Cloud backup storage vendor Backblaze opened their first facility outside the US, but retains the same pricing structure, in contrast to Amazon's per-region pricing strategy.
Cloud storage provider Backblaze opened their first data center outside the US on Tuesday, with a location in Amsterdam. This expansion is Backblaze's fourth overall, though the existing facilities in California and Arizona are managed as a single region (US West), making the newly created EU Central a standalone region—the regional colocation facility is operated by Interxion.
Starting out, Backblaze users can choose regions at the account level, with migration between regions not yet supported for existing accounts. Backblaze notes in their release announcement that this functionality is on their roadmap, as is region selection for individual buckets. "We don't have an ETA for that quite yet, we're going to be spending a lot of time in the first couple weeks after launch gauging demand, and how people use this service in Europe," Yev Pusin, director of marketing at Backblaze, told TechRepublic. "[The features are] already pre-scoped, we know what we have to do for them, it's just a matter of putting it on our development roadmap."
SEE: Multicloud: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Backblaze services from the EU Central region are retaining their $60/year (per computer) unlimited backup pricing, with billing performed in US Dollars. Backblaze's general-purpose cloud file storage service, B2, is likewise retaining the $0.005/GB per month pricing as the US West region, setting it apart from the region-specific pricing offered by AWS S3, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
Backblaze was already undercutting those services prior to this announcement, with S3 pricing for US East at $0.023/GB for the first 50 TB. Those prices are also available in S3's Ireland and Stockholm regions, while Paris and London start at $0.024/GB, and Frankfurt at $0.0245/GB.
"We're still cash flow positive on every transaction at that price point. There was no reason to murky-up our pricing. One of our core tenets is to make sure everything is as simple as possible, and having one price point continues down that path," Pusin said, adding that "We don't want to penalize people for where they want to hold their data."
Though Backblaze is courting potential customers in Europe with the move, billing for the service remains in US Dollars, for now. "We felt like getting something into the hands of our customers sooner rather than later was important so that we could gather their input," Pusin said. "Localization of currency and other billing features is part of the feedback that we're looking forward to gathering."
While attempting to measure speed improvements that result from this new facility are challenging—considering that speeds are dependent on the connection of the end user, Backblaze found a 1.5x increase in internal testing. Avoiding the comparatively longer ping times of a cross-Atlantic connection will—for any service provider—aid in improving performance.
For users concerned about GDPR compliance, Backblaze indicated that data uploaded in one region does not leave that region except at the "explicit direction of the customer," though users requesting an encrypted hard drive with their data "will have that drive prepared from a secure US location." Likewise, as Backblaze is an American company, "certain metadata about customer accounts (e.g. email address for your account) reside in the US."
For more, check out "How to avoid getting sued in your Oracle-to-the-cloud migration" and "Seagate leads in disk drive deployments, failures in Backblaze report" on TechRepublic.
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