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The Great Bitcasa Purge

26 Oct 2014

A few days ago, Bitcasa announced that they were upgrading their storage infrastructure. And not just that - the upgrade would be accompanied by a "change in offerings".

Originally, Bitcasa offered an 'infinite storage' plan for €79 per year, but no such plan exists on their 'new storage infrastructure'. Of course, this is basically a fancy way to discontinue these plans permanently and force their users to use more expensive options. Their justification for doing so?

While our Infinite offering was one of our early value propositions, we have since found that only a small percentage of people use it (only 0.5 percent of our accounts require more than 1TB, and less than 0.1 percent require more than 10TB).

Also, the reality is while we have tried to make our vision of infinite work, the low demand combined with the growing number of suspected abusers, means that supporting an Infinite plan is not a viable business for us.

Okay, so let me get this straight. You offer an infinite storage plan, based on traditional overselling assumptions - that is, you assume that only a small part of your customer base will actually use a non-trivial amount of resources, and that said resource usage will be offset by all the customers that don't. And judging from your post - "only a small percentage of our customer base uses lots of space" - that's exactly what happens.

And now you are discontinuing the plan because it functions exactly as designed? If only a tiny percentage of your customerbase uses a lot of space, then where's the problem with your infrastructure? Or do you perhaps just want to cut costs, and you don't need the "unlimited space" marketing anymore to keep your company afloat?

I smell underhanded tactics.

But hey, at least you get advance notice so that you can do something about it, right? Move to a new plan, which surely won't be that much more expensive?

Infinite plan users will need to transfer to a 1TB Premium plan or our new 10TB Pro plan to continue using our service.

... the new 10TB Pro plan, at only €799 per year, ten times as much as what you paid originally. Oh, right.

And there's some clever wording going on here, too. When looking at their pricing page, you may say "but the 1TB plan is still €79 a year, and only the 10TB plan is more expensive, so less than 0.1 percent will be affected!"

Sure, except that's not the case. If you read carefully...

only 0.5 percent of our accounts require more than 1TB, and less than 0.1 percent require more than 10TB

Every single person in those 0.5 percent will have to purchase a €799/year plan, because anything more than 1TB won't fit on the 1TB plan. And if you are one of the 0.1% that use more than 10TB, you're shit out of luck - there is no new plan for you.

But, I hear you say, surely you can just take out your data, and move it to another unlimited storage provider? I mean, they've given you advance notice!

You have between October 22, 2014 and November 15, 2014 to migrate your data. All accounts and data not transferred to the new system will be deleted on November 16, 2014.

That's 23 days, so about three weeks. If you were to have 10TB of data on your account, that would mean that, if you were to run your download process 24/7, you'd have to consistently download at 5.28MB/sec - that's megabytes per second - without interruption.

And that is assuming that you heard about this one day after the announcement, at the latest. If you only noticed at a later moment, you have an even bigger problem.

If you don't have 10TB of space locally, and your upload speed is low - as is the case on most residential connections - then you are already unable to back up all of your data at all.

And realistically, it's not like their desktop client can even download at a reasonable speed. Somebody on IRC just informed me that he is currently getting about 267KB/s on a 100mbps connection.

In other words: you're screwed, and we don't give a shit. Enjoy your complete data loss.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Yeah, Bitcasa, fuck you too.