After a short private beta, Backblaze today opened up its new low-cost cloud storage service for all developers.
Backblaze made a name for itself as a backup service for individuals and small businesses. But as the company’s CEO Gleb Budman told me when the company first announced this new product, the technology it developed to run those services (and all the hard drives it buys) is also a natural fit for powering an Amazon S3-like cloud storage service.
Just like with its backup service, Backblaze is making pricing one of its main selling points for its B2 cloud storage service. Storing data on the service costs $0.005 per gigabyte and month. That’s significantly lower than Amazon’s prices, which start at $0.03 for standard storage (with discounts for users who store large amounts of data or are willing to wait a little bit longer before they can access their files).
The company recently introduced the latest version of its storage pods, which is now significantly faster and more powerful than its older hardware. The company says it’s this new hardware that allows it to offer its B2 service at this competitive price.
Budman tells me he was surprised by the demand for the service. “We learned there is a huge demand for keeping data that until now has been unaffordable,” he said. “For example, a genomic researcher’s instruments generate 100TBs of data during an experiment. Until now – storing this data was more expensive than rerunning the experiment.”
He also noted that the fact that Backblaze’s storage is priced lower (or at least similar) levels of some archival storage services means that its users don’t have to to think about tiered pricing.
Going forward, Backblaze obviously has to show that it can compete on availability and service as well. While pricing is surely a major factor for many of its users, a low price will matter very little if Backblaze ends up suffering from service outages as it brings on new users.