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Backblaze Bootstraps to Hit One Exabyte

Reposting Blog from BackBlaze CEO.

Blog Post Title: An Announcement With 18 Zeros

Author: Gleb Budman, CEO and Co-Founder

Since the beginning of Backblaze—back in 2007, when five of us were working out of Brian Wilson’s apartment in Palo Alto—watching the business grow has always been profoundly exciting for me. And I’m not talking about financial growth (that’s nice too, of course).

Our team has grown. From five way back in the Palo Alto days, to 145. Our customer base has grown. Today, we have customers in over 160 countries… it doesn’t seem that long ago when I was excited about having our 160th customer.

More than anything else, the data we manage for our customers has grown.

In 2008, not long after our launch, we had 750 customers and thought ten terabytes was a lot of data. But things progressed quickly, and just two years later we reached 10 petabytes of customer data stored (1000x more). (Good thing we designed for zettabyte-scale cloud architecture!)

By 2014, we were storing 100 petabytes – the equivalent of 11,415 years of HD video.

Years passed, our team grew, the number of customers grew, and—especially after we launched B2 Cloud Storage in 2015—the data grew. At some scale it got harder to contextualize what hundreds and hundreds of petabytes really meant. I like to remember that each byte is part of some individual’s beloved family photos or some organization’s critical data that they’ve entrusted us to protect.

This is a belief that we’ve included in every Backblaze team member’s job description, to remind us of why we do what we do:

“Our customers use our services so they can pursue dreams like curing cancer (genome mapping is data-intensive), archive the work of some of the greatest artists on the planet (learn more about how Austin City Limits uses B2), or simply sleep well at night (anyone that’s spilled a cup of coffee on a laptop knows the relief that comes with complete, secure backups).”

It’s critically important for us that we achieved this growth by staying the same in the most important ways: being open & transparent, building a sustainable business, and caring about being good to our customers, partners, community, and team. Which is why I’m excited to announce a huge milestone today. Our biggest growth number yet.

We’ve reached 1.

Or, by another measurement, we’ve reached 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.

Yes, today, we’re announcing that we are storing 1 exabyte of customer data.

What does it all mean? Well. If you ask our engineers, not much. They’ve already rocketed past this number mentally and are considering how long it will take to get to a zettabyte (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes).

But, while it’s great to keep our eyes on the future, it’s also important to celebrate what milestones mean. Yes, crossing an exabyte of data is another validation of our technology and our sustainably independent business model. But I think it really means that we’re providing value and earning the trust of our customers.

Thank you for putting your trust in us by keeping some of your bytes with us. We have a couple more announcements in the next few weeks that I’m looking forward to sharing with you. But for today, here’s to our biggest 1 yet. And many more to come.

Written by Phil Marsden