photo-backblaze-datacenterBackblaze, a company known for its backup solutions, is entering a new business area by offering cloud storage that competes with Amazon, Microsoft, Google and other cloud actors. The new service is supported by an API (Application Programming Interface) and a command-line interface (CLI). The principal competing factor is the price: at $0.005/GB.

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At this price, it is significantly cheaper than Amazon S3, and pretty much every other large player. S3 storage starts at $0.03/GB (up to 1TB) and can go as low as $0.0275/GB if you use over 5000TB (sic). The outgoing bandwidth cost of Backblaze is comparable to the best competitors at $0.05/GB and the incoming bandwidth is free.

This is so affordable that it opens a lot of possibilities for developers and users: for one, this could be used as a redundant storage to an existing S3 setup. Since it is 4X cheaper, Backblaze’s storage can even compete with Amazon Glacier, and be much faster to access at the same time.  Developers can also access API libraries in popular languages like Java, Python, C#, Swift etc… along with web requests.

For regular users, the web interface and the extremely low price has made it an interesting alternative for cloud storage at prices unknown until now.

I haven’t looked at all the API details, so I can’t yet tell you about the pro and cons, but this announcement adds a lot of spice in an otherwise fairly stagnant cloud storage market that has well established players.

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Backblaze says that it can price its storage aggressively because it has spent years building its storage infrastructure from the ground up, including building the Backblaze Vault, which is a proprietary file system that can scale to zettabytes-level (1 ZB = 1 trillion GB). The hardware that hosts the content is called Backblaze Pod, a specialized storage box designed to optimize costs. Finally, the company has ways to evaluate hard drives that offers the best reliability/price ratio.

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