Backblaze Announces Official Release of B2 Cloud Storage Product
Backblaze, already well known for its highly rated backup solutions, is taking on the heavy hitters of the cloud storage sector.
Competing against tech giants Amazon A3, Microsoft Azure, Google’s Nearline and others, Backblaze is ready to win you over with ease of use, large file handling and a newly implemented SLA (Service Level Agreement) of 99.9%.
B2 Beta Testing
The B2 beta was first offered in September 2015 to a limited audience of developers and IT personnel, quickly reaching its 15,000 target goal. Public beta testing began in December of 2015 and another 15,000 eagerly signed up. Diligently working through all the suggestions, comments and enhancements resulted in a reliable, secure product that has secured great reviews.
Beta testing ended and Backblaze released their B2 Cloud Sharing to the masses in June 2015. An ever-expanding list of partners enhances the user experience making for a robust, reliable and highly customizable solution.
Keeping Costs Low
Backblaze strives to keep costs low and performance rock solid, by utilizing open source in their cloud storage infrastructure. Building and improving on their own 4U size Backblaze Storage Pod they are able to maximize redundancy and uptime. Backblaze even offers instruction on building your own as well as some of the best hard drive statistics for failure rate on the internet. All drives are put through a gauntlet of testing before they are deemed worthy to hold critical data. Backblaze is transparent in their build, testing and software, explaining everything in detail on the company’s blog. Should you want to know what goes into the protection and availability of the data you store, you can get all the details necessary to satisfy your curiosity.
By partnering with companies like Synology, Cloudberry, Open IO, Cyberduck, Dropshare and more they are able to offer simple solutions to complicated operations. For the more tech-savvy, command line tools and a robust API lets you customize to your specific needs. The command line now includes a sync function that allows the user to update a target folder to the destination folder. The ability to stop upload and resume without starting over is also available from the command line and API.
For the developers out there, Backblaze has Large File API that allow files to be broken and uploaded in parallel. This saves upload time as well as allows the developer to monitor and manage the entire process.
Backblaze Offers Incredible Pricing
Probably the best reason to give Backblaze serious consideration is the price point. Compared to other cloud storage companies, Backblaze is offering $0.005 per GB per month. That’s almost 1/4 the price of other well-known solutions. Combining the low price with the new SLA reliability makes Backblaze a force in the industry, and gives you a significant cost saving for your bottom line.
Snapshot File Creation For Archival File Storage
Snapshots are customer selected files grouped into one single file. Snapshots are great for preserving time points during a project or securing a version history or your data. At the time of this writing, the user can create Snapshot files up to 110TB for storage in the B2 cloud, additionally, Snapshot files of up to 3.5TB can be loaded on a USB drive and sent via FedEx for $189.00 for version history archiving. A smaller Snapshot file (up to 110GB) is available for $99.00.
Massive File Size
10 massive terabytes of data is the unbelievable file size maximum for upload/download. HTTP requests don’t normally allow the upload of such large files as it will time out before the file is finished, but with Backblaze, you can split these large files and upload in multiple parts or sessions.
Reliable Data Integrity
Reliability is enhanced by implementing Reed-Soloman, a java library for erasure coding. Reed-Soloman allows large files to be “broken” into smaller pieces while ensuring data integrity and restoration. These files can then be broadcast over several drives or pods for load balancing and redundancy. The genius of Reed-Soloman is the ability to rebuild files even if parts of the file is missing or damaged. This keeps your data safe, sound and secure even during maintenance or in the event of failure. Backblaze built their own java library for their Reed-Soloman to enhance efficiency and reliability and now offer that code on their site.
Pods are built with 45 drives in a RAID 6 configuration containing 15 drives per RAID. Pods are designated as either an individual Storage Pod or a Backblaze Storage Pod Vault. The vault combines 20 individual pods and, utilizing Reed-Soloman, files are split into 20 pieces, each piece stored on a single drive across the array of drives. This configuration results in a 99.99999% data durability. Due to their constant innovations in storage infrastructure, it is likely that they will configure and implement larger pods with additional drives soon if not done already.
Support Is U.S. Based
US-based support is included with all B2 service accounts. Available also are several tiers that take you from a guaranteed 2-day response to a blazing fast 2-hour response. Support is provided via email or business hour chat, or in the case of top-level support, an after-hour phone number is provided to reach support for critical issues.
Eliminate Tape Backups
Wouldn’t you love to throw those boxes of tape backups in the dumpster? Companies still rotating LTO tapes as a backup option will be excited by the Backblaze/OpenIO partnership that can significantly reduce or eliminate the need for tapes entirely. The hassle of tape storage, rotation and handling could very well become a thing of the past while also realizing significant cost savings to your company.
Backblaze is offering a solid option to the high priced cloud storage services available elsewhere. Their focus on reliability, redundancy, cost, and security is more than enough to give them serious consideration. The fact that they are innovating new solutions on an on-going basis ensures the future of your cloud storage data will always be right where you left it, safe, secure and available.