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Backblaze cloud backup extends version history

Backblaze gives users the ability to keep everything in the history of their backups. The cloud storage and backup vendor also enhanced upload performance.

Backblaze is remaking history with an update to its cloud backup product.

Backblaze Cloud Backup 7.0, which became generally available this month, provides options to extend users' version history to one year or "forever." The cloud backup and storage vendor had previously kept a 30-day version history of users' updated, changed or deleted files.

While Backblaze serves businesses and consumers, the long-term version history is a bigger deal for the business customer, many of whom have legal requirements, said Steven Hill, senior analyst at 451 Research.

"By protecting your version history, it allows you to track and access the data as it existed at any point in time throughout the entire life of that backup data," Hill wrote in an email. "Of course, that takes up more storage space to maintain all that data and adds a bit of cost, but it's well within reason for the protections that maintaining a long version history provides."  

Bringing further 'peace of mind'

Backblaze cloud backup users had requested the extended version history for a while, said Yev Pusin, director of strategy.

Making a mistake in backup data can be something as simple as hitting "Save" instead of "Save As." Previously, if a user deleted or overrode -- as in the "Save" vs. "Save As" case -- a file, Backblaze would remove the old file from the backup set after 30 days.

By protecting your version history, it allows you to track and access the data as it existed at any point in time throughout the entire life of that backup data.
Steven HillSenior analyst, 451 Research

Thirty days is still the default for Backblaze Cloud Backup, Pusin said. Extending to one year costs an additional $2 per month. The "forever" option is also another $2 per month plus a half-cent per gigabyte per month for versions modified on a computer more than one year ago.

The "forever" option essentially means "you never want anything removed from your Backblaze backup," Pusin said. That includes whether a user has updated, changed or fully deleted backups.

Pusin said he thinks the one-year option will be popular with customers who travel a lot but don't bring their external hard drives with them. It's also good for additional "peace of mind," he said.

Backblaze, which is based in San Mateo, Calif., didn't want customers to have to think a lot about their choices for version history, thus the two options. In early response, while the majority who are extending are going with the one-year option, the "forever" choice is not far behind, Pusin said.

Hill said Backblaze is one of few vendors that offers both unlimited versions as well as an unlimited version history.

Backblaze Cloud Backup version history screenshot
Backblaze Cloud Backup customers can extend their version history beyond the default of 30 days.

Taking on 'challenge of modern data protection'

Backblaze has also improved upload performance, reworking how it groups and breaks apart files. The maximum packet size has increased from 30 MB to 100 MB. Uploads are less affected by latency.

"We've become more effective at handling large data sets," Pusin said.

In addition, Backblaze Cloud Backup 7.0 added support for MacOS Catalina.

Backblaze has a well-rounded product for both consumers and SMBs, one that scales well and provides single pane administration for customers who need to manage multiple systems, according to Hill.

"They've also developed integration partnerships with nearly 100 other data storage and management vendors, which is a path they should continue to follow," Hill wrote. "The challenge of modern data protection lies in navigating all the options available, and these kinds of partnerships can really help simplify the complexity caused by having so many options to choose from."

Competition on the consumer side includes Acronis and Carbonite, according to Hill. On the business side, competition is heavier.

"There's literally dozens of backup vendors in the mid-market data protection space, as well as a growing number of high-end enterprise data protection vendors that are now starting to extend into that same market," Hill wrote.

Backblaze cloud backup is seeing increased activity among SMBs, Pusin said. Part of that surge is thanks to businesses seeking ransomware protection.

Backblaze claims almost 900 PB under management across all of its products and expects to hit an exabyte next year. The vendor also offers cloud storage.

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What is the ideal version history length for your backup and why?
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