Exploiting Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa : Utilizing Photo Sharing Websites as Cloud Storage Backends
2013, Miller, Wolfgang
A major application of cloud computing is to supply storage that is often advertised by providers as being reliable, available, functional, and cost efficient because it relies on a massive infrastructure available in the cloud. Photo sharing websites rely on similar infrastructures to handle the amount of uploaded image data; however, in contrast to conventional cloud storage providers, they offer free storage capacities for images. Due to the fact that images can be used as data containers to store arbitrary information, it is possible to exploit these services as free cloud storage. In this thesis we describe our approach for the development of a fully functional photosharing website driven cloud storage system based on twelve encoding approaches. These encoding approaches allow for adjusting our system to the requirements of a specific photo sharing website and to gain the best trade-off between the actual data ratio of an image and its robustness against image compression. The system’s performance has been tested with the three major photo sharing websites Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa Web Albums, and has been compared with Amazon’s professional cloud storage service AWS S3. The results show that the system can be an alternative in scenarios in which the overall performance is not that important, such as backup systems. Our developed photosharing website driven cloud storage system is accessible as an open source and implemented as part of the widely used jClouds framework.