The Storage Made Easy Enterprise File Fabric™ platform now supports Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage as a first-class storage provider. It’s been one of our most requested storage providers. Many organizations are already using Backblaze for cloud backup and want other data and workflows to take advantage of low cost cloud storage.
This blog walks through setting up a Backblaze B2 provider, highlighting some of the nifty features as well as nuances and recommended settings.
If you’re not using Backblaze already sign up for an account at https://www.backblaze.com. This is the point you’ll verify the region where you’ll be storing data.
Backblaze uses application keys to manage authentication and authorization. An application key is used to connect the File Fabric to Backblaze B2 storage.
Select “App Keys” to navigate to the Application Keys page and then “Add a New Application Key”
The default settings are recommended. You’ll have the opportunity to select which buckets are indexed and have to explicitly grant access to users and roles through the File Fabric. The default permissions here allow read and write access for any object in any bucket. It will also allow the File Fabric to create and delete buckets (aka top level folders).
File Fabric will also support using a Backblaze application to limit access to a particular bucket. If you want to limit access to multiple buckets simply create a separate key for each bucket and add two Backblaze providers, one for each key. You must however enable “Allow List All Bucket Names”. For example,
The File Fabric will also support keys created as “Read Only”. Attempts to create files, folders or buckets will return an access denied error.
Out of curiosity I was also able to create and use an application key for “Write Only”. It worked, but it wasn’t a great user experience as the File Fabric works best being able to access bucket metadata. Better to use a drop folder instead!
Once you have created a new key there are three pieces of information for File Fabric:
- An [Application] Key ID
- A secret Application Key.
- An endpoint
From within the Enterprise File Fabric file manager navigate to the Dashboard and select “Add a provider”. Choose the “Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage” provider as a “Primary”.
Select “Add provider” and provide the following information
- The full S3 Endpoint prefixed with https, for example: https://s3.us-west-000.backblazeb2.com.
- For Application Key ID use the B2 keyID.
- For Application Key use the B2 ApplicationKey.
In addition to indexing the object metadata (e.g. name, size, modify time) you may also choose to index the content at this point. Enable “Index content for search”.
Select “Continue”. The connector will list all the buckets available for the Backblaze account. From this point choose which buckets will be indexed.
Once the data has been indexed, convert to a Shared Team Folder (right button menu) to grant access to users and/or roles.
Backblaze supports object versions, and by default, unlimited versions are kept. Check that these don’t overlap with any versioning or trash settings you are using through the File Fabric.
From the Backblaze console, find the bucket and select Lifecycle Settings. You can change them to, for example, only keep the last 30 days.
For File Fabric, under Organization Policies you’ll find versioning and trash policies.
If you are using File Fabric versions, older copies of a file can be made accessible and self-recoverable by end users. A file will be associated with any versions even if it is renamed or moved. Trash, if enabled, allows users to recover files and folders that were accidentally deleted.
You can find more information about Backblaze and the Enterprise File Fabric here.
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