Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage Frequent Questions


Editor’s note:  This post reflects pricing at the time it was published. Backblaze B2 is now priced at $6/TB/month with free egress up to 3x monthly storage.

We’ve had a lot of interest and many questions since announcing Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage last week and we want to thank you for engaging with us on our blog, Reddit, and HackerNews! I’ve tried to collect some of the most commonly asked questions thus far and answer them here for those still curious. Don’t like reading? Watch this video:

Q. When will the Backblaze B2 beta start accepting waitlist members?
A. We’ve had a ton of sign-ups for the Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage waitlist. We’re currently putting the finishing touches on our internal alpha, and we’re hoping to start rolling out the first batch in mid-October.

Q. How quickly will my invite be sent once the waitlist starts to open up?
A. We’ll be starting with a few invites and then increasing over the next two months. We’ll be inviting based on when you signed up combined with the type of beta tester that would be most useful at the time, but we intend for everyone on the waitlist to try Backblaze B2 before it goes live for the masses.

Q. Speaking of going live to the masses, when will B2 Cloud Storage go live for the masses?
A. We are targeting the end of 2015.

Q. Will Backblaze B2 be compatible with…?
A. Probably! Backblaze B2 will act as the back-end infrastructure for a lot of things that need cloud object storage. We have a CLI, GUI, and a full set of RESTful APIs that will allow your favorite apps to tie in to the B2 Cloud Storage back end. Suggest apps you believe should use B2 Cloud Storage in the comments and we’ll try to work with them to make it happen.

Q. How much would it cost to store “X” amount of data?
A. We have tried to keep Backblaze B2’s cloud storage pricing as simple as possible. Let’s use 200GB as an example. All users get 10GB of free space. Uploading to Backblaze B2 is free, and storing 190GB (200GB minus the 10GB you get for free) on Backblaze B2 (at $0.005/GB) would cost $0.95 per month—less than a dollar. Now let’s assume you wish to download all 200GB of the data one day. You get 1GB of free downloads per day, so you need to pay $0.05/GB for the remaining 199GB of data for a total of $9.95. If that’s all you’re doing, one simple upload and download, those are all the costs you’ll incur.

Q. Could you explain the different transactions that you charge for?
A. There are two transaction categories: “Download” and “Other.” “Download” includes any API calls that would download a file or get the files info. “Other” includes, well, most any other API calls. You get 2,500 of each transaction category free per day. After that it’s $0.004 per 10,000 “download” transactions and $0.004 per 1,000 “other” transactions. Uploading files, deleting files, deleting buckets, and hiding files are all free.

Q. This all sounds great, but what about durability?
A. Backblaze stores each file redundantly across multiple drives, in multiple servers, and in multiple locations in our data center. For details on this, read our post about Backblaze Vaults. As a result, the Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage system is designed for 99.999999% durability. [7/17/2018: Updated annual durability to be calculated at 99.999999999%. See “Backblaze Durability Is 99.999999999%—And Why It Doesn’t Matter.”—Ed.]

Q. How many data centers do you have?
A. For now we have one data center, though we are actively looking to expand to more locations.

Q. Can I use B2 Cloud Storage like Dropbox or Box?
A. Not quite. B2 Cloud Storage is what you would use to create a service like Dropbox or Box. It’s the back-end for those systems. But if you’re a programmer, have at it!

Q. Can I use Backblaze B2 for backup?
A. Yes, but take a look at our cloud backup services first (for individuals and businesses). Those services provide completely automatic backup with unlimited data for just $5/month/computer for Mac and PC laptops and desktops. If you want to store backup data for Linux, servers, NAS drives, etc., B2 Cloud Storage may be a good option for you—using either the CLI, web interface, or the APIs.

Thanks for all the questions so far, we’ll try to keep answering them as best we can as more come in!


About Yev

Yev Pusin is the senior director of Marketing and sometimes Marketing chief of staff at Backblaze, which he joined in 2011. Yev has a degree in business and communications from the University of Iowa, where he developed an alliteration affinity. Yev enjoys writing in an amusing way about the "why" of things and how decisions are made, so that readers can learn and be entertained all at once. Follow Yev on: Twitter: @YevP | LinkedIn: Yev Pusin