Startup Sessions


An inside look at Backblaze

How do you offer unlimited online back-up for $5 a month? Build your own server

Innovation series by Chris Caceres
December 7, 2009
Short URL:

When the guys over at Backblaze decided they wanted to do a startup that offered unlimited cloud storage backup for just $5/month, they knew they were going to have to come up with something.  Data storage providers like Amazon S3 were just way too expensive, so what did Backblaze do?  They started building their own storage pods out of commodity components.  

It costs Backblaze about $117,000 to build a Petabyte cluster, while at the same time, other providers like Amazon and EMC pay almost $3 million dollars for the same amount of space.  

Backblaze also gave away the design specs for these storage pods, open-sourcing them, so anybody interested could build one.  Gleb Budman, CEO of Backblaze told us the company has seen quite a bit of people interested in building their own and hopes, "if they share their ideas on how to put the systems back into the ecosystem, we may very well take those ideas and improve on our systems."

The startup which hasn't received any funding said it is seeing significant trantion: Backblaze has three petabytes of storage and is adding half a petabyte of storage per month for new users that sign up.  To put this in perspective, Budman told me all of the photos on Facebook take up about 1.5 petabytes.

In this episode of Startup Sessions, Gleb shows around Backblaze, dissects a storage pod for us, and takes us up into the clouds where all the pods live.  

Related news


Featured Stories


Other episodes of this series

Video: LA's Most Exciting Growth Stories


Startup Sessions

by Mitos Suson
Fireside chat: Leura Fine and Sean Brecker shared Growth stories with Eva Ho

Playing some electronic tunes with Smule


Startup Sessions

by Chris Caceres
Vator's Startup Sessions takes you into the creative startup culture of iPhone app developer, Smule

Cycling with Tim Hyer of Rentcycle


Startup Sessions

by Chris Caceres
Startup Sessions features SF-based Rentcycle, which wants to bring the rental industry online

Exit waiting in line, enter QLess


Startup Sessions

by Chris Caceres
QLess wants to eliminate the act of standing in line from the face of the earth

Vidly betting on mobile video


Startup Sessions

by Chris Caceres
Startup Sessions talks mobile video and plays pinball with Chrys Bader, founder of Vidly