Backblaze launches dirt cheap storage offering to compete with Amazon

BackBlaze B2

Cloud backup and storage services provider Backblaze is taking aim at more established cloud vendors with a new cloud-based storage offering. While Backblaze can’t ever hope to compete with the breadth of cloud services offered by firms like Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft, the company has decided it does have the capability to dramatically undercut its competitors on price with its new B2 cloud storage service.

Launched last September in beta, Backblaze’s B2 service is now ready for prime time, the company says. At the same time, a clutch of partners including Cloudberry Lab, Cubix Corp., OpenIO and Synology Inc. have also said they’re now offering B2 as a storage option for their customers.

Backblaze says B2 has already signed up more than 15,000 users since it launched a private alpha last year. B2 has stored more than 525TB of data for its customers, encompassing over 125 million files. Using B2, customers can upload files up to a maximum of 10 TB in size, though a look at the company’s stats shows that few have gone that far. Still, the limit is twice as large as what’s allowed on Amazon‘s S3 service.

Backblaze’s storage service seems to have evolved out of its very popular backup service, which provides unlimited backups to users for just $5 a month. The company said in a blog post it’s using the sixth major revision of its storage servers, which now forms the backbone of B2. In addition, Backblaze says B2 is backed by a 99.9 percent SLA.

“The Backblaze B2 beta was announced last September, and the response was immediate and enormous as over 15,000 developers, IT personnel, and other interested parties signed up to be part of our closed beta program,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the service’s commercial availability. “In December, Backblaze opened the beta to the public, and another 15,000 users joined in.”

One nifty feature of Backblaze’s B2 service is that customers can order what’s called “snapshots” of their files, which are sent via FedEx on a USB hard drive or flash drive, depending on how much data is being shipped. The company charges $99 per snapshot for up to 110 GB, and $189 for snapshots up to a maximum of 3.5 TB.

The big selling point for B2 however, is cost. The service is priced at just $0.005 per GB per month, with the first 10 GB per month being free, and downloads are charged at $0.05 per GB, with the first GB each day being totally free. As such, B2 is available at a fraction of the price of Amazon’s similar S3 offering.

As for the new partnerships, these include an integration with network attached storage provider Synology, whose new NAS models will be able to back themselves up on B2. Synology said that many of its newer storage devices will also be updated to support the same capability soon.

Cloud-based backup and file management provider Cloudberry Lab said it’s planning to integrate B2 with its CloudBerry Backup for Windows Servers product, allowing users to encrypt data from a Windows server and back it straight up on B2 via Cloudberry’s tools.

Elsewhere, workflow monitoring software vendor Cubix has said B2 will be integrated into its own software, while OpenIO, a hybrid storage tool, will integrate with B2 to enable organizations to manage petabytes of data between the cloud and on-premises servers.

Image credit: Backblaze

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