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Backblaze B2 offers cross-continent Cloud Replication service

Backblaze B2 users can now replicate and store data between the U.S. and Europe, with executives claiming lower prices than cloud hyperscalers.

Backblaze B2 users can replicate data worldwide with the new Cloud Replication service at a lower price than hyperscalers, according to Backblaze executives.

Cloud Replication, which is now generally available to B2 customers, enables object data replication and distribution to Backblaze's data centers, similar to services offered by hyperscalers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. Cloud Replication works among Backblaze data center regions located on the West Coast of the United States and in central Europe.

Backblaze B2 users can create and remove data replication rules through their account portal.

Backblaze started as a personal data backup vendor, but in the past few years, it has expanded more into the business backup and storage market by adding features and capabilities to attract more enterprise customers, said Dave Raffo, a senior analyst at Evaluator Group.

"This is definitely a business play," he said. "They want to be able to protect files for people who work and collaborate from home."

Cross-continent replication

The Cloud Replication service enables organizations to keep copies of less used data for backup storage or protect against ransomware attacks, according to Gleb Budman, co-founder and CEO of Backblaze. The addition of a European data center by using Backblaze also enables companies to comply with data sovereignty laws, such as the GDPR, he added.

Cloud Replication costs $0.01 per GB to transfer, with Backblaze B2 storage costing $0.005 per GB, regardless of location or access rate.

Backblaze charges a fixed data transfer fee as well as the cost of storing data in two locations, unlike the hyperscalers' model, which includes additional fees depending on transfer locations, data size and other factors, according to Budman.

"[The hyperscalers] are expensive and they're complicated," Budman said. "It's a whole laundry list of things [the hyperscalers] charge you for."

Business play

Backblaze's Cloud Replication service targets midmarket businesses that feel like they're being overcharged for storage when using hyperscaler infrastructure, Budman said.

We're not just a data backup. We're a primary storage for many of our customers.
Gleb BudmanCo-founder and CEO, Backblaze

Big Cartel, a platform for artists and other craft businesses to build e-commerce websites, was one such company looking to ease data storage costs incurred by hyperscaler infrastructure, according to Budman. The company switched from operating entirely on AWS to using Backblaze B2 as its primary storage. Backblaze technology partners, such as Fastly, took on cloud compute and other infrastructure needs.

Backblaze plans to continue to develop infrastructure partnerships as a way to make itself more attractive to enterprise companies, especially as customers look to diversify their technology stack away from lone hyperscalers, Budman said. Partners the company has worked with include Fastly, DigitalOcean and Vultr, among others.

"We're happy to talk with other partners our customers are leveraging," Budman said. "We want the customers to use their data. We're not just a data backup. We're a primary storage for many of our customers."

Cloud technology partnerships will remain important as Backblaze looks to attract more enterprise customers, said Ray Lucchesi, president of Silverton Consulting.

"They're thinking about what capabilities will take [them] to the next level," Lucchesi said.

The company most directly competes with Wasabi in offering cheap object storage, both Raffo and Lucchesi said, although other competitors such as IDrive have also taken aim at Backblaze's target customers. Wasabi, however, does offer replication to other regions in data centers located in Europe and Asia-Pacific territories.

Tim McCarthy is a journalist living on the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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