Backblaze B2 and Fireball Rapid Ingest

Backblaze is a well-known cloud-based file storage service that offers very low prices and yet has a good reputation for reliability. However, if you have a lot of data to back up to Backblaze B2 or to any other file storage service in the Internet, it may take days or even weeks to upload everything. Backblaze has a solution, called Fireball Rapid Ingest.

In this case, Fireball Rapid Ingest is designed to quickly transfer terabytes of data to Backblaze’s servers. To be blunt, I doubt if many individual genealogists have that much data to back up. However, I also suspect that quite a few genealogy societies and companies in the genealogy business will find the Fireball Rapid Ingest service to be very convenient and cost-effective to use. This article is written for those genealogy societies and companies and for anyone else with a large amount of data that needs to be backed up.

When you sign up for the Backblaze B2 file storage service, you have an option of Backblaze shipping a 70 terabyte storage system to you. In essence, it is a bunch of disk drives inside a rather large box, along with software that makes it work.

You connect the Fireball Rapid Ingest to your existing in-house LAN (local area network) and copy over all the content that you want to store in Backblaze B2 to the Fireball system. This file copy is done at full network speed, typically 100 gigabits or one gigabit per second, not at the much slower Internet connection speeds. For most organizations, this means copying all the files requires a few hours, not days or weeks.

Once the required files are all copied, the Fireball Rapid Ingest system is powered off, disconnected, packed in the shipping container, and shipped to Backblaze. Once it arrives at Backblaze’s data center, the Fireball Rapid Ingest system is connected to Backblaze’s in-house LAN, powered on, and all the files are copied to Backblaze’s servers.

The process much, much faster than uploading terabytes of files over the internet. Any files created or modified after the Fireball Rapid Ingest device was disconnected in the customer’s data center will soon be backed up over the internet, as will all future files. This is a fast and useful method of getting everything backed up quickly.

The fees for doing all this are not cheap. The rental fee for the Fireball Rapid Ingest is $550 for 30-days plus a $75 shipping fee. (It’s not a small box! Shipping is reasonable for a device this size.) To repeat what I wrote earlier, I doubt if the Fireball Rapid Ingest service will appeal to individual genealogists. However, if your society or your employer has terabytes of digitized old photographs or an entire web site and all of its online databases that needs to be backed up off-site, the use of Backblaze’s Fireball Rapid Ingest system will save time and probably save money as well.

You can learn more in an article on the Backblaze web site, Introducing Backblaze’s Rapid Ingest Service: B2 Fireball, at

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