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BackBlaze B2 screenBackup service provider Backblaze has made a cloud storage service available for beta testing. When launched it could provide businesses with a cheap alternative to the Amazon S3 and the storage services bundled with Microsoft Azure and Google’s Cloud.

According to sources, Backblaze B2 will offer a free tier of service of up to 10GB storage, with 1GB/ per day of outbound traffic and unlimited inbound bandwidth. Developers will be able to access it through an API and command-line interface, but the service will also offer a web interface for less technical users.

Launched in 2007 Backblaze stores 150 petabytes of backup data and over 10 billion files on its servers, having built its own storage pods and software as a policy. Now, it intends to use this infrastructure building knowledge to offer a competitive cloud storage service, according to CEO Gleb Budman.

“We spent 90 per cent of our time and energy on building out the cloud storage and only 10 per cent on the front end,” Glebman told Tech Crunch. The stability of its backup service technology persuaded many users to extend the service into data storage. In response to customer demand,

Backblaze’s engineers spent a year working on the software to make this possible. Now the company is preparing to launch a business to business service that, it says, can compete with the cloud storage market’s incumbents on price and availability.

Backblaze’s service, when launched, will be half the price of Amazon Glacier, and ‘about a fourth’ of Amazon’s S3 service, according to sources. “Storage is still expensive,” Glebman said.

Though the primary use for Backblaze B2 will be to store images, videos and other documents, Budman said he expects some users to use it to store large research data sets.

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