Did your Cloud Storage come from a Supermarket?

When most people think about cloud backups, they think of massive data centers, racks of cool looking equipment, and impressive redundancy. But that’s not necessaily what you get.

I just finished reading an interesting story by Derrick Harris about Backblaze – an all-you-can-store cloud backup service. What was interesting about the story was learning how and where Backblaze stores your data.

When most people think about cloud backups, they think of massive data centers, racks of cool looking equipment, and impressive redundancy. But that’s not necessarily what you get.

About a year ago there was a significant shortage of hard drives due to flooding in Thailand. Backblaze’s solution was to clean out local Costco, Best Buy, and Fry’s stores of retail USB external hard drives. That’s right – external consumer USB hard drives. Stacked right next to the bananas at Costco… 

So what’s the lesson here? Some cloud backup services such as Backblaze offer impressive amounts of storage at a rock-bottom price per gigabyte, but don’t assume it’s more than it is. In this case, it’s a whole lot of inexpensive SATA drives in a room somewhere. And remember too, most cloud based backup solutions do not have agents to handle databases and email systems (and how could they for a couple of dollars a month?), so those critical items will not be backed up.

Next time I’ll talk about some of the disaster recovery gotchas with cloud solutions.

Author: Glenn Mores

President & CEO MicroData