Wasabi and the ‘Bring Your Own S3 Client’ Model
One of the challenges for Wasabi as we continue to rapidly grow and disrupt the cloud storage market, is finding the optimal ‘S3 client’ strategy to use with our customers that don’t want to provide their own S3-compatible storage client application.
What is a S3 client?
Think of a S3 client in the context of a traditional client-server model where Wasabi’s AWS S3 API compatible cloud storage is the server and any sort of storage app that wants to exchange files with Wasabi is the client. Because both the client application and the server/storage use the AWS S3 API, data can easily pass between them, much like the FTP clients and servers that were used before cloud storage came to the market.
Differences between the Enterprise Market…
It’s been our experience that enterprise customers don’t need or want our assistance in providing S3 client applications. Why? Because enterprises are generally already using (or plan to use) one of the hundreds of different enterprise-grade file management or backup applications, storage appliances, and SDKs that already provide the S3 client functionality to seamlessly interface with Wasabi. Wasabi does our part to make this ‘bring your own S3 client’ model successful with a strong Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program that has allowed us to certify and document almost 200 different partner solutions that use the S3 API.
… and the Small Business and Prosumer Markets
With our small business and ‘prosumer‘ customers, we are often asked for specific S3 client recommendations or for us to provide a free S3 client as an extension of our service.
When Wasabi first launched our service in early 2017, we did not set out to be the next Dropbox or Google Drive and we relied exclusively on the ‘bring your own S3 client’ model (the same model successfully employed by AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform). Although this model served us well for our first several thousand customers, we thought that we could help even more of our small business and prosumer customers by providing our own S3 client application. This thinking led to our introduction in the spring of 2018 of the Wasabi Client application that simply let you mount your Wasabi storage as a disk volume on your Windows or Mac host.
One year later, in retrospect, Wasabi Client has been a mixed success for us. Although hundreds of our customers use this app on a regular basis, it’s been difficult for us to keep pace with all of the feature requests that our customers have asked for in a S3 client application.
For those of you that have followed Wasabi, you know that we are singularly focused on providing a world-class cloud storage service that offers the pricing, performance, and protection value proposition that we are known for. While we want to accommodate our small business and prosumer customers who also want a world-class client application from us, focusing too many resources in this area distracts us from our primary mission of disrupting the public cloud object storage market and scaling out across the world to meet the demand for hot cloud storage.
So what’s next? Introducing Wasabi Explorer…
Today we are announcing an evolution in our position on providing a S3 client application for our customers. Since our initial service launch two years ago, Wasabi has been fortunate to closely work with one of the leading providers of S3-compatible applications, CloudBerry Lab. With more than 600 joint customers, this relationship has led us to jointly release a new free S3 client app called the Wasabi Explorer – a Wasabi-optimized version of the existing CloudBerry Explorer product. This app is initially available for a variety of Windows environments (a Mac version is coming later this year) and enables you to share files between your Windows host and the Wasabi hot cloud storage service.
We plan to deprecate support for Wasabi Client in March 2020 and going forward, Wasabi’s focus for S3 client applications will be tied to the close work we do with Technology Alliance Partners such as CloudBerry Lab. We will continue to certify and document how to use various applications with Wasabi. In addition, to provide specific recommendations to our small business and prosumer customers, we will use our new Downloads page to highlight other S3 client apps that our customers have been successful with.
Wasabi believes in the power of choice when it comes to cloud storage service and the applications you want to use with our service, and our implementation of the S3 API has made it possible for hundreds of applications to easily integrate with our service. We will continue to make the ‘bring your own client’ model as successful as it can be for all of our customers, large or small.