Gleb Budman at Backblaze

Gleb Budman at Backblaze. (Photo by Karl Nielsen)

The backup generator

Gleb Budman (B.S.’95 ME) is the CEO and co-founder of Backblaze, a cloud backup company that offers unlimited storage for a fee of $5 per month — a price that hasn’t changed since the company’s inception.

To reduce costs, they produced custom-built servers that enabled Backblaze to stand out in both software and hardware development. Three clicks and Backblaze automatically finds, encrypts and saves all of a user’s files, regardless of size or type, to an off-site location.

Budman, who holds five patents on security, squelched the doubt over unlimited storage by posting the server’s proprietary design specs in 2009. Because of the innovative design, Backblaze stores 150 petabytes, more data than its leading competitors.

Five years into the company, Budman and his co-founders agreed to seek funding to accelerate growth — but only with investors who wouldn’t be making hiring and firing decisions. They teamed up with TMT Investments, which offered $5 million. Backblaze has since grown to nearly 40 employees.

Last December, one of the original co-founders, Nilay Patel, who graduated with a B.A. in computer science from Berkeley in 2002, returned to Backblaze as the vice president of sales.

The company most recently launched Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage, a competitor with a quarter cost of the service offered by Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

“It’s definitely a David vs. Goliath situation,” Budman says, but he’s confident Backblaze will prevail with its innovative technology and its culture of being focused, efficient and creative.

Read more: Alumnus shakes up the world of cloud storage in BerkeleyHaas magazine


Topics: Computing, Alumni


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