Backblaze Case Study: You’re gonna need a bigger boat

    May 6, 2020

    Legend has it that the classic line “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” from the movie ‘Jaws’ came from screenplay co-writer Carl Gottlieb. He added the line based on comments frequently made about the straggle of cameras, equipment and craft services loaded onto a small support boat that quickly became overwhelmed. Roy Scheider, who played Police Chief Martin Brody, ad-libbed the line in various takes, but it was never more fitting than in the scene when he first glimpsed the enormity of the famous shark.

    The same could be said about the mind-bending growth of data in our society. With an incredible 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being created every day[1], the digital universe is expected to reach 44 zettabytes in 2020. There are 40 times more bytes of data floating in the digital sphere than there are stars in the visible universe[2]. Do we need a bigger boat to store all this content? Fortunately, the cloud and cloud service providers rise to the challenge.

    One such provider, Backblaze, Inc. – a world leader in computer backup and cloud storage – has customers in over 160 countries. With more than an exabyte of data under management, Backblaze products are used by a wide variety of customers including consumers, small & medium-sized businesses and enterprises to protect and store their valuable data. They turned to Sungard AS in 2012 while searching for a colocation partner that could meet their expanding needs during a storage growth stretch.

    Room to keep growing

    Backblaze provides two fundamental products. The first, Computer Backup, offers unlimited data backup of laptops and desktops for just $60/year; the second, B2 Cloud Storage, is a public cloud solution similar to Amazon’s S3 but offered at ¼ of the price.

    With hundreds of thousands of customers around the globe using their products, the biggest challenge facing Backblaze, Inc. today is the same challenge facing the overall cloud storage industry: hyper growth, coupled with heightened customer expectations, according to Ahin Thomas, Vice President of Marketing for Backblaze, Inc.

    “There are plenty of data storage solutions that are readily available and fast, but too often they are expensive and hard to maintain,” says Thomas. “Then in comes the cloud with its ease of maintenance, infinite scalability and cost advantages. Customers now have more recovery options than ever before. But that flexibility does not change the fundamental need for safety, dependability and durability.” Backblaze wanted a partner that could bolster their physical security so they could focus on offering highly secure data storage at a fair price.

    Aware of Sungard AS’ decades worth of experience keeping mission-critical operations highly available for customers around the world, Backblaze knew that Sungard AS was up to the task. “Choosing Sungard AS was the right decision,” Thomas says. “Customers don’t want to skimp on accessibility. Finding partners like Sungard AS who will work with us on economies of scale as we offer seamless, robust customer solutions is a win-win.”

    Peace of mind for the future

    Since deploying colocation with Sungard AS in 2012, data under Backblaze management has grown from roughly 50 petabytes to well over an exabyte, with no sign of slowing down. For comparison’s sake, 50 petabytes are the equivalent of every written work ever composed; five exabytes would be equal to all the words ever spoken by humankind.

    “From gaming companies to genomics researchers to media and entertainment distributors, all shapes and sizes of enterprises use our storage capabilities in radically different ways,” according to Thomas.

    But with all this growth, Backblaze still dedicates valuable time and resources to continuously improving durability while driving down costs. “For example, we’re relentless in maintaining the lowest storage costs in the industry,” Thomas said. “As a customer, I want a lot of value and I want to pay as little as possible for it; but at the end of the day, I expect it to work. Sungard AS allows us to scale up so that our customers can be sure we’re providing them the same great level of service.”

    For more than 13 years, with over an exabyte of data stored from customers across the globe, Backblaze systems have scaled successfully and reliably with no downtime – in part due to its colocation partnership with Sungard AS. In other words, a bigger boat may look less like a boat, and more like a cloud.

    To learn more about Backblaze, Inc., read our Backblaze case study.

     

    [1] Northeastern University Graduate Programs, May 13, 2016: How Much Data is Produced Every Day?

    [2] World Economic Forum, April 17, 2019: How Much Data is Generated Each Day? by Jeff Desjardins , Founder and editor, Visual Capitalist

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