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February 8, 2017

IBM wins cloud price race to zero

It's price cut season and IBM looks to have stolen a lead on its competitors.

By James Nunns

For years one of the most persistent questions in the cloud market has been – who will win the race to zero?

Well it would now seem that we have a winner – IBM and its BlueMix Lift service.

The service, which was only released into general availability in October last year, will now be available for free, at least for the standard tier.

The BlueMix Lift service is Big Blue’s database migration service which the company calls its “self-service, ground to cloud, database migration offering.”

Basically it is designed to make it easy to securely migrate data from on-premises data sources to the cloud.

Read more: AWS vs Google Cloud Platform vs Microsoft Azure: Cloud pricing continues to lack enterprise credentials

The company says that Lift, “provides ultra-high-speed data movement to the cloud with embedded IBM Aspera, a highly-efficient data transport technology. When migrating between heterogeneous database engines, an integrated schema compatibility assessment walks you through the process of converting your source schema to your target engine.”

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One of the major perks is that none of this requires any downtime.

Previously the company had been charging nothing at all for moving the first 100GB of data and then it would cost $0.02 per gigabyte. So it appears to be a pretty cheap way to upload some pretty large quantities of data.

What the company’s pricing page says is that the standard plan provides users with 100GB of data migrated inbound free of charge, “Usage above the free monthly allocation will be charged per pricing details.”

This is a good way to hook people into the Big Blue cloud, especially those start-ups and smaller companies that may not have large quantities of data at first but might well do if they grow successfully.

That’s when the enterprise tier will come into play, which offers unlimited inbound data per target database for $430.00/instance.

The cloud price wars will rumble on and one day all that cloudy goodness might just be free of charge, but it probably won’t be.

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