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100 Petabytes of Cloud Data

Wow. Backblaze is now storing 100 petabytes of customer data in our cloud storage.

100 petabytes is a hard number to wrap our heads around, so…

How much data is 100 petabytes?

100 petabytes
100,000 terabytes
100,000,000 gigabytes
100,000,000,000 megabytes

Here are a few comparisons to help contextualize what 100 petabytes:
* 1/4th as much data as Facebook stores today for its 1+ billion users.
* 11,415 years of HD video watched 24×7 could be stored.
* $51,600,000 spent annually to store this much data on Amazon S3.
* 33 billion songs stored, or all of the songs iTunes has 1270 times over.

All of this data is stored on Backblaze’s custom-built and open-sourced Storage Pods, filled with approximately 30,000 hard drives (many of which were “farmed” and from which we analyzed “which hard drive you should buy“), and all to provide unlimited online backup.

What’s also crazy is that in Jan 2011, Backblaze had just 10 petabytes:
* It took 2.5 years to get from 0 to 10 petabytes.
* It took 3.5 years to get from 10 petabytes to 100 petabytes.

Wondering where these comparisons came from?
* June 2013, Facebook announced it stored 250 petabytes of data and was adding 15 petabytes per month. 10 months have passed, so Facebook should be storing:
=> 250 petabytes + (15 petabytes/month * 10 months) = 400 petabytes.
* HD takes up about 1 GB per video-hour:
=> 100 petabytes is 100,000,000 GB, or 100,000,000 hours = 11,415 years.
* In Northern California, Amazon S3 is priced at $0.094/GB/month to start:
=> 100,000,000 GB * $0.094/GB/month * 12 months = $112,800,000/year.
However, as you store more data, S3 gets cheaper and other regions cost less. Picking the lowest cost region and the lowest cost tier of pricing, we get:
=> 100,000,000 GB * $0.043/GB/month * 12 = $51,600,000/year.
* An average song takes up 3 megabytes, resulting in 33 billion songs fitting into 100 petabytes. iTunes has 26 million songs available, or:
=> 1/1270th of the number that can fit in Backblaze’s current cloud storage.

Walt Mossberg Recommends Backblaze

Last week venerable reviewer Walt Mossberg did an in-depth Backblaze review and said:

“I like and can recommend Backblaze.”

Walt Mossberg had been the head technology reviewer for The Wall Street Journal for approximately 25 years before leaving to start a dedicated technology site, Re/code, in January 2014. According to Wikipedia:

Mossberg is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers on information technology. In 2004, in a lengthy profile, Wired called him “The Kingmaker”, saying “few reviewers have held so much power to shape an industry’s successes and failures.”

We are thrilled to have him review our online backup service, recommend it, and choose it as part of his personal backup strategy.

Mossberg also recommended a full three-tier approach with which we agree:
1. A sync service for actively used files
2. A local backup
3. An online backup

Importantly, he reviewed both the backup:
“In my tests, the backups have gone smoothly, even though I used the computer in multiple locations with multiple network speeds.”

And he reviewed the restore:
“I tested two of the methods — downloading and the USB drive — and found that both worked perfectly and quickly.”

Mossberg also discussed his three-tier backup strategy and his experience with Backblaze on CNBC:

We couldn’t be more pleased that Walt enjoyed the service and hope that his three-tier approach will help you with your backup strategy.

Work for Backblaze at Macworld

blog-macworld-2014-comebyYou love Backblaze. You’ve woken up in the middle of the night asking yourself, “Self, why is it that I’m not working at Backblaze, I love those guys!” Well, here’s your chance!

Backblaze has a big presence at Macworld (March 27-29th) this year and we want someone to come spend a day with us at the Backblaze booth, front and center. Have a devotion to Backblaze? Want to help spread the word about online backup? Want to rub shoulders with Gleb, Yev, Andy, and some other Backblazers? Well listen up, here’s your chance!

How to Enter the Contest

  1. Create a video, 1 minute or less that tells us one or more of the following;
    • Why you want to work the booth
    • Why you love Backblaze
    • Have a good backup story? Let’s hear it!
    • Give us your best “Backblaze Pitch”
    • Personality is key!
  2. Send a link to the video to by Midnight March 17, 2014. PLEASE, include your full name and send it from a good email address so we can contact you.

What We’ll Do

We’ll choose up to 5 finalists from the list of entries and then post them on our blog along with a poll, so that you fine folks can help us choose the winner. Once we have it on the blog, we’ll open up voting for a few days (this is when you work your social media magic and spread the word) and at the end of that time, we’ll see who has the most votes, and we’ll crown a winner!

What Do You Get

The winner will receive:

  1. A Macworld pass for you and your 4 closest friends!
  2. Lunch for you on the day that you’ll be joining us at Macworld!
  3. A Backblaze t-shirt!
  4. $250 for helping work the booth on the show floor!
  5. The ability to post or tweet yourself in action working the booth – selfies are encouraged…

What Will Your Duties Be

If chosen you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Choose when you want to work at the Backblaze Booth:
    – Thursday, 10:30am – 5:00pm, or
    – Friday, 10:30am – 5:00pm, or
    – Saturday, 9:30am – 4:00pm
  2. Show up at your scheduled date and time with your “A Game” – you’ll be chatting with the public and potential Backblaze customers.
  3. Be cheery and respectful – otherwise, we might ask you to leave…and that would be a bummer.

Rules of the Contest

  1. While anyone can enter, you are solely responsible for any expenses getting to and from the Moscone Center. We will not pay to fly anyone to California for the event or put them up at a hotel or pay your Muni fair or anything like that.
  2. Backblaze reserves the exclusive right to select the winner and our judgment is final.
  3. As a winner, you will receive a check for $250 from Backblaze. You will be required to complete a W-9 and you are responsible for all federal, state and local taxes.


Backblaze + Pebble

Backblaze and Pebble? Talk about worlds colliding. I (Yev) love the Pebble, and I’ve been wearing one ever since my “Kickstarter Edition” watch shipped last year. More recently I’ve upgraded to the shiny and new Pebble Steel. Anyway, I’m also the social media guy at Backblaze, so I’m constantly monitoring the social-sphere for any mentions of our company.

My original Pebble, and my new one, not yet set up.My original Pebble and its replacement, not even set up yet.

A few days ago, this came across my screen: Ever since the Pebble came out last year people have been teaching and writing programs for it, but I never thought that it would ever be linked to Backblaze in any way. Joseph Schmitt was able to use Pebble Apps and the Keyboard Maestro program to control his Mac mini server and iTunes. On top of that, he’s also able to use his Pebble to pause and resume his backups with Backblaze. Genius!

So thank you Joe, for coming up with an awesome new way for me to use my Pebble and for mentioning Backblaze in your post. Hopefully folks come up with some fun new uses for the Pebble, especially now that 2.0 Pebble App has shipped for Android! Have any fun ideas? Post them below!

Welcome Matt: Sacramento Here I Come…


We’d like to welcome Matt to our Operations team as a Data Center Technician. He’s our first employee to work day-in/day-out in our “new” Sacramento data center. Of course other Backblaze folks will visit and help him out on a regular basis so he won’t get too lonely. After all we don’t want him roaming the aisles talking to Storage Pods, do we? Besides only our resident “Pod Whisperer” Sean is allowed to talk to the Pods… Welcome Matt.

Where are you originally from?
I’m originally from Northern California, Davis to be exact. I lived in Michigan for two years as a child and was super happy to be back in California. I love living in the Sacramento-area since it’s about 2-hours from pretty much any climate you want: the coast, the wine country, Tahoe, etc.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
I really liked the idea of working for a company with an open and supportive environment – somewhere I can learn and grow.

Where else have you worked?
Most recently I was doing IT work for California State University, Sacramento

Tell us how you currently backup your photos, music, data, etc. on your home computer?
I’m embarrassed to say I don’t regularly do backups; I do occasional manual backups of our laptops to my desktop which has multiple hard drives and is kind of an all-purpose project box for myself. Obviously I’m going to change this bad habit.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
I love the laid-back tropical atmosphere of Hawaii. My wife and I honeymooned on Kauai and Kona (“the big island”) and really want to go to Maui for our 5th anniversary.

[Editors note: Matt is working diligently on his admitted "bad habit" of not doing regular backups. He's installed Backblaze on his work system and plans to install Backblaze at home soon - baby steps, Matt, baby steps.]


The Oscar SHOULD go to…

One of the hottest topics of the Backblaze office is what movies are out and should we go see them. Well, it’s almost time for the Oscars and we’re excited to see who is going to win in each of the categories.

In our hearts though, we believe there should be one more Oscar category:
Best Data Loss Scenes.

Below are our favorite contenders of all time:

This great clip from “Star Trek DS9″ highlights the importance of backups!

In the movie “Fireproof”, they aren’t to kind to their PCs.

Superman takes on the dastardly computer in “Superman 3″. It doesn’t end well for the computer.
Continue reading…

Dragging a Desktop Through The Snow

Wow. People dragged their computers through the snow to get Backblaze.

Backblaze was at RootsTech a few weeks ago in sunny Salt Lake City and one of the things we did at the show was offer to install Backblaze on any computer that conference goers wanted to bring in. Even though Backblaze is easy to install, we had a lot of interest, and there was a line for installations throughout the entire show. When we asked folks to bring in their computers, we thought there would be a lot of people with laptops. We certainly didn’t expect people to bring their desktops in to the convention center.

2014-02-08 09.42.09
A future Backblaze customer brings in his iMac for the royal Backblaze treatment.

There’s something to be said for these individuals. Braving the wintery Utah weather to go home, disconnect and pack up their desktop computers, and then bring them back to the Backblaze booth at the show. We’re not saying it was uphill both ways, but it certainly was snowing.

2014-02-08 10.05.30
An entire desktop is brought in, and a large monitor as well. They are determined.

People always say, “I’ll do it tomorrow!” Most commonly they’re talking about starting a work-out regimen, a diet, or a chore that they really don’t want to do. Unfortunately, when it comes back up, tomorrow might be too late! These folks recognized the need to have a good backup strategy and went out of their way to make sure that all of their computers were protected, not just the lightweight laptops they were carrying around!

Meet Nathan: Technical Support Tech


While many of the folks at Backblaze came from somewhere else, Nathan was born and raised in Silicon Valley. We’re glad he stayed as he fits very nicely into our customer support group. Welcome Nathan.

Where are you originally from?
I grew up in the south bay and went to high school in Mountain View, so the Silicon Valley has always been a big part of my life.

Where did you go to school?
I graduated last year from UC San Diego with a degree in Economics.

What’s your favorite place you’ve been to?
I spent a semester in Prague, Czech Republic which is my favorite urban area. It’s a beautiful city with lots of history and excellent beer! However the Austrian alps, had by the far the most awe-inspiring hikes I have ever been on.

Why did come back to Silicon Valley?
I moved back to the bay area after college to purse a career in tech. I’ve lived in San Diego, Washington DC, and the Czech Republic, but my professional aspirations were always in the Silicon Valley.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
I started using Backblaze when I was in college almost three years before I began working here. I wanted to be part of a team that really could make a difference in peoples lives, protecting your priceless data is a rewarding experience! Also you can’t beat the Backblaze team, they’re always having a blast and willing to teach you!

Where else have you worked?
I have worked/interned for a number of different organizations including an environmental think tank, a taxpayers’ association, and an economic consulting firm.

If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do?
I would spend all the winnings learning to fly a wing-suit.

As a Technical Support Tech, Nathan will have to earn his “wing-suit” money by answering customer questions and building out our Knowledge Base. Unless, of course, he does win the lottery…