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Pimping petabytes

I'm usually a little cynical about online storage, because the limitations of bandwidth and the high price of a truly unlimited amount of storage make many of the options either trivial or more expensive than buying a NAS or a Windows Home Server. Just because something is 'in the cloud' doesn't mean it's secure or well-designed, Magnolia. So when Backblaze said 'unlimited storage for $5 a month' I said 'Yeah, right'. It's not the solution I want myself; no files over 4GB is fair enough but it's another $5 per computer and it doesn't do Windows Server, just client machines. I don't keep files on my laptop; they live on the server but I can't back those up with Backblaze, so it's really not 'unlimited' at all. According to the Web site: "Network (NAS) drives, remotely mounted computers or volumes, or shared volumes do not get backed up. The reason for this is not technical, but a business decision. Backing up mounted or network drives can easily be abused. A user could mount the 10 or 20 computers in their home or small business and back them all up to one account for $5/month." They could; and if you were really offering unlimited storage, you'd let them. In fact Backblaze is actually more expensive than the $55 a year Carbonite service I use. So why am I blogging about them at all? Because in their quest for cheap massive storage, they did the same sums everyone else does, saw the same inflated prices everyone sees and came up with the idea of building their own petabyte arrays in custom boxes.

The blog post actually leaves out a lot of the important stuff: management, load balancing and reliability statistics - which are some of the reason for the higher prices storage vendors charge. But it's interesting to see the attitude to massive storage - it's absolutely the future.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
2nd Sep, 2009 11:53 (UTC)
In theory I have a cloud in my basement. Admittedly a small cloud.

I think one of the most interesting discussions I've had about cloud technology is whether you can do it better than the big boys. Is there any point as me - a small company - or me as a multi million pound financial company - building my own cloud when that isnt our core expertise.

2nd Sep, 2009 13:52 (UTC)
Carbonite will only let you backup local files too (or rather just those on local NTFS and FAT drives) and will not even touch USB external drives. (I gave up on it before seeing what it thought about eSATA ones, partly because of the format issue, but also because it had a very good two year extension deal that it didn't tell me about.)

Foe somewhere that does seem to let you backup any file you can read, from more than one PC, see Diino.

2nd Sep, 2009 18:49 (UTC)
I long for the day the Advertising Standards Authority tells companies who offer unlimited downloads, storage, texts, etc. to either refrain from doing so or include the footnote: "this is a lie". Should work for the UK at least.
3rd Sep, 2009 01:58 (UTC)
Those of us who spend more time at home can build personal storage space at $90 a TB. Of course, I've got a lot of old HD's lying around and cluttering up the shelves.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


full steam ahead
Mary Branscombe
Simon & Mary

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