Exabyte Unlocked

Backblaze Reaches an Exabyte of Customer Data Stored

If you’re interested in Backblaze’s COVID-19 response, Gleb Budman, our CEO, shared a message with our community here.

With the impact of coronavirus on all of our lives, it’s been a struggle to find pieces of good news to share. But we wanted to take a break from the usual programming and share a milestone we’re excited about, one that’s more than 12 years in the making.

Since the beginning of Backblaze—back in 2007, when our five co-founders were working out of Brian Wilson’s apartment in Palo Alto—watching the business grow has always been profoundly exciting.

Our team has grown. From five, way back in the Palo Alto days, to 145 today. Our customer base has grown. Today, we have customers in over 160 countries… it’s not so long ago that we were excited about having our 160th customer.

More than anything else, the data we manage for our customers has grown.

In 2008, not long after our launch, we had 750 customers and thought ten terabytes was a lot of data. But things progressed quickly, and just two years later we reached 10 petabytes of customer data stored (1,000x more). (Good thing we designed for zettabyte-scale cloud architecture!)

By 2014, we were storing 100 petabytes—the equivalent of 11,415 years of HD video.

Years passed, our team grew, the number of customers grew, and—especially after we launched B2 Cloud Storage in 2015—the data grew. At some scale it got harder to contextualize what hundreds and hundreds of petabytes really meant. We like to remember that each byte is part of some individual’s beloved family photos or some organization’s critical data that they’ve entrusted us to protect.

That belief is part of every single Backblaze job description. Here’s how we put it in that context:

Our customers use our services so they can pursue dreams like curing cancer (genome mapping is data-intensive), archive the work of some of the greatest artists on the planet (learn more about how Austin City Limits uses B2), or simply sleep well at night (anyone that’s spilled a cup of coffee on a laptop knows the relief that comes with complete, secure backups).”

It’s critically important for us that we achieved this growth by staying the same in the most important ways: being open & transparent, building a sustainable business, and caring about being good to our customers, partners, community, and team. That’s why I’m excited to announce a huge milestone today—our biggest growth number yet.

We’ve reached 1.

Or, by another measurement, we’ve reached 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.

Yes, today, we’re announcing that we are storing 1 exabyte of customer data.

What does it all mean? Well. If you ask our engineers, not much. They’ve already rocketed past this number mentally and are considering how long it will take to get to a zettabyte (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes).

But, while it’s great to keep our eyes on the future, it’s also important to celebrate what milestones mean. Yes, crossing an exabyte of data is another validation of our technology and our sustainably independent business model. But I think it really means that we’re providing value and earning the trust of our customers.

Thank you for putting your trust in us by keeping some of your bytes with us. Particularly in times like these, we know that being able to count on your infrastructure is essential. We’re proud to serve you.

As the world grapples with a pandemic, celebrations seem inappropriate. But we did want to take a moment and share this milestone with you, both for those of you who have been with us over the long haul and in the hopes that it provides a welcome distraction. To that end, we’ve been working on a few things that we’d planned to launch in the coming weeks. We’ve made the decision to push forward with those launches in hopes that the tools may be of some use for you (and, if nothing else, to try to do our part to provide a little entertainment). For today, here’s to our biggest 1 yet. And many more to come.

Interested in learning more about how we got here? Check out the recent profile of Backblaze in Inc. magazine, free to our blog readers.

About Ahin Thomas

Ahin enjoys writing in the third person, cookies (digital or baked), and is listening to the Matt Nathanson "Live in Paradise" album.