IBM launches data migration to cloud service

IBM Cloud launches a service to physically move data from your data center to its cloud -- priced at $395 per transfer device, including shipping.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Three things you should know about cloud vs data center

IBM launched a physical cloud mass data migration service to rival similar services from Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.

While the physical data transfer services vary in scope, the general theme is that customers can ship migrate terabytes and petabytes in data to a cloud provider on disk.

IBM's Cloud Mass Data Migration effort is designed to speed up the time data sets can move to the cloud with a flat rate of $395 per device. Transferring data sets can take weeks or months, depending on a company's access to high-speed bandwidth. Here's the device.


AWS started the trend last year with Snowmobile, a large tractor trailer to move data to AWS from on-premise data centers. Microsoft Azure has an Import/Export service that revolves around shipping data on drives via DHL, UPS, FedEx, or USPS. Google Cloud is offering a beta of Transfer Appliances that come in two sizes: 100TB and 480TB.

Pricing on these various services varies, but IBM is aiming to simplify the economics. IBM is providing Mass Data Migration storage devices, with a usable capacity of 120TB and UPS Next Day Air. Customers copy their data to the IBM storage devices and ship. The migration should take about seven days, said IBM.

The economics of these services will vary by company and provider. IBM's $395 per device model means that an enterprise with highlight compressed data may be able to cram 480TB on one of IBM's 120TB devices. If not, that IBM customer would have to pay another $395 for another device.

AWS says its Snowmobile service requires a sales call to evaluate needs and pricing. AWS Snowmobile is for massive data sets. A more comparable service from AWS is called Snowball, which charges $250 to move 80TB via an appliance. Snowball Edge is another transfer appliance that'll run $300 to move 100TB via an appliance.

Microsoft Azure has a $80 flat fee per customer storage device handled and shipping charges on returns. Google charges $300 to use its 100TB Transfer Appliance and $1,800 for its 480TB Transfer Appliance. Shipping costs also apply. Google provided illustrations.

For a 480 TB Transfer Appliance that you return during the allotted time period and that runs $900 in total shipping costs, you would pay $2700.

For a 100 TB Transfer Appliance that you keep 2 days beyond the allotted time period and that runs $500 in total shipping costs, you would pay $860.


Editorial standards