Burning Bright – Backblaze B2 Interview

One of the earliest cloud storage companies we included support for was Backblaze B2 storage. Since then we’ve heard nothing but love from their users about what they do and with the most recent announcement of securing a $15m equipment lease line to help with expansion, we put a bunch of questions to Partner Program Manager James Fleishman. Enjoy!

Q1. For those people living under a rock, can you give us a quick intro to Backblaze B2?

Backblaze B2 is a cloud storage service for data storage. Files are available for uploading or downloading at any time, either through the Backblaze website, hundreds of third party integrations, including Comet  Backup, or via the B2 API.

Q2. We’re seeing quite a bit of competition in the cloud storage space, how does B2 set itself apart?

Backblaze sets itself apart in three ways: Simplicity, Price and Sustainability.

Simplicity: everything about B2 is designed to be simple to use. Accessing your account via our website is easy. We don’t have complicated storage tiers that are hard to understand. You pay only for what you use – there are no minimum storage amounts, minimum storage days, retention periods or other fine print. And, getting started only takes a few minutes.

Pricing: is meant to be affordable: storage is $0.005 per GB/Month or roughly $5/TB/month. Uploads are completely free while downloads are only $0.01 per GB. Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage is 1/4 the price of Amazon S3 for storage and 1/9th the price for downloads.

Sustainable: Backblaze has been in business for 12 years and manages 700 PB of data for over 500,000 customers. Backblaze has never raised significant investment capital, preferring to build a sustainable business using customer revenue and being very open about how the service is fairly priced. From building our own storage servers, to building our own storage software and detailing the costs of our business. Choosing a cloud storage provider is a bit like choosing an apartment to rent. Your landlord must be financially secure so your building isn’t foreclosed on and you don’t get locked out. Backblaze proves it is financially secure.

Q3. Can you tell us a bit about B2’s storage configuration and technology?

Backblaze stores all files uploaded using the Backblaze Vault architecture, which is described here.

This article describes how the data is distributed over 20 storage pods, how those storage pods are isolated from each other, how our implementation of the Reed-Solomon Erasure coding algorithm is used, how we handle “silent” data corruption, scaling, availability and finally durability.

The Backblaze Vault architecture is made up of storage pods that have been designed internally at Backblaze and deployed in our data center. Details of the latest storage pod, version 6.0 is here. 

Finally, one other very popular thing we do is publish hard drive stats about the 83k+ drives we have spinning in our data center. You can learn more about that here.

Q4. Recently you announced ‘Compute Partnerships’ with Packet and ServerCentral for B2, what are the benefits of this partnership?

Our compute partnerships allow Backblaze customers to rent compute in the cloud, close enough to B2 Cloud Storage to get high performance, low latency access to the data. Customers no longer need to buy computers, networking, or bandwidth to get multi-Gbps performance for applications like disaster recovery or remote management.

Q5. For MSP’s and service providers what are the advantages of using B2 for their storage?

MSPs and service providers get all the advantages above: a simple, affordable and sustainable storage system that directly integrates with Comet Backup.

Q6. Very important final question – should pineapple be on pizza? 

NO

Thanks James! If you are wanting to know more about B2 and their offering, jump over their website below!