iDrive dumps HDD for SSD in wholesale upgrade to object storage service

IDrive e2
(Image credit: IDrive)

Cloud storage specialist iDrive has moved its S3 compatible object storage platform, iDrive e2, to enterprise-grade SSD in a bid to differentiate itself from its competitors (Backblaze, Wasabi) in the crowded market of S3 compatible object storage platforms (we reviewed e2 back in 2022).

SSD not only improves performance but also reliability (there’s no moving parts) and allows for greater scalability. On the other hand, they are far more expensive than HDD and it’s reassuring that, as a privately held company, iDrive has been able to source, commission and handle thousands of Terabyte worth of enterprise SSD storage without raising costs.

iDrive, which has more than four million users and manages more than 500 petabytes of data, confirmed that e2 stores “petabytes of data”. A spokesperson for the company told TechRadar Pro that the enhanced service “is currently available in their Virginia storage region, however the service will proceed to roll this enhancement out to all 14 of their world-wide locations, giving users all around the globe the opportunity to take advantage of the highest-performing object storage functionality”.

More locations means better resilience: Wasabi has 12 locations while BackBlaze has only four. Unlike its consumer iDrive product, the e2 has a free trial (7-days with 1TB) with the first year costing $4 for that amount, a 90% discount. Alternatively, you can choose to pay $4 per TB per month with no Egress fees and what iDrive claims to be 85% savings compared to AWS S3. 

Petabyte class SSD storage

E2 is scalable from 1TB to 1PB with the latter having a rather steep price tag of $40,000 per year after the 90% discount in the first year. BackBlaze’s B2 gives 10GB for free and then charges $60,000 per year for storing up to 1PB, a cost that excludes downloaded data. In comparison, rival Wasabi’s egress-free service starts at $73,605 for its highest tier (1PB).

Other competitors in this vertical include Digital Ocean (with Spaces and built in CDN), Bunny, Vultr, Rackspace, CloudFlare, IBM, Alibaba, Microsoft, Oracle, Google and AWS. What differentiates the challengers from the established players like Azure, other than pricing, is the simplicity of the offering: no hidden costs and absolutely no need to resort to that dreaded “simple” calculator. You can order a whole Petabyte in a couple of minutes.

Hard disk drives are still very much the bread and butter of storage within the data center. At less than $20 per TB (and probably closer to $15), this technology is the preferred solution for free cloud storage providers (there’s almost 40 of them) and cloud backup services, especially at the higher end. An enterprise grade 22TB (like the newly announced Seagate Ironwolf Pro) hard drive costs less than $400; a 15.36TB data center SSD, about three times the price.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.