Backblaze B2: Dirt-cheap cloud storage for business

Amazon Web Services (AWS) promotes its cost advantages, but cloud storage pioneer Backblaze is less than 1/4 the cost. Its B2 service is designed for businesses that want massive storage without massive cost.
Written by Robin Harris, Contributor

Seek, pilgrim.

Photo by Robin Harris

AWS dominates the infrastructure as a service market today, but they aren't the only game in town. In fact, Backblaze, the nine-year-old -- and profitable -- cloud storage firm, is showing just how dirt cheap purpose-built storage can be.

In addition, Backblaze is now opening its APIs so developers can build their apps on the cheapest storage in the cloud. They already have several integration partnerships, including Synology's NAS boxes, CloudBerry's backup service, OpenIO's on-premise private cloud, and Ortana's media workflow system.

10GB free

B2 is a RESTful object storage system, based on the software that Backblaze developed for its successful unlimited backup service which currently stores over 200 petabytes. Translation: it's like AWS, but focused on storage.

Backblaze charges half a penny per month per gigabyte of capacity. Not only is that a fraction of the AWS S3 pricing, it's even less than the AWS deep archive Glacier costs.

If you want to play with B2 the first 10GB is free, twice the capacity that AWS gives away.

The Storage Bits take

AWS has disrupted the IT market like no other technology or company in the last 20 years. But it isn't the end-all and be-all. It may be the begin-all, but, really, the Service Bureau was there first.

Forget the hype. What do you really need to meet your business goals? Lots of storage? B2. Lots of computes to massage the data? Not B2.

Vendors will always -- and understandably -- steer you towards problems they can solve. You have to decide what your priorities are, assess what the tools can do, and then choose the best -- though imperfect -- tool for the job. That's why you're worth the money you earn.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. Disclosure: I am a retail customer of Backblaze and have never done business with them in any other capacity.

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