Backblaze Enhances Cloud Storage Reserve Pricing
Joseph F. Kovar
‘Backblaze B2 Reserve makes cloud storage 100-percent predictable. There are no hidden fees. No fees for egress, retention, retrieval, or transactions. Those fees can cost two to eight times what customers expect. Now we’ve eliminated all those fees so customers pay no more than the storage capacity they purchase,’ says Nilay Patel, Backblaze’s vice president of sales and partners.
Cloud storage provider Backblaze has significantly upgraded its channel program with the ability to reserve capacity in advance to ease partners’ sales, along with a promise to not charge any fees beyond the cost of the capacity used by its channel partners’ customers.
The changes to Backblaze’s channel program also include a new partner portal to let partners register deals and better track the results of that registration going forward, said Nilay Patel, vice president of sales and partners and a co-founder of the San Mateo, Calif.-based company.
Backblaze, which last year went public, has in the years since it was founded in 2008 grown from a focus on providing direct cloud-based data protection for individuals to working with small businesses to enterprises, and in the process made the channel a central part of its strategy, Patel told CRN.
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“We’re backing up over a half-million customers in 170 countries, and are managing about three exabytes of capacity,” he said. “Backblaze is affordable, easy to use, and S3-compatible.”
Backblaze wants to make it even more easy to use and affordable with the changes it is making to its channel program, Patel said.
The first big change is an update to Backblaze B2 Reserve, a pricing package the company unveiled in April that gives its channel partners the ability to sell storage capacity in a predictable fashion rather than on a strict consumption basis. With Backblaze B2 Reserve, channel partners can sell capacity purchases up-front and then provide to customers a package of services with predictable pricing.
“Backblaze B2 Reserve makes cloud storage 100-percent predictable,” he said. “There are no hidden fees. No fees for egress, retention, retrieval, or transactions. Those fees can cost two to eight times what customers expect. Now we’ve eliminated all those fees so customers pay no more than the storage capacity they purchase. So they’re paying the same as it if was on-prem.”
Customers can also pay for capacity up front via their channel partners by estimating how much they need ahead of time, letting them know their costs on a predictable basis, Patel said.
“So if a customer purchases 100 terabytes for a year, but realizes they need 110 terabytes, we’ll give them 14 days to add the extra capacity to their contract for a pro-rated price,” he said. “And we won’t charge an overage fee. This helps channel partners maintain good relationships with their customers.”
Backblaze has been a rock-solid cloud storage partner for hundreds of customers working with Continuity Centers, said Greg Tellone, CEO of the Woodbury, New York-based white-glove provider of data protection and cybersecurity managed services.
The Backblaze B2 Reserve program lets channel partners set up a budget for what they pay for cloud storage over time while allowing it to pay for what they need, Tellone told CRN.
“When backup capacities go up or down over time, it’s hard to work with it,” he said. “We’re now getting Backblaze storage capacity for a flat fee, billed monthly ahead of time. This lets us standardize how we bill our customers. This makes billing easier by making it static, and not dynamic based on actual usage.”
With the enhanced Backblaze B2 Reserve program, the channel partner makes a commitment up front, Tellone said.
“Most businesses our size know how much capacity we’ll need, so we can buy what we will need now,” he said. “And if we bring on a new large client, we just up our commit. We get a per-terabyte savings because we commit to a certain term. So we know up front what capacity we have and what the rate is.”
With the change, Backblaze is also providing a better management interface, Tellone said.
“The interface is more B2B-focused instead of consumer-focused, so it’s easier to work with,” he said. “It was good before, so for us it hasn’t been an issue. But for new partners, it’s now just that much easier to get started with Backblaze.”
Also new from Backblaze this week as a brand new partner portal that lets partners register deals and then track those deals, Patel said.
The company is also stepping up the kind of education it is providing partners as they ramp up their services opportunities, he said.
“For example, if a customer is trying to protect data against a disaster, we want the partner to ask the customer what their plan is if they get attacked by ransomware or if a data center floods,” he said. “We helping educate them on things like not thinking about a backup but about restore and recovery. We’re telling partners how to take advantage of their backup assets.”
Backblaze makes it possible for its channel partners to design new services around the company’s cloud storage, Tellone said.
For instance, he said, Backblaze, like many vendors, has been selling raw S3-compatible storage capacity to channel partners for some time, which Continuity Centers has been offering to its clients as part of its own white-glove managed services. However, he said, that raw capacity was not easy to resell to customers who don’t want the full services.
“Backblaze is now making it easier for us to resell its storage so customers who are not part of our managed services can send their data directly to Backblaze,” he said. “We only provide a white-glove services. But millions of clients don’t need the white-glove service. So this will open us up to new customers. Starting in January, if a client signs up with Backblaze through us, they can use our automated disaster recovery service we call Instant Business Recovery.”