Mar 06

I would like to take a few minutes of your time to explain how we store and protect your precious photos using the latest technology innovations on the Internet.

Server Architecture

Expono’s server architecture and infrastructure is built on modern Internet virtualization technologies with focus on durability, reliability, scalability, affordability and security. This is called Cloud Computing*.

We have load balanced frontend servers handling all requests. These frontend server are currently located in United States and Ireland.
The frontend servers have the responsibility to forward requests to our auto-scalable array of web workers. The web workers handle each request with care and report their load to the frontend servers. In case a server has more than 51% load, it votes for growth. If the majority of the servers vote for growth, the frontend server array is incremented by booting up additional servers.

We are well prepared to handle a high load of requests, serving your photos to whom ever you allowed.
The whole production environment is automated, and I promise you that what we have is more reliable than the traditional way of having multiple hardware servers and a staff of 20 to keep em up’n’running. We have automated everything, and that keeps me from staying awake all nights. I can sleep and dream about new cool software features instead of worrying about the servers. It’s a good thing 🙂

*Cloud Computing – The majority of cloud computing infrastructure as of 2009 consists of reliable services delivered through data centers and built on servers with different levels of virtualization technologies. The services are accessible anywhere in the world, with The Cloud appearing as a single point of access for all the computing needs of consumers. read more

Storage Technology

Expono is using Amazon S3 as its main storage provider. Data is scattered across United States and Europe. The storage infrastructure is designed with durability, reliability, scalability and security in mind. Your photos are more safe using this storage technology than they would be on any external harddisk. This doesn’t mean Expono should be your sole storage solution for your photos, but a safe online alternative to what your already have.

We are however looking into developing an extra service, named “Safety Plus” aimed towards those who want that “extra” safety. This will be a paid for, extra service, per gigabyte. Safety Plus, will store photos by your choice in multiple locations on at least two different continents. If this sounds interesting to you, I suggest you raise your voice so we can prioritize accordingly.

Access Control & Privacy

Expono have powerful tools that lets you define who can access your photos. We have, what I believe, the best fine-grained photo privacy on the Internet.

You can not only control access to albums, but define access down to each individual photo. You can define who can see a photo, using your own custom groups, specific persons, or passwords. Our default privacy on photos is set to private, you can however define your own default upload privacy for photos in the settings menu.

Authentication & Security

The security of your photos are not safer than your password to your expono account. It is very important that you keep your password to yourself, and that it’s hard to guess.

Security is important to us, but we still have two important items on our todo list before we can be proud of having a slightly more secure solution than most of the other sites. First, SSL encryption on login (Yes, this is a de facto standard before one could even be considered secure in the first place. Changes in our cloud architecture, had us delay it during our beta period.) Second, account bound access control on file level, this is very rare, most sites don’t have this.

In the coming months I’ll keep you posted on our progress on this front, until then have fun and don’t hesitate to give us your feedback. UPDATE: We now support 128-bit encryption during authentication, signup, and third-party access.

If you have any technology or security related questions, please feel free to contact me, send an inbox message to magnus.

Magnus Jonsson

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