About this project
As seen on:
Update: all subscriptions get 1 extra month of service for free, as a thanks for helping us reach 3x our funding goal.
The "skinny" on Space Monkey.
Space Monkey is the next generation cloud. For $10 per month, you get a full Terabyte (1000 Gigabytes) of storage you can use anywhere, any time. Space Monkey does the work behind the scenes to make your data safe and secure, using the entire network of Space Monkey devices around the world to store encrypted pieces of data in a way that makes data loss a thing of the past. Space Monkey is up to 60x faster than any other cloud service you've used (or heard of).
Space Monkey is like nothing you've seen before. We're so close to putting this service in your hands. Your support here on Kickstarter will change how the world stores data forever.
We’ve all heard that The Cloud is the future.
The industry doesn’t pass up on any opportunity to tell us about how much better our lives will be when we put everything into this place they call The Cloud. And they are right in a lot of ways; when you move your data to the Cloud, you get access to it from anywhere, the ability to share it with others, and a second copy somewhere for safe-keeping.
But maybe it’s not working for everyone.
If you have a lot of data, you’ve found that the traditional Cloud is expensive ($800+/year for 1TB). Even if that’s in your personal budget, you’ve discovered that pushing 1TB of data to the Cloud can take months or years -- and just as long to get back out. That’s because most cloud services can’t afford unlimited bandwidth and resources for heavy users, so they cap transfer speeds.
That just doesn’t cut it.
You need fast upload and access to your stuff from anywhere, with any device. You need your stuff to be safe. You need to be able to share and collaborate with ease. Why isn’t there a Cloud solution that is addressing our exploding demand for storage? The Cloud is tethered to an albatross: the datacenter.
The cloud is datacenters.
Everything in the Cloud today is housed in datacenters. These are high-cost buildings tightly packed with expensive computer equipment. They need costly fire suppression systems, diesel backup generators, expansive power distribution systems, premium network equipment, biometric access controls, security patrols, and consume vast amounts of electricity and air-conditioning. They require 24/7 staffing and Network Operations Centers. The ongoing daily costs of keeping datacenters running is exorbitant compared to the actual cost of the hard drives that store your data in the Cloud.
Because of these operational costs, the only way to make any of this affordable is to pack 1000s of users onto each server and millions of users through each Internet connection and limit how much you can actually use (either through hard limits on storage amount or by throttling your upload/download speeds). In other words, slow speeds at high cost.
It’s time to change how the world stores data, forever.
What if we took the Cloud out of the datacenter and put it a little box that you plug-in at your house? What if we put software on it that allows it to cooperate with millions of other devices plugged in all over the globe to create a storage network that not only is orders of magnitude cheaper than datacenters, but is also more reliable, faster, and better for the environment?
Space Monkey is the answer.
A terabyte is a lot of cloud storage. You could store approximately 250,000 photos in the Space Monkey network. That's roughly the same as storing 130 DVD's in one place.
Because Space Monkey provides a local device on your own network, you can transfer data 15x-60x faster than services like Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive or iCloud.
When you aren’t on the same local network as your Space Monkey device, you’ll still experience speeds as fast or faster than the traditional cloud. Since Space Monkey’s network resources scale perfectly with the number of users (each new Space Monkey device has its own network connection, hard drive, and CPU), your share of the total available network capacity doesn’t shrink when new users flood the system. And, for download speed, Space Monkey can use multiple connections from different locations simultaneously to provide better-than-datacenter performance.
Not having a costly datacenter means Space Monkey can save you money. For $10/month, you get a 1TB Space Monkey storage device.
Even better for users that stick with us -- this cost advantage widens over time. Since Space Monkey doesn't have to pay fixed datacenter costs, the decreasing price of hard disk storage can be passed directly on to you.
When Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, datacenters in New York were flooded and some popular services went down. It’s not the first time that bad weather has caused outages of cloud services (or even worse, permanent data loss), and it's not the last.
Because Space Monkey splits your files up into little pieces after they’ve been encrypted and spreads those security-locked pieces out to geographically diverse locations, it is largely immune to Mother Nature-caused outages. This is the same design philosophy used when the Internet itself was originally created and similar to the architecture used for email. This design means that the Internet continues to work even when individual lines are cut or servers go down, and that “the email system” as a whole has never “gone down” (even though individual email endpoints can and do fail).
It’s also what makes your data stay safe, even if your house burns down or lots of the other devices in the Space Monkey network are stolen or destroyed. It serves as the ultimate in data protection.
Datacenters aren’t exactly helping the Earth. So when you use the traditional Cloud today, you may be unwittingly contributing to the problem.
Space Monkey is passively cooled by ambient air in the home in the summer. The Space Monkey device has no high-speed fan, and its embedded CPU consumes a very small amount of energy in comparison to the high-powered, AC-sucking, high-speed forced-air cooled servers in traditional datacenters.
The net effect is a minimal footprint on the environment.
So how does it work?
Space Monkey provides a simple folder on your desktop in which you can upload all of your stuff. No need to shuffle things in and out to stay under skimpy quotas. Everything in one place.
Items that show up in this folder on one computer show up in another, automatically.
Folders and files can be shared with other users.
Once data is in your Space Monkey, the device continues working for you in the background. It’s in charge of encrypting your files and making redundant, secure copies of them to store in the network. You don’t have to leave your desktop uploading data overnight, or your laptop open waiting for a transfer - that’s Space Monkey’s job.
You can get to everything over the web, too.
Coming soon: thumbnailing, gallery views, streaming, media feeds, and more!
And Mobile? Mobile is the center of everything.
If you are like the average consumer, you already generate most of the data you own with the HD video camera on your phone. Space Monkey makes it easy to get all that stuff into the storage network, automatically uploading your content as you create it. You can also access all of your data from your smartphone.
Join us, and change the world for the better.
Back this project and not only help yourself to a better way to store your own data, but join the Space Monkey storage network and change how the world stores data, forever.
Here is the current status of the project:
Remote Monitoring Software system: functional today, with devices reporting in with deep instrumentation of both internal system performance and core OS-level metrics. Completed in Summer 2012. New metrics are added as needed, old ones deprecated.
Remote Software Management system: devices automatically update with enhancements when they become available. Completed in Summer 2012. Ongoing improvements always being tested.
Distributed Storage System: all major components that make storing data safe and usable are present. There are still many opportunities for improving the performance and efficiency of the associated subsystems.
Desktop Clients: functional and usable versions of clients for OSX, Windows, and Linux exist and early users are helping us find ways to improve them. In internal testing since Summer of 2012. In external Alpha testing since late 2012 (See above demo).
Mobile Clients: client for Android exists today but is in internal test only at this point. iOS version will enter internal test soon.
Web Client: web client is functional as shown above. Reliability and bug fixes are being constantly worked on. Initial functionality completed in February 2013 (See above demo).
Other network-ready integrations: Support for DLNA, SMB, and other local network protocols for making your files easier to access and use from your existing devices such as web-enabled TVs and set-top boxes will enter internal test soon.
Mechanical: All mechanical components including PCB, plastic covers, and tooling for the product were completed in early 2013. Device has been drop tested and heat tested.
Electrical: Circuit design has gone through 3 revisions and declared ready for production. Initial run of 270 units will be completed in April of 2013, production at scale (including identification of component suppliers for complete bill of materials, contract manufacturing, etc). FCC and UL certifications underway in Spring of 2013.
Alpha Test Network: deployed on off the shelf devices manufactured by Seagate, currently at over 170 devices worldwide.
Phase 1: Detailed Mechanical Design - Completed January 2013
Phase 2: Vendor Selection - Completed March 2013
Phase 3: Engineering Validation (10-20 units) - Completed March 2013
Phase 4: Design Validation (100 - 200 units) - Scheduled completion May 2013
Phase 5: Process Validation (5,000 units) - Scheduled completion June 2013
Phase 6: Mass Production (TBD units) - June 2013
Risks and challenges
Space Monkey is a software technology company with a hardware component. Our most ambitious and challenging problems lie with software. That isn’t to say that hardware is without its own challenges, but our focus as a company is on solving the very difficult and complex problems associated with making a distributed software stack run on top of equipment in consumers’ homes intuitive, reliable, and safe. To address these challenges, we’ve assembled a team of employees with deep distributed software design experience from companies like Google, Mozy, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and Microsoft, and have relied heavily on hardware experts who helped create the iPod and the Nest learning thermostat.
The most significant risk to hardware manufacturing is managing the suppliers of over 100 components that make up the Space Monkey device. We've made relationships with all these suppliers and have already begun small prototype runs. We can't predict future issues that these suppliers might have delivering components on time, but we are extremely confident in the companies we've chosen to work with to deliver the Space Monkey device.
We have not yet delivered more than a few hundred units to customers, and will need to scale not only the manufacturing process, but the distributed software system, the support organization to help customers with issues that may arise, the fulfillment organization to get devices into user hands, and reverse-fulfillment processes to handle returns and defects.
Current estimated delivery dates are based on the first 5,000 units. We promise to communicate if adjustments are necessary due to demand.
Delivery of units to international customers depends on regulatory approvals, and may be delayed past the estimated dates listed in the Rewards section.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (30 days)