IBM aims to undercut AWS and Azure with new ‘Flex’ cloud storage service
LAS VEGAS — IBM unveiled a raft of new products and services at its InterConnect conference here today, aimed at making it easier for large enterprise customers to adopt IBM’s cloud services, while also better managing existing on-premises and hybrid cloud enterprise networks.
Among them: a new cloud storage offering that IBM says will undercut the competition. It’s called IBM Cloud Object Storage Flex, and IBM suggests that it will save customers money, and be more useful to them by making it easier for customers to dynamically move between “hot” cloud storage (which promises instant availability for urgent data), “cool” storage (for data that customers need less often) and “cold” storage (for archival data that is used the least).
According to IBM, Flex will provide tiered “pay as you use” storage options that will be both cheaper and higher performing than competitive offerings from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. The company says it is cutting the price to store and access data “by more than 50 percent compared to AWS S3 IA and Azure GRS Cool Tier” and that it is unique in doing so.
“Flex is the only service available from a major cloud vendor with simplified pricing for clients whose data usage patterns are difficult to predict,” the company said in a news release. “Flex enables clients to benefit from the cost savings of cold storage for rarely accessed data, while maintaining high accessibility to all data.”
Alongside the new flexible storage model, IBM also announced the IBM Cloud Object Storage Cold Vault (Cold Vault) service. IBM’s promise on this service is that it will offer customers a way to get the data they’ve marked for cold storage in the IBM Cloud “in hundreds of milliseconds instead of minutes.