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Company Profile: Backblaze

With cheaper online backup service than Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, etc.
By Jean Jacques Maleval on 2016.04.27

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Company
Backblaze, Inc.

HQs
San Mateo, CA

Date founded
2007

Financial funding
Raised $5 million in 2012

Revenue and profitability
Sales in "double digit million", "almost 100% growth in 5 years", "always profitable except one year", according to CEO.

Main executives

  • Backblaze budmanCEO and co-founder Gleb Budman, 42, was formerly at SonicWALL, MailFrontier, Excite@Home, Kendara, netRelevance, A.T. Kearney, GE and AttackPost. Main hobbies are several sports in the mountain He has a 3-year daughter. He speaks Russian.

     

  • CTO Brian Wilson was previously at Self, SonicWALL, MailFrontier, Kendara/Excite@Home, SGI, Apple and HP.

Number of employees
50

Business
Backblaze was first mainly known for its excellent reports comparing HDDs written by Andy Klein and based on statistics from tens of thousands of drives. The results were not appreciated by Seagate and globally Backblaze is not a friend of HDD makers because its buys only consumer HDDs at the lower prices seen on the market and not working with manufacturers' OEMs or big distributors.

Now the company begins to be more recognized as an online backup firm with Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage, especially since the announcement of an offering at 1/4th the price of Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure. It claims now 10 billion of files restored for customers in 135 countries. De-dupe is integrated at the client side, as well as compression.

backblaze f1

Backblaze B2 - Big File Beta supports storing an unlimited amount of data. Previously, the largest individual file that could be uploaded was 5GB. Now B2 supports files up to 10TB. 20,000+ people subscribe to the service.

More recently the firm launched a curious personal backup service focused on the automatic and continuous backup of feline (!) related content on your PC or Mac. Catblaze ensures that your cat related photos, videos, documents and more will be safely and securely backed up and stored in the Catblaze Cloud. Then for dogs and others?

Technology
In its storage infrastructure, the firm is storing 200PB on 50,000 HDDs - buying 2,000 to 3,000 HDDs per month -, all of them consumer 3.5-inch high-capacity drives. The main component is Storage Pod designed and manufactured by Backblaze using basic components (processors, HDDs) but not sold by the company. The latest version 6.0 is a 4U chassis with 60 HDDs that lowers the cost of the storage server to $0.036/GB vs. $0.044/GB for the 5.0 version with 45 HDDs. On top of that, on a 10GbE network, there is Vault comprising 20 Storage Pods in one logical unit. All this hardware architecture, including 1,500 Storage Pods, is managed by a proprietary software-defined storage.

backblaze f2
Roadmap

To find big companies integrating its offering and to open another location in North America as the company has only one computer center and no data replication - which is highly risky - in around one year and another in Europe in two years

Competitors
Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, CenturyLink, Verizon, Rackspace

Our Comments

It's not enough to sell online backup service at one of the lowest price in the industry. The brand name is a big factor for end users. Who knows Backblaze but just a few storage specialists. The small company is not investing globally a lot in marketing. Just an example: when we met CEO Budman, we ask him for a business card. He didn't have one.

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