.

Whether it is a multi-cloud, hybrid cloud or private cloud setup, you’ll have full control over your data, security and performance. So why settle for a one-size-fits-all approach when you can have the flexibility and choice you deserve?

Sustainability

With the ever-growing need for data storage and backup, it is crucial we consider sustainable options. Traditional cloud storage providers have been using replication technology to maintain redundancy but at a high cost.

A point of note is that IPFS, Filecoin and Arweave use replication technology like traditional cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP) to achieve redundancy while Sia, Storj, and Züs are based on data fragmentation. The cost of replication is higher and not sustainable since it needs to replicate the number of disk drives. This is analogous buying 1.5M instead of 5M hard disks for the same level of redundancy. These would be based on a 10 data and 5 parity allocation where the storage expansion is 1.5, or about 25% less than a basic duplication, while the 5-parity redundancy is equivalent to a 5 times replication of the data, since 5 servers can fail simultaneously in either case to have the data still be available for access.

Enterprises have a social responsibility to move in this direction to enable a sustainable storage platform

The ecological and cost aspects are better for an erasure coded storage than replicated with a lower carbon footprint. In general, enterprises have a social responsibility to move in this direction to enable a sustainable storage platform for their customers and can get credits for such from their governments.

As we search for ways to make our data storage practices more sustainable, it is important to consider the technology we use and how it affects our environment. Ultimately, choosing sustainable options like Züs can help prevent wasted resources and create a more environmentally friendly computing industry.

Beautiful UI

Züs has revolutionized the storage game with its beautiful UI. While so many other projects skimp on the user interface, Züs has gone above and beyond to provide both consumers and businesses with a simple, yet stunning, platform for data upload and visualization.

All the projects except for Storj, do not have a good UI to interface the storage layer. Züs has a UI layer for both consumers (Vult) and businesses (Blimp) that is simple to use for data upload and visualization of data. Unlike other popular storage options like Dropbox or Google Drive, Züs UI does not compress or optimize images and videos, allowing users to see the original quality. And of course, the UI enables simple sharing of encrypted data.

With Züs, you do not have to sacrifice beauty for function – you get the best of both worlds.

Private Data Sharing – Decentralized Storage

Zus Let Customers Control their Privacy Decentralized Storage
Züs Let Customers Control their Privacy Decentralized Storage

Privacy is becoming increasingly important in all aspects of our lives. With the rise of digital technology, the need for private data sharing has become more critical than ever. However, while there are many options available for sharing data, not all of them are created equal. Only Züs provides a decentralized encrypted data sharing built into the protocol, making it the most secure and scalable option available today.

No protocol other than Züs provides a decentralized encrypted data sharing built into the protocol. Sia, Storj, and Arweave have centralized offerings from 3rd parties, which is done through a centralized or semi-centralized group of edge gateways or “Satellite” nodes that facilitate the process, which is not scalable since there can be 1000s of shared rooms that may not be ever used for private data sharing but needs to be created in order to exchange decryption keys.

In the case of Züs, the encrypted file is uploaded to the providers and the owner who wants to share with a party needs to generate the key based on the recipient key and then send this key to the storage providers to store so that they can re-encrypt the data with it when a recipient requests it, and send it to the recipient who will decrypt it with their own private key. This is scalable, and a very easy way to share private data to friends, families and business partners. 

With Züs, users can easily share private data with friends, family members, and business partners, knowing that their information is fully encrypted and secure.

What is CDN (Content Distribution Network)?

As many internet projects continue to grow, the need for reliable and efficient Content Distribution Networks (CDN) becomes increasingly important. However, not all networks have the capability to implement a CDN without incurring prohibitive costs.

Most of the projects do not have a CDN network capability except for Storj, Sia, and Züs. For other networks IPFS, Filecoin and Arweave the cost would be prohibitive and more than traditional CDNs since they are based on replication architecture.

In the case of Arweave, the number of replication and where the files may be replicated is unknown and so may not serve as an appropriate CDN solution. The same is true for Sia and Storj, although to a lesser degree as they fragment the data over 30 to 80 nodes randomly but there is no optimization based on the location of the nodes. For Sia, the data and parity shards are fixed to 10 data and 20 parity shards by the protocol, and they are selected randomly and not based on performance or geo location. This is the same case for Storj where the data shards are 29 and parity shards are 51.

Both Sia and Storj have a high parity because they have no control over the performance of the servers on the network and they are selected randomly. In fact, the user could be unlucky and get all servers from a single entity controlling all of them and essentially not have a decentralized storage because there is no transparency of the provider or their location.

Design a CDN system with Züs

With Züs, one can elegantly design a CDN system for a SaaS app, starting with a default 6 data and 3 parity shards distributed through one region first, for example, the U.S. data centers, and then add providers in other regions as the application demand increases for the same allocation. So, the user can add 6 providers in Europe, another 6 in Asia, and so on, or replicate their setup with 6 data and 3 parity providers in Asia to serve Europe through the U.S. or Asia data centers.

This lack of control over server performance is commonplace in both networks and should be considered before deciding to use them for CDN purposes. Having described some of the comparisons of all the projects, we highlight the features of each storage solution. 

IPFS

As we delve into the world of IPFS, we soon realize that while it is a novel and innovative approach towards handling content, it has its limitations.

IPFS, or InterPlanetary File System, founded by Juan Benet in 2013, is a peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol to share and store content specified by its content address in a global namespace. Once the file is uploaded, it is distributed in pieces among several nodes as it propagates through proximity nodes. The file can be unpinned for deletion by the node operator if they do not wish to replicate the file and pin only those that are relevant to their business to conserve their storage. IPFS can be viewed as a global shared drive where file replication is voluntary. 

Since each block of a file is hashed and is part of the hashing table that the source node needs to broadcast every 24 hours, it can be a resource-intensive operation, specifically bandwidth since it needs to announce to every peer in the world to maintain its global state. 

Decentralized content delivery network

IPFS rose to popularity because of its structured P2P content retrieval mechanism compared to its predecessor, Bit Torrent, which was invented in 2001 by Bram Cohen. IPFS was designed as a decentralized content delivery network, where nodes would replicate as needed to deliver content to their unserved region. Also, IPFS avoids file replication, which means identical files are only stored once on IPFS nodes, resulting in low storage costs, but other nodes are free to replicate the content to achieve redundancy and the ability to scale content delivery. This is unlike Bit Torrent, which propagates the file from the seed server to others in pieces and they are downloaded and collected from multiple servers.  

IPFS – Centralized Gateway

Currently, IPFS is utilized by companies to help pin NFT content as well as storage vendors such as Pinata, Filebase, Cloudflare, and nft.storage to offer a centralized gateway and storage service where they save the data on their servers.  As a result, IPFS providers can provide guarantees to their users, even though it is not as efficient or scalable as the traditional cloud, but the protocol allows for decentralization and the ability to access content and store content without permission.  

Since IPFS works with immutable content, file operations such as edit, copy, move, and delete are out of scope and provided by a UI or gateway layer on a centralized entity. Also, IPFS does not handle encryption or sharing of encrypted data since most of the data is assumed to be public data. Hence, it is not suitable for enterprise applications unless a gateway provider enables all types of files and sharing operations but would then become a centralized approach with the same security features as traditional storage. The IPFS replication factor is 20 and above. Therefore while it achieves a high order of redundancy, its use cases are limited to important public content and NFTs that are small images, since it is not eco-friendly or sustainable as data continues to grow.

Filecoin

Filecoin is a decentralized cloud storage that was started by the same founder, Juan Benet, as IPFS to build an incentive structure around the IPFS protocol, where miners mine blocks of data and get rewarded by the network. 

Initially, the protocol incentivized only capacity, which led to a large amount of capacity on the network with very little usage. However, it was later modified to encourage stored data verified by a small group to qualify for rewards. 

Filecoin is not ideal for high-speed storage operations

Filecoin is not ideal for high-speed storage operations as it takes a while to upload the data as the protocol uses an encoding scheme that is deliberately designed to be time-consuming to prevent outsourcing attacks and force the providers to provide proof of storage through replication, space, and time to the blockchain in order to get compensated. 

It has a retrieval service that is not tied to the protocol, so it is up to the entity providing storage to charge for retrieval of data to the customer. Hence, egress service may not be free, unlike in Züs, which has protocol incentives for such among providers. Also, since it is not easy to switch vendors on Filecoin, the vendor is not incentivized to provide a high-quality retrieval service once they are selected to store data.

No mechanism available for file operations such as edit, move, copy, delete and share files

While Filecoin fulfills the role of monetary compensation for the providers storing data, there is not a mechanism available for file operations such as edit, move, copy, delete and share files. Also, it is difficult to switch miners once a contract is set up with them and they need to have enough replication to make sure there is access to the data in the event the miner is no longer available due to server, data center, network, censorship, or operational cost issues. Today’s average replication on the network is about 4.5 based on the total unique contracts (CID) of 16,303,860 and storage deals of 57,112,615. The total data stored is 2 EiB with 1679 providers and 985 unique customers.

Almost all these customers are storing large datasets, as the miners are incentivized to store large amounts of data to balance the cost of their infrastructure. The data upload process takes 30 minutes to hours depending on the file size, but the encoding process is extremely time-consuming. A small file which is typical for a consumer and enterprise application will not be as attractive for the miners. Therefore, Filecoin is more suitable for the archive storage market.

Arweave

Arweave, founded by Sam Williams, is a protocol where, like Filecoin, when a user uploads data to the miner, it is mined and enables permanent data storage or in the practical sense 100 years of storage, where the user provides an upfront fee to the miners, and they get rewarded over the lifetime. The miners are incentivized to replicate data to increase the redundancy of uploaded content. The incentive is based on the rarity of the data. Based on stats, the ratio of the network size of 80 PB to the weave size of 150TB, the replication factor is 533, which is huge and not eco-friendly or sustainable. This is more than the replication ever done on IPFS, Filecoin, or even earlier predecessors like BitTorrent. 

Arweave does not have a built-in encryption mechanism

Arweave does not have a built-in encryption mechanism, but centralized services such as Akord provide a privacy layer on top that enables client-to-client proxy re-encryption, similar to Züs, except the latter is done with the decentralized servers and never client-to-client, otherwise, the recipient client can have all the access to the owner files and folders.

The protocol does not inherently have sharing or editing features but there are UI layers built on top of Arweave that provide those services in a centralized fashion. The miners are not incentivized to provide download services, so centralized gateways such as Akord or Ardrive enable such. The data uploaded on Arweave is essentially permanent, similar to Filecoin and IPFS and any changes would necessitate another upload operation instead of modifying the current data which leads to a storage expansion at an additional cost.

Therefore, the application of Arweave is a niche market such as NFTs where small images may be worthwhile to be stored forever incurring an initial cost but being available permanently. Consequently, Arweave’s capabilities may not meet the stringent requirements typical of enterprise applications, particularly for those demanding authentic data operations.

Sia

Sia, founded by David Vorick, is a decentralized storage network that does not use replication like its predecessors and instead fragments and stores the data uploaded using erasure code technology similar to the one used in RAID drives.  This is eco-friendlier and more scalable than BitTorrent, IPFS, Filecoin, and Arweave type of technology. The storage model is based on a contract set up by the user and provider on the blockchain. It is async to the blockchain process, unlike Filecoin and Arweave, where the miners get the uploaded data and mine them to recieve rewards.

Sia has centralized third-party applications such as Skynet and Sia Share, which allow sharing of documents. Still, their core product is Renterd, which lets one set up a contract that auto-renews every 3 months if one has enough Siacoin and can use the CLI to upload and download files and needs to pay for both operations. 

There are not any mentions of regular file operations such as update, delete, rename, copy, and move but the assumption is that they would need to be provided by a 3rd party application. There is no support for encrypted data sharing either, even on the SiaShare, which is a 3rd party and would need to be something like what Akord had done for Arweave or Storj as a client-to-client application but would have the same problem as discussed earlier, where the receiving client would have proxy client key and be able to decrypt all owner files.

Sia, Storj – the user does not have a choice on the providers

The replication of Sia is fixed to an expansion ratio of 3 with 10-of-30 erasure coding across providers. Like in Arweave and Storj, the user does not have a choice on providers and is automatically assigned to the providers by the network. Since there is no transparency and one does not know the providers, it has the same issue for an enterprise that would need to trust the selection process in order to store data and hope that the providers do not leave the network. Otherwise, it would reduce the availability and performance of their storage allocation. The client generally communicates with the gateway server as a single server entity, which then distributes the data to the Sia infrastructure. Gateways, called satellites, reduce some of the advantages of parallel architecture that erasure code brings, but they are also vulnerable to failures because of centralization.

Since the erasure coding ratio is high (30 servers), the minimum file size allowed is 40MB. Based on the docs, any file lower than that amount is padded up to it in order to be uploaded. So, an 8 MB photo or a 100 KB document each becomes 40 MB when uploaded. This feature alone is an impediment for enterprise apps along with the file operations, which makes Sia not an ideal choice for enterprise apps. However, perhaps for backup, media streaming, and backend for IPFS pinned NFTs. This is apparent in the apps developed on Sia.

The cost of Sia is closely aligned with traditional clouds vs. decentralized cloud

The cost of Sia is closely aligned with traditional clouds but slightly cheaper. There is a charge for storing data and for uploads and downloads. Based on Sia’s stats, the average download price is $5/TB, an upload price of $0.6/TB, and a storage price of $2.5/TB over 3 months, which is quite cheaper than the cost of traditional cloud services such as AWS.

Data integrity on Sia and penalties for the providers for poor performance do not seem to be part of the protocol except fora a single verification at the end of the 3-month contract, which the user needs to renew to keep the storage allocation.

Storj

Storj, founded by Shawn Wilkinson, is another protocol like Sia that provides decentralized storage with erasure coded fragments distributed over multiple servers, and they have positioned themselves as an alternative to traditional S3 with its security, performance, and price. The storage contract is initiated between the user and the miners once a file is uploaded through their UI and gateway. The user does not have any transparency or choice of providers since it is algorithmically selected by the network. Once the user is with a provider, the quality of performance would be based on the luck of the draw since there are many node operators on the network and there is no way to select specific providers to be able to swap them. 

File editing and sharing are not integrated within the protocol and are available through a UI connected to a gateway to the infrastructure. Media streaming is based on an intermediate server download and then subsequently streamed to the browser. In this gateway architecture, Storj has control over the providers and is able to swap providers that they think are not performing well.  

Storj replication factor is about the same as Sia

Storj replication factor is about the same as Sia at 80/29=2.7 where they have 29-out-of-80 data shards using erasure code technology. The reason for the large number of shards is to increase availability and the ability to switch providers if some are not performing well.  Storj has a large number of consumer nodes where the minimum storage requirement for a storage node is set low, starting at 550GB (unlike Züs, which needs a minimum of 10TB) and there is no penalty mechanism for the provider, and so the host can be a laptop and provide storage part-time when they are online and not available at other times.

They have a commercial program with a 500TB minimum which is more suitable for enterprises that need more storage and data availability. But the problem with a larger data fragmentation is that file operations and tracking become cumbersome and do not scale well, and so like Sia it is difficult to offer a high-performance storage solution. 

Decentralized Storage upload and download performance

The upload and download performance is comparable to traditional cloud services since the gateway is still a single server architecture and it determines where the files are stored or downloaded from and to the client. 

The price of storage on Storj is cheaper than Sia and traditional clouds such as AWS. It does not have an upload price like Sia and instead charges $4/TB/month for storage and $7/TB for downloads. The default file segment size on Storj is 64MB. A file smaller than 64MB is stored as one segment padded as such, and so it is not ideal for small files or enterprise apps that can use it as a primary storage. There is a segment price of $0.0000088 per segment. Therefore, a 1TB upload would have a one-time cost of $1.1, and any subsequent deletion and upload of such data would incur those costs.

All uploads go through the Storj gateways (satellites) which are responsible for node discovery, address, reputation management, billing, payment, repair, per-object metadata storage, and user account and authorization management. According to the stats, average file size is 8MB, which means most use cases are backup-related, and currently there are 30PB stored with the capacity available across 25k nodes with 4 satellites operating as gateways for clients uploading data.

Decentralized Storage Data integrity on Storj

Data integrity on Storj and performance penalty of the providers are managed outside the protocol with Satellites operated by Storj in a centralized way to monitor the uptime of the providers and swap them out if they are defunct and not responding. But Storj does not check if data is available on the server itself or if it’s being outsourced to another entity, something that Filecoin and Züs are the only two protocols that provide such a proof and reward/penalty mechanism within the protocol. 

Storj also does not offer move, copy, rename, or edit operations or ability to view file details since they do not reveal their providers and they are switched by the gateway based on performance. For this reason and the minimum file size requirement, Storj may not be suitable for enterprise apps but good for backup solutions.

Indeed, Storj has been able to achieve good web2 market penetration based on several partners and companies using them as a cheaper and higher availability solution.  

Züs – Decentralized Storage

Züs, founded by Saswata Basu and Tom Austin, was built from scratch with a mission to serve enterprises since prior technology did not have such focus when they started out with their protocols. The storage protocol is architected to have better security, performance and cost compared to traditional cloud. In addition, it offers total transparency of file location, absolute control on the selection of storage providers, encrypted data sharing, the ability to switch providers on the fly, the ability to add providers for CDN purposes on the fly, data visualization in its original high quality, streaming, and serverless 2FA to prevent security breach in transactions.

Decentralized Security by Züs

Züs takes security seriously, with not one, not two, but three layers of protection keeping your data safe. The first layer is the fragmentation layer, which ensures that your data is scattered across the network so that even if one server is breached, your entire file won’t be compromised. The second layer uses encryption to protect data at rest, and proxy re-encryption allows you to share your data without sacrificing security. Finally, the third layer protects against ransomware by making sure that files are immutable, so even if a hacker gains access to a server or client, they cannot change your data. These three layers work together seamlessly to provide you with peace of mind when it comes to the security of your precious data.

Züs- Decentralized Storage Fragmentation

The first key layer of security is the fragmentation layer. While the fragmentation is similar to Sia and Storj with the use of erasure code, Züs provides a choice for the user to design their allocation with desired data and parity shards and choice of storage providers and can be used as a private, hybrid, or multi-cloud. This solution resonates with a lot of enterprise users looking for flexibility in the protocol to allow for self-managed private clouds and 3rd party managed clouds, all while being able to own the data and have full transparency of where it is stored, have the integrity of data in terms of passed challenges that is randomly generated by the blockchain, and the ability to switch or add providers on the fly. The data transported from the client to the servers uses the https protocol, which protects the data in transit.

Züs- Decentralized Storage Proxy Re-Encryption

The second layer of security is protecting the data at rest using encryption and sharing this data easily using the proxy re-encryption protocol. This allows the user to encrypt data so that no one can access it unless it’s shared privately. Even this private sharing is secure because the proxy keys are at decentralized providers, who re-encrypt the data served to the recipients, who subsequently decrypt it with their private key. 

Züs- Decentralized Storage Immutability

The third layer of security is for the client to protect itself from ransomware by having an immutable allocation, so that if the client or one of the servers is compromised, they cannot be changed or altered by the hacker since the immutable flag is set on the allocation at all the distributed servers and the data integrity of the file is verified upon download to make sure it is consistent with the data that was uploaded initially by the client. Therefore, any tampering of the data at the client or at a breached server would not be an issue to recover the original data. Ransomware would not be able to change the data at the breached server since it only affects a portion of the data. 

Zus 3 layers of Security fragmentation proxy re-encryption immutability decentralized storage
Züs 3 layers of Security fragmentation proxy re-encryption immutability decentralized storage

The three layers of Züs’ security work together to seamlessly and continuously evolve as new threats arise, putting us at the forefront of data protection. Züs understands how important your data is to you – whether it is precious memories or sensitive business information – and they are committed to keeping it safe.

Züs- Decentralized Storage Performance

When it comes to transferring files, speed and efficiency are key factors that everyone wants. Utilizing its unique file fragmentation process, Züs can send data and parity shards as multiples of 64kB blocks, which allows it to operate at nearly wire speed. The difference is notable, and Züs is far faster and more efficient than other file transfer applications.

Züs- Close to wire speed

The performance of Züs is close to wire speed; the file is fragmented into data and parity shards and sent as multiples of 64kB blocks, which is the smallest unit of a file. The 64kB blocks are sent in parallel sessions over the network to the data and parity shard servers. The calculation of the Merkle tree hash for the directory structure and file content and the Fixed Merkle tree calculation for the challenge mechanism to work is all done inline and in memory at the client using 64kB blocks at a time on the fly as the data is processed, and so it is a very efficient process.  

The calculation is replicated on the storage server to verify the file and the process of data integrity is ensured with a 2-phase commit so that if any of the client, server, and network processes break down, one can roll back. A write marker is sent every batch of 50 file operations to make the process fast and so if a marker fails, then all 50 operations need to be rolled back but for fast backups and data throughput 50 operations represent a good balance for efficient file uploads.  

Züs- Decentralized Storage Upload Speed

The upload speed is based on the number of chunks of 64kB blocks we select to upload and the speed of the blobber if the client has a much larger bandwidth. e.g. if the client has a 10Gbps bandwidth and the blobber has a 1Gbps bandwidth and the erasure code scheme is 6 data and 3 parity shards, then the expanded data of 1.5 is pushed through the 10Gbps pipe but is limited by the blobber bandwidth. The 6 data shards give us 8,589,934,592 / 6 / 1Gbps = 2.386s for a 1GB file size. 

In reality, this is close to 3s depending on the actual speed of each blobber, TCP retransmits, static latency associated with hash calculations of the basic unit of 64kB and read and write of files. The number of chunks affects the number of TCP requests the client needs to make with the blobbers. In general, we consider the commit valid if only data+1 shards are uploaded, but the write marker commits once all shards commit their data if they are all active.

Züs- Decentralized Storage Download Speed

For download, the process is the same but dependent on whether we check the validity of the content of the file with respect to the original hash and how many blocks per read marker is selected. The file is read primarily from the data shards unless the parity shards are closer to the user, but only the data shard number of fragments is needed to recover the data, and not both shards, which is the case for uploads. 

Decentralized Storage Solution Price Comparison

Comparing prices to other storage options, the key point of emphasis is Züs offers a simple flat price, without any complication, with free egress, and no limits or charges for API, geolocation, and different types of requests. In most cases, the cost of storage with egress and APIs balloon to double the storage costs, so we have eliminated that cost to provide a single cost item for the benefit of the customer being able to bound their cost as data scales.  The architecture is inherently lower cost since the protocol does not replicate and instead stripe the data across servers with higher availability and redundancy but at a lower expansion ratio than even just mirroring. 

The minimum file size is 64kB and so this is suitable for most applications and in the case for really small data files such as IOT sensor data it would need to be either consolidated or padded at the client to be a 64kB file to store on Züs.

Züs- Decentralized Storage Flexibility

Zus-A-Decentralized-Multi-Cloud
Züs-A-Decentralized-Multi-Cloud

Unlike other decentralized protocols, Züs offers flexibility in the design of the storage allocation where the user can choose to have a private cloud, hybrid cloud, or multi-cloud and be able to switch providers on the fly and add providers for CDN purposes.  Züs also offers a replication service to another allocation used as an archive for disaster recovery.

In addition, for the enterprise, Züs offers permissioned providers which will only accept specific clients on their servers for a private cloud use case.  The protocol design is versatile to be used for a decentralized storage or a distributed storage platform with standard off the shelf hardware.

Comparison of decentralized storage networks

Decentralized networks have been gaining steam in recent years as a solution to centralized data storage. However, not all decentralized networks are created equal. There are two distinct groups – those that are more centralized and those that are truly decentralized.

2 groups of decentralized storage networks

In essence, there are 2 groups of decentralized storage networks. One is more centralized such as IPFS, Sia, and Storj, with the use of gateways. While others, such as Filecoin, Arweave, Züs, are decentralized. Most networks do not provide vendor transparency in terms of where the data is stored, except for Filecoin and Züs. Filecoin and Arweave are slow and cumbersome for the enterprise and suited primarily for deep archive or NFTs. IPFS is the only centralized way to store NFT data and is the current de facto standard for companies and artists.

This is because Filecoin and Arweave do not have a retrieval solution and Sia and Storj do not have adequate security and are centralized with their gateway architecture. In the case of IPFS, 3rd party vendors such as Pinata, Filebase, nft.storage, and others, manage the storage internally similar, to other companies such as Opensea, Coinbase, and Alchemy. Among the decentralized storage networks, the only viable solution that can replace traditional web app storage for the enterprise is Züs, as their protocols are built to serve this space right from the start.

This is demonstrated in their real-time data storage apps like Vult, Chalk, and Blimp to accommodate small file sizes, deliver better speed than AWS S3 and Glacier, and be able to scale for large NFT images and videos.

Data Protection with Decentralized Storage

The protection of data has become a critical concern. With the increasing use of private clouds, there is a pressing need for a secure environment where sensitive data can be stored and accessed without any threat of compromise.

Data Protection – immutability, proxy re-encryption

The risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks looms large, with hackers relentlessly attempting to gain unauthorized access to private data. Immutability and proxy re-encryption are two key solutions that can help prevent unauthorized access to data by unscrupulous entities. In the context of the private cloud, the importance of data protection becomes even more pronounced, with a potential for internal hacking that can lead to disastrous consequences. The security of the private cloud is also an issue since all the servers are controlled by a single entity and if they are hacked internally, then all the servers and data are compromised.

This is where Züs presents itself as a reliable option. There needs to be a minimum separation of client and servers which is provided by Züs, so that ransomware is not an issue if somehow the hacker gets access to the client.  Today, the typical distributed cloud or traditional cloud is associated with a client-gateway model which is vulnerable to ransomware at the client and the gateway.

Traditional cloud often leaves the client and gateway vulnerable to cyber-attacks, which is why the emphasis on data protection has never been higher.

Data Protection – Split-key technology

With the rise of cyberattacks and data breaches, it is essential to ensure that your sensitive information is kept safe. That is why Züs has implemented a split-key technology that provides the utmost protection against ransomware.

For users that desire the flexibility of file operations, but need ransomware protection, Züs has a split-key technology which enables all file operations to be approved through a 2FA via another device such as a server, mobile or desktop to make sure the operations are not compromised due to a hack on the client server and would need the other device to approve.

With Züs’ split-key technology, you can have the flexibility to perform all your necessary file operations while enjoying peace of mind that your data is being protected with the highest level of security available.

Data Integrity and Uptime

Ensuring the consistency and accuracy of data on local servers can be a challenging task that requires constant vigilance.

The integrity of the data on the servers is not checked for on-prem servers in general and can be compromised due to bit rot or a malware or an external hack.  Züs‘ blockchain challenges each server on a random basis that is verifiable on the blockchain to make sure that the data kept in the allocation of the server is valid and this challenge needs to be completed within seconds otherwise the server gets penalized and flagged. 

With a strict time limit to complete the challenge, any server failing to do so faces penalties and flagging, making sure they stay on top of their game. Züs’ blockchain technology ensures confidence that the data on your servers is secure and up to date. 

Data Sharing 

Data sharing is crucial to a business’s success, especially when it comes to on-premises solutions that need a single source of truth to share with their partners. Sharing data can come with its own set of risks.

On-prem solutions need a single source of truth that they can share with their business partners. Züs makes private data sharing simple. It lets the user encrypt the data with their private key and then generate a key based on the recipient’s private/public key. But this proxy key is not sent to the recipient but instead sent to the decentralized servers who then use it to re-encrypt the data and serve it to the recipient. The recipient then decrypts the data with their private key. There are 3 parties to this process: the owner encrypts, the storage server re-encrypts, and the recipient decrypts; all are 3 separate entities. This will ensure the encryption and private data sharing process is very secure, and there will not be a case where the recipient can have the proxy key to open all the files of the owner’s allocation. 

This means that there are three separate entities involved in the process – the owner who encrypts the data, the storage server who re-encrypts it, and the recipient who decrypts it – making it impossible for anyone to have access to the data without proper authorization. With Züs, on-prem solutions can have a single source of truth that they can safely and confidently share with their business partners.

Data visualization & single source of truth

Data is the backbone that holds companies together. That is why it is so critical to have a reliable single source of truth for analytics and visualization. Züs provides an unrivaled solution, allowing users to share encrypted customer data with complete confidence.

Users can use Züs as a single source of truth for analytics and visualization because they can easily share encrypted customer data with partners, within their company, and even with the customer itself.

Züs makes it easy. With its clear and concise data visualization tools, you will be able to make informed decisions in real-time with complete confidence.

Concluding Thoughts on Decentralized Storage

We hope you can get a better perspective on dStorage technology through this article. Should you replace your current centralized storage mechanisms with a decentralized storage solution? We leave this decision to you.

Today all the storage solutions used in the market by the SaaS apps and backups are centralized, such as Amazon, Azure, Google Drive, etc.  The drawback is that the current storage system does not provide data privacy, security, performance, and the cost that is needed by users, especially in the AI category, in the future and needs to migrate toward a decentralized solution with blockchain-level trackability of changes. In addition, decentralized architecture is eco-friendly and reduces the carbon footprint of the world. It should also be eligible for government sustainability credits.

Lastly, the dStorage economy enhances the overall economy of the country by enabling small businesses to participate in provisioning servers on the Züs network. While we cannot definitively say whether or not you should replace your current centralized storage mechanisms with dStorage technology at this point in time, it is certainly worth considering.

As with any emerging technology, it is essential to thoroughly research and weigh your options before making any decisions for your business or personal needs. One thing is for sure though, decentralized storage solutions have a promising future ahead. We are excited to see how they will continue to shape our digital landscape.

About Züs

Züs protects your data with its 3-layer security. With free egress & APIs, your cost is bounded by just one storage price. Züs is high-performance and has a beautiful UI to visualize data and can securely share encrypted data to anyone. It is ideal for AI data lakes, logs, analytics, application data, videos and pictures, and backups.

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