One of the world’s most popular cloud storage services data backup Backblaze has announced an upcoming price increase for the first time in more than 10 years since its establishment. The cost for unlimited data backup with disks of the same computer was almost minimum in the industry: $5 per month, $50 per year or $95 for two years. On March 11 introduced a new rate of $6 — $60 — $110. Will the cost of services to corporate cloud storage B2 Cloud Storage with paying 0.5 cents per Gigabyte per month, yet to be announced. But a curious reason for the company to take this step.

In 2007, 5 people were established Backblaze and on equity during the year created the system, which was launched as a commercial proposal in 2008. The company started working before the advent of Apple iCloud, Google Drive, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure. At that time Maxtor, the third largest hard drive manufacturer, has just been acquired by Seagate, and HGST still was a separate company. Hard disk capacity of 1 terabyte was a breakthrough in the industry.

Pretty fast service provided to users fast and unlimited backup storage to recover the data with a network or on physical media. Continuing improvement of methods of storage and data download, Backblaze even with time removed restrictions on the maximum file size.

At the end of 2017 the volume of data stored in the Backblaze data exceeded 400 Pb, but now we have reached 750 Pb. And in all that time, the company has not changed its rates, but is now forced to an extraordinary pitch for yourself, explaining it to two factors: the increase in the cost of gigabytes of data and growing maintenance costs of servers.

Over the past 10 years, the volume of personal data has rapidly increased. The problem lies not in the downloaded terabytes of duplicate files and the creation of huge amounts of unique information. Even if not to take into account the professional area, where users now easily operate the projects with a volume of tens of gigabytes. The main difficulty comes from creating infinite amounts of unique photos and videos: today in the pocket of every user has a high resolution camera: any, even a casual event is stored in memory.

During the first years reduction in price of hard drives has balanced exponential growth of information. However, tsunami and floods in Thailand in 2011 caused an abrupt increase in the cost of drives, from which the market still has not recovered: the rate of decline in the cost of storage of Gigabyte of data slowed down. The results of their statistical and analytical research on this issue, the company published in 2017 and the conclusion was disappointing: the unit cost of storing data changes according to the laws of hyperbole and approached the lower boundary.

To keep the initial price level, Backblaze worked hard and created some innovations in the field of data storage. It has created its own infrastructure and stands for standard 3.5″ RAID hard drives, the original file system, cloud storage, used in consumer drives, constantly monitoring the best combination of price and reliability, eliminated on the client side, the uploading of duplicate files, went on an extreme optimization measures during the disaster of 2011.

The company says it is now the low cost of data storage in the industry. Its cloud storage “infrastructure as a service” Backblaze offers a quarter of the price of similar services from Amazon, Google or Microsoft. However, the amount of storage per customer grew faster than reduced expenses.

The second reason the company calls improving the capabilities and expanding the range of services that require a more serious staff time and maintenance costs. For example, over time, was the restriction on the uploading of files bigger than 4 GB. The number of threads to download the has risen to 30, while small files are combined into a single package. Not only increased the maximum amount of media sent to the user upon request on data recovery, but entered service later return the media within 30 days, making it free for consumers. There was also a number of other possibilities that required development costs, the maintenance of the servers and expand bandwidth.

Today, the rapid progress in data storage costs observed in the field of flash memory, but the media still repeatedly inferior to the cost of gigabytes of magnetic disk drives, despite the slowdown of the latter.


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