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At its Interconnect conference in Las Vegas today, IBM announced the launch of IBM Cloud Object Storage Cold Vault, a service for storing data that only needs to be served up occasionally. The service is available now.

A cold storage service with “pay as you use” pricing, called IBM Cloud Object Storage Flex, will become available in the second quarter of this year, IBM said in a statement.

The thing is, these services are becoming available nearly five years after the biggest public cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), introduced a cold storage service. Amazon Glacier arrived in August 2012. The No. 2 public cloud, Microsoft Azure, added a Cool Blob storage option last year. Google, who operates the No. 3 public cloud, came out with Cloud Storage Nearline cold storage in 2015.

So IBM is trying to make its cold storage options look strong by giving them low, low prices. The Flex option is “potentially lowering the price by 53 percent compared to AWS S3 IA [Infrequent Access] and 75 percent compared to Azure GRS [geo-redundant storage] Cool Tier,” IBM said in today’s statement. AWS introduced S3 IA in 2015.


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IBM’s Cold Vault, meanwhile, is “designed to lead the category for cold data recovery times among major competitors,” IBM said. The service starts at 1.1 cents per GB per month, not including outgoing network bandwidth and application programming interface (API) requests. But AWS Glacier starts at 0.4 cents per GB per month, not including retrieval, API requests, and data transfer charges.

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