In 2015, we announced Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage — the most affordable, high performance storage cloud on the planet. The decision to release B2 as a service was in direct response to customers asking us if they could use the same cloud storage infrastructure we use for our Computer Backup service. With B2, we entered a market in direct competition with Amazon S3, Google Cloud Services, and Microsoft Azure Storage. Today, we have over 500 petabytes of data from customers in over 150 countries. At $0.005 / GB / month for storage (1/4th of S3) and $0.01 / GB for downloads (1/5th of S3), it turns out there’s a healthy market for cloud storage that’s easy and affordable.
As B2 has grown, customers wanted to use our cloud storage for a variety of use cases that required not only storage but compute. We’re happy to say that through partnerships with Packet & ServerCentral, today we’re announcing that compute is now available for B2 customers.
Cloud Compute and Storage
Backblaze has directly connected B2 with the compute servers of Packet and ServerCentral, thereby allowing near-instant (< 10 ms) data transfers between services. Also, transferring data between B2 and both our compute partners is free.
- Storing data in B2 and want to run an AI analysis on it? — There are no fees to move the data to our compute partners.
- Generating data in an application? — Run the application with one of our partners and store it in B2.
- Transfers are free and you’ll save more than 50% off of the equivalent set of services from AWS.
These partnerships enable B2 customers to use compute, give our compute partners’ customers access to cloud storage, and introduce new customers to industry-leading storage and compute — all with high-performance, low-latency, and low-cost.
Is This a Big Deal? We Think So
Compute is one of the most requested services from our customers Why? Because it unlocks a number of use cases for them. Let’s look at three popular examples:
Transcoding Media Files
B2 has earned wide adoption in the Media & Entertainment (“M&E”) industry. Our affordable storage and download pricing make B2 great for a wide variety of M&E use cases. But many M&E workflows require compute. Content syndicators, like American Public Television, need the ability to transcode files to meet localization and distribution management requirements.
There are a multitude of reasons that transcode is needed — thumbnail and proxy generation enable M&E professionals to work efficiently. Without compute, the act of transcoding files remains cumbersome. Either the files need to be brought down from the cloud, transcoded, and then pushed back up or they must be kept locally until the project is complete. Both scenarios are inefficient.
Starting today, any content producer can spin up compute with one of our partners, pay by the hour for their transcode processing, and return the new media files to B2 for storage and distribution. The company saves money, moves faster, and ensures their files are safe and secure.
Backblaze’s heritage is based on providing outstanding backup services. When you have incredibly affordable cloud storage, it ends up being a great destination for your backup data.
Most enterprises have virtual machines (“VMs”) running in their infrastructure and those VMs need to be backed up. In a disaster scenario, a business wants to know they can get back up and running quickly.
With all data stored in B2, a business can get up and running quickly. Simply restore your backed up VM to one of our compute providers, and your business will be able to get back online.
Since B2 does not place restrictions, delays, or penalties on getting data out, customers can get back up and running quickly and affordably.
Saving $74 Million (aka “The Dropbox Effect”)
Ten years ago, Backblaze decided that S3 was too costly a platform to build its cloud storage business. Instead, we created the Backblaze Storage Pod and our own cloud storage infrastructure. That decision enabled us to offer our customers storage at a previously unavailable price point and maintain those prices for over a decade. It also laid the foundation for Netflix Open Connect and Facebook Open Compute.
Dropbox recently migrated the majority of their cloud services off of AWS and onto Dropbox’s own infrastructure. By leaving AWS, Dropbox was able to build out their own data centers and still save over $74 Million. They achieved those savings by avoiding the fees AWS charges for storing and downloading data, which, incidentally, are five times higher than Backblaze B2.
For Dropbox, being able to realize savings was possible because they have access to enough capital and expertise that they can build out their own infrastructure. For companies that have such resources and scale, that’s a great answer.
The questions Backblaze and our compute partners pondered was “how can we democratize the Dropbox effect for our storage and compute customers? How can we help customers do more and pay less?” The answer we came up with was to connect Backblaze’s B2 storage with strategic compute partners and remove any transfer fees between them. You may not save $74 million as Dropbox did, but you can choose the optimal providers for your use case and realize significant savings in the process.
This Sounds Good — Tell Me More About Your Partners
We’re very fortunate to be launching our compute program with two fantastic partners in Packet and ServerCentral. These partners allow us to offer a range of computing services.
We recommend Packet for customers that need on-demand, high performance, bare metal servers available by the hour. They also have robust offerings for private / customized deployments. Their offerings end up costing 50-75% of the equivalent offerings from EC2.
To get started with Packet and B2, visit our partner page on Packet.net.
ServerCentral is the right partner for customers that have business and IT challenges that require more than “just” hardware. They specialize in fully managed, custom cloud solutions that solve complex business and IT challenges. ServerCentral also has expertise in managed network solutions to address global connectivity and content delivery.
To get started with ServerCentral and B2, visit our partner page on ServerCentral.com.
We’re excited to find out. The combination of B2 and compute unlocks use cases that were previously impossible or at least unaffordable.
What can you do with B2 & compute? Please share your ideas with us in the comments. And, for those attending NAB 2018 in Las Vegas next week, please come by and say hello!