Backblaze might not be the first name you think of for your cloud storage needs. But since launching in 2015, their B2 cloud storage has differentiated from competitors based primarily on price per GB.
For more rapid ingress and egress, the company has also offering a sneakernet option. For ingress, the company will send over a B2 Fireball (which I’m sure isn’t meant to sound like an AWS snowball). This disk array can handle 40TB of data over 1Gbps. This isn’t exactly a novel offering, but seems priced right to allow organizations to quickly move over really large data sets.
For egress, the company will overnight FedEx snapshots of data, up to 3.5TB on a single drive (although it seems like today’s disk capacities would allow for a little more). Previously the company has charged $189 for the service. But Backblaze recently announced they are making this program 100% refundable if the drive is sent back after 30 days.
There are some limits and caveats. The biggest is that this is limited to receiving 5 total drives within the past year. Unless you’re trying to do some rather odd skirting of their usual egress charges, I don’t see this being to major limitation. The other is that you have to pay for the return shipping.
While there are some scale limits to how useful this program will be, I think Backblaze is nailing it for their target market. This isn’t something that will probably ever have any real appeal to a large enterprise, the $189 is trivial. But this is ideally suited for SMBs that are more cost conscious. Add to it their recent cut in price per Gigabyte downloaded from $0.02 to $0.01, and Blackblaze B2 seems jam-packed with value for your cloud storage dollar.