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Backup your files

FriendBox allows you to backup your files among your friends to prevent data loss. At the same time that you help your friends by hosting some of their files. It also can make use of Cloud storage services to improve its performance and ensure that your files are accessible at any time.

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Facebook App

The social front-end of the application is available as a Facebook App. This application allows users to get in touch with their friends and start F2F service. It also provides access control and information about some aspects of the FriendBox service such as knowing who is storing your data or check the amount of consumed Cloud storage resources.

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Know the location

At any time you can know where your files are located and and the amount of data that each of your friends is storing. The location is obtained through the IP address, so it shows an approximate location in order to preserve their privacy.

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Development

The application core has been developed using Erlang. A language that supports distributed, fault-tolerant, soft-real-time, non-stop applications. The Facebook front-end enables users manage his storage friends and get informed about the application state. The application state is hosted in Google AppEngine so it is independent of user location. It supports Amazon S3 as Cloud provider, and other providers can be added easily.

Introducing FriendBox

We present FriendBox: a hybrid F2F personal storage system. FriendBox is the first F2F system that efficiently combines the resources of trusted friends with Cloud storage for improving storage service quality while preserving privacy. FriendBox provides a flexible and user-defined Cloud usage: users are able to decide where to store their data, which can be completely on friends, only in the Cloud or in a mix of them. We implemented in FriendBox advanced mechanisms which strategically use the Cloud to mitigate the problems of pure decentralization, improving the resulting service quality.

Testing FriendBox

We have performed several experiments with FriendBox in the Universitat Rovira i Virgili Campus. Students have installed FriendBox in a dozen of desktop PCs in the campus and they have been using it for one week. We have obtained positive results from this deployment: FriendBox is working well in this controlled environment and we extracted useful information to improve the current version FriendBox for the public release!

Project's web site launched!

The project's web site has been launched. Now you are able find all the details about the FriendBox project and soon we will publish the source code and documentation.

The architecture of FriendBox can be divided into 3 components: FriendBox Storage Client, FriendBox Application State and FriendBox Social Front-end.

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The Storage Client enables users to perform basic data operations, such as storing and retrieving files from the system. The application state of FriendBox is stored in the Cloud. This provides storage ubiquity: a user is able to install the FriendBox Storage Client in any machine and obtain the information state from this Cloud application. The FriendBox Social Front-end the entry point of FriendBox: users which are members of the social network are capable of accessing to our F2F system...

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The heart of the FriendBox Storage Client is implemented in Erlang; a programming language conceived to build massive distributed systems. Over 4; 000 lines of code form the basic functioning of this software. This includes block level put/get/delete operations storage, parallel transfer connections management, and logging, to name a few.

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The FriendBox Application State component has been developed with 3; 000 lines of Python code (plus HTML, CSS for being rendered in Facebook) and hosted in GoogleApp Engine4. We employed the PaaS provided by Google for hosting our application since it offers an elastic and scalable service platform.

The Social Front-end of FriendBox is integrated within the Facebook environment. This is possible since the FriendBox Application State follows the requirements and communication standards of Facebook.

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