Backing up Your Data Is Critical for Security but How Can It Be Done Affordably?

For most users – business or personal – price should not be the sole determining factor when it comes to choosing a backup storage provider.  You are backing up your data for a reason. Your data is important to you. That being said, there are few things as satisfying as coming to the conclusion that the best solution is also the most affordable.

To protect your data it is critical to have and follow a good backup policy with both local and off-site backups.  Once you are attacked and after you have isolated infected devices and identified and removed the malware, you should recover from backup copies that you are sure were not connected to your network after the time of the attack and hence protected from infection. Backup drives that were completely disconnected should be safe, as are files stored in the cloud.

To better understand the available options for cloud backup solutions BSM spoke with Ahin Thomas, Vice President of Marketing for Backblaze Cloud Storage & Backup.  Backblaze provides the lowest cost cloud storage and cloud backup services worldwide; $6/month for unlimited backup of Mac or PC for individuals and businesses and $0.005/GB/month for cloud storage.

Ahin Thomas, Vice President of Marketing for Backblaze Cloud Storage & Backup

We asked Ahin to articulate their value proposition.  He said, “We’re simple, reliable, and affordable.  We offer a very similar product as some of the biggest companies in the history of humankind – Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.  So, how do we stand out? Why do people choose us?  Because we’re committed to being simple, reliable, and affordable.” 

“Part of being simple, reliable and affordable is being transparent, which is why we share almost everything there is to know about our solutions and our company on our blog.  We publish our hard drive performance statistics.  We’re the only player in this market to do so.  We give people the data and insights they want so they can also see exactly what’s happening.  As it relates to security issues, if you can see what’s happening in your off-prem provider, you can then make a more informed decision.”

“Another part of being simple, reliable, and affordable is being predictable.  Other providers can be incredibly complicated and just figuring out what your costs will be will require a calculator.  So, that is why we have only one line on our pricing table for storage.  We were founded 13 years ago.  There were five founders, all of whom are still in their operating roles within the company.”

To accurately understand how important it is to Backblaze that they provide the best possible value for their solutions it is helpful to recognize the extraordinary effort and planning that went into their one-and-only price increase in over ten years.  In February of 2019, they made the announcement that one month later prices for Personal and Business Backup services would be going up by $1. This increase was years in the planning, communication, and execution. It was important for them to get it just right.  You can read a fascinating blog post detailing the efforts around this price increase here.  The bottom line is, however, that all the available evidence indicates that Backblaze is truly committed to providing their solutions at the best possible price point.

The key building block of Backblaze’s cloud storage is the Storage Pod.  A Storage Pod consists of up to 60 hard drives in a 4U sized server made from commercially available parts. Over the years they have introduced new and improved designs and with each new version they open-source the hardware design. Anyone can build their own high capacity storage server for as little as a nickel ($0.05) per Gigabyte, and many people have done exactly that.

A Backblaze Vault is the combination of the Backblaze Vault cloud storage software and the Backblaze Storage Pod hardware. Vault storage software relies on tried and true technologies used in a straightforward way to build a simple, reliable, and inexpensive system.

Watch Backblaze CTO, Brian Wilson, explain their Backblaze Vault cloud storage infrastructure.

A well-thought-out backup strategy will include components to address cloud and vendor diversity.  Not long ago, Google Cloud suffered an outage, which as a consequence caused YouTube, Gmail, and Snapchat to go down. This, of course, wasn’t the first time that a cloud service provider’s outage has had an impact on our daily lives – business and personal.  This is leading many to ask the question, “Are we now heading for an even greater disaster, due to our almost universal reliance on the major public cloud service providers, such as AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure?”

Backblaze would offer that the key is to not rely on any single vendor, but rather employ a multi-cloud strategy.  As an anecdote, Ahin cited the use case of one of their large genomics customers.  He explained, “This customer is storing petabytes of data with us.  They keep a copy of their data on-premise and two cloud-based copies, one with us in our west coast region and one with another cloud storage provider in their east coast region.  In doing this they are leveraging the benefits of vendor and geographic diversity providing a great disaster recovery plan.”

In a business climate of ever-diminishing value, Backblaze, with a corporate culture that insists on providing a quality product, exceptional transparency, and superb value is, indeed, a rare find.