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Backblaze, a data backup and cloud storage provider for businesses and consumers, has launched a new “cloud replication” service that makes it easier for enterprises to store and synchronize datasets across regions.

The launch follows a short beta period that kicked off in early April.

While Backblaze has offered cloud storage and backup services for well over a decade, back in 2015 the company launched B2, an object storage service that cost a fraction of Amazon’s S3 — this has been used to power backups spanning NAS (network attached storage), server, virtual machine (VM) and more.

Traditionally, many of its customers keep large portions of their data on-premises, and use Backblaze’s cloud to safely store their backups in an alternative “offsite” location. Through the years, the use-cases around B2 have evolved. Many businesses are now cloud-first, and they use B2 for use-cases beyond simple backups, such as serving content to their own users — however, they still need to back up all their data in a location that’s geographically separate from the primary copy. And that, effectively, is what Backblaze’s new cloud replication service is all about — it automatically backs up data that’s already stored in B2.

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And there are many reasons why a company might want to do this.

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Recent datacenter disasters highlight the importance of the 3-2-1 backup ethos, which stipulates that there should be at least three copies of a piece of data, stored on two different types of media, one of which should be at a completely separate location. But also, some tightly-regulated sectors require multiple backups across different regions for security or data residency requirements — so being able to create a replicate automatically, with minimal manual configuration, can help companies comply with regulations, or the terms of a commercial contract.

“Businesses want to replicate data primarily to protect their business-critical data, but evolving compliance and data residency needs are also major drivers,” Backblaze cofounder and CEO Gleb Budman told VentureBeat. “Because existing replication services are complex, expensive, and only exist within closed platforms — they are either unaffordable, unattractive or both for most businesses. Cloud replication solves this problem without stressing IT teams or budgets.”

On top of all that, being able to maintain a fully-synchronized dataset across multiple regions also opens the door to lower-latency data access, where companies store their data closer to where it’s needed — this is particularly important at a time when companies are increasingly remote and globally distributed. Moreover, cloud replication solves a major pain point — it saves developers and companies from having to write their own scripts as part of a manual data replication process, or use costly and complex offerings served up by the big cloud platforms.

“With Backblaze’s offering, they can replicate data easily and with minimal fees for the replication itself,” Budman said. “In fact, they can now keep two full copies of their data across the U.S. and Europe, for less than half the price of a single copy with the traditional cloud vendors.”

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