Backblaze B2 -- Crazy cloud pricing undercuts Amazon S3

Gleb “grateful” for your support, but should you trust his Pods with your data?

Backblaze B2 Gleb Budman
Backblaze, Inc.

Backblaze is no longer just a backup company. It now also offers Backblaze B2—a full object storage cloud service, using the same DIY, Pod-based architecture.

The price undercuts Amazon S3 by almost an order of magnitude. But there’s no regional redundancy—your data is in California, whether you like it or not.

As is normal in this market, you pay for storage used, but also for data transfers out. So presumably, B2 doesn’t include the famously ultra-slow downloads of Backblaze’s classic service.

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So here’s B2, now in public beta. Frederic Lardinois’ headline rather misunderstands the news event—Backblaze’s Low-Cost Cloud Storage Service Comes Out Of Beta:

Backblaze made a name for itself as a backup service for individuals and small businesses. But as the company’s CEO Gleb Budman told me...the technology it developed to run those also a natural fit for powering an Amazon S3-like...service.

The service costs $0.005 per gigabyte and month...significantly lower than Amazon’s prices, which start at $0.03.

Budman...also noted that the fact that Backblaze’s storage is priced lower [than] archival storage services means that its users don’t have to to think about tiered pricing.

[But] while pricing is surely a major factor for many of its users, a low price will matter very little if Backblaze ends up suffering from service outages.

As usual with this company, the marketing story is well executed. Here’s Backblaze’s Andy Klein —B2 Cloud Storage Opens Public Beta:

We announced the B2 Private Beta a couple of months ago. ... Now it’s time to take the next step and move to Public Beta.

B2 Cloud Storage...enables developers, IT people, and everyone else to store data in the cloud. Often referred to as...IaaS or object storage.

B2 offers cloud storage similar to Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure storage and Google Cloud Storage.

The feedback has been amazing and we continue to get constructive and creative ideas. ... Another awesome thing was how fast the developer community joined in to build wrappers, tools, and even integrations. [There’s a] page on our website to list and describe some.

Time to learn a new adjective. Tim Conneally hunts and pecks, in Backblaze Undercuts All Cloud Storage Competitors:

By using its own custom designed storage hardware, Backblaze is undercutting the biggest names in cloud storage.

Budman and the staff at Backblaze have taken an Edisonian approach to conquering an incredibly crowded part of the market. [After] some trial and error...they arrived at a system that utilized 45 HDDs and its own cloud storage file system that could run at one tenth of the price of its competitors.

With a storage price of just half a penny...and five cents per gigabyte of outbound bandwidth...Backblaze manages to even outdo Amazon’s Glacier and Google’s Nearline.

But is it safe? Ian Barker offers some food for thought—Backblaze launches low cost cloud storage for IT departments:

All connections are secured using HTTPS...account access offers two-factor authentication, and APIs are secured with authentication tokens.

You can try out the service with 10GB of free data storage and 1GB per day free outbound bandwidth.

Well, OK, but how reliable are these so-called Pods? Josiah Motley is no fool—Backblaze announces open beta for affordable cloud storage:

The company, founded in 2007 [is] known for their reliable backup solutions for enterprise level companies all the way down to personal use.

Granted, Amazon is more established and with that comes some sort of peace of mind. [But] Backblaze recently announced an upgrade to the storage pods used that are not only faster, but more reliable and easier to maintain.

[It has] only one data storage center located in Sacramento, California.

And Finally...

Gleb is “really grateful”

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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