Teradesk is a cross-platform suite that allows you to share and back-up files remotely via your Android phone and your Mac, Linux, or Windows computer. It was chosen as one of the top 25 finalists in the first of what will likely prove to be an annual event - the highly competitive Android Developer's Challenge.
If you read my May 15th post on the product (check it out for screencaps), you know how much I like the idea as well as the polished product. I've used it and have been thoroughly impressed. But I still had some questions I personally wanted to ask the father of Teradesk, and a few that I thought might be useful to the rest of you. Here is my interview with Augusto Ferrarini (in bold).
Why don't we start with your description of what Teradesk is - what it's capabilities are.
Teradesk is a client/server application that makes use of web, desktop and mobile platforms to create an integrated online filesystem environment. It is intended to work as a middleware for virtual data storage and remote file access, allowing people to store files in the Cloud and access personal files stored on remote computers. It works on Android devices, Web browsers, Netbooks and normal PCs running Linux, Windows or Mac OS X. Teradesk also has some interesting features like file-sharing, GoogleDocs integration, and File Relations: a feature that allows you to connect people and files together.
How did the project come together and who are the core people? And where is the project located? (I asked this not knowing that Augusto worked on his own before the ADC.)
I started to develop Teradesk to be an online and secure alternative for personal storage devices like pen drives, cd-rooms, emails with attachments and local computer storage. Keeping crucial files physically stored on computers and mobile devices is potentially dangerous since these devices are easy to lose and they can be stolen. Teradesk was created to address these issues. Regarding people involved - after the Android Developer Challenge (ADC) a small but talented team joined the project. Two of them are now part of the core team. Company is located in Brazil.
What was it like to be chosen by Google for the top 25 of the ADC?
It was very exciting to me. The amount of submitted apps shows how successful and competitive ADC was. It´s amazing to know that experienced judges from many parts of the world have evaluated Teradesk, giving it very positive feedback.
How did getting a top spot in the ADC change things for you? Has the project's scale or direction changed?
After ADC we started to address some scalability issues. It was necessary to invest some time and effort improving our software to work on a more scalable distributed architecture. Teradesk, by its nature, is a high resource demanding service; we have to support encrypted file transfers and large amounts of data traffic. During ADC I had the opportunity to chat with Eric Chu from Google, and he asked me if our server was prepared to integrate with some of the storage/Cloud services available on the Internet. But at that time it wasn't. So, just after ADC, we started to evaluate some players on that area including Amazon and Rackspace's Mosso.
How did the association with Amazon come about? How has that changed the project?
Our main concern after ADC was scalability and reliability. We opted to use Amazon Web Services as a way to acquire some sort of scalability on top of a stable infrastructure they have built. It is also a way to have costs scaling with the application: pay as much as you use approach.
Amazon is developing a very nice solution pack for their datacenter product area. Although we are using some of the Amazon web services, Teradesk is not dependent on its infrastructure to run. Our approach is to cache data on a regular filesystem based storage and backup this cache on Amazon´s S3 web service. This approach has many benefits like faster access to data, support for transference resuming and most important, it keeps us independent of third-party vendor's technology.
Right now there is a limitation of 1 GB of storage, but the name Tera has me thinking more will be made available. Will that limitation always exist? Will there be more storage for paying customers, or will it all be paid/ all be free?
No, it won't. :) Teradesk is running in beta but we plan to support large storage space plans in the near future. In fact there is no limitation on storage. Our system is heavily parametric so it is a matter of user demand. It's nice to say that with our "My Network" feature users can have access to their regular file systems on-line, which makes the storage universe even bigger.
Where do you see this leading? Meaning, what are your ultimate hopes for Teradesk and what, if any, other products do you think Teradesk's success will result in?
The goal for Teradesk is to attract customers that need a specialized service like we provide, empowering them with a dynamic and trustable tool. We plan to provide lots of integration with other services like document editing services, photo storage, and video. We also have lots of new and interesting features to come.
How would you like to see people using Teradesk?
I'd like to see everyone using Teradesk. A business man in an airport lounge, a tourist on vacation, a student getting files from his home computer during a class. I hope Teradesk can be truly useful to everyone, helping people access their files anytime, anywhere.
With an absolute minimum of 18 Android phones dropping this year, I think Augusto's aspirations could be fulfilled, to some extent. That is if everyone means a broad sample of the general population. I expect to see Google's OS turn up in a lot of hands over the next 12 months. Thank you to Augusto Ferrarini for taking the time to answer my questions and for keeping me up to date on Teradek..