IBM Starts 120TB Next-Day Physical Storage Shipping Service

Starting Sept. 18, Big Blue will send you a physical storage device so you can hook up your data stream to it, fill it up to 120TB with all the content you want, and have it stored in the Bluemix Cloud.


Deployment of an IT device or service can never be too easy. Staples Inc. certainly had the right idea with its iconic “Easy Button” ad campaign.

When it comes to integrating data from a silo to any new system, the term “easy” is never invoked. Data integration, even after 50 or 60 years of smart people trying to make it simple, is still one of the thorniest tasks a storage admin has to face.

So IBM is taking its own “Easy Button” approach to this: Starting Sept. 18, Big Blue will send you a physical storage device a little larger than an aircraft carry-on (with wheels and a scoping handle, see photo), so you can hook up your data stream to it, fill it (up to 120 terabytes) with all the content you want, then send it back to IBM. Next-day shipping is used on both ends of the transaction.

From there, IBM Bluemix cloud folks will pour it into their object storage cloud so that you can use it anytime you want. Naturally, you do have to purchase a subscription to IBM Bluemix Cloud in order to use your data, once it’s housed there.

$395 Flat Fee for the Service

IBM Cloud Mass Data Migration, as this service is called, costs a $395 flat fee to obtain and use the storage device for 10 days (you will have to pay an extra $30 per day over the 10-day limit). It uses standard NFS fileshare and object storage processes to copy all the data from the device into the IBM cloud.

“This just cuts through all the typical transfer barriers to moving data: slow internet connection, low-bandwidth, network reliability and availability, and others,” IBM storage executive Michael Fork told eWEEK. “What we’re trying to do here is build the largest, most economical storage device in the market.”

Designed for durability and ruggedness, Mass Data Migration portable storage devices have a useable capacity of 120 TB and feature industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption to ensure that data is well protected during transport and ingestion, Fork said. Each device also uses RAID-6, a high standard in redundancy and protection, to ensure data integrity.

IBM Cloud Mass Data Migration can be an efficient option for any organization looking to transfer tens to hundreds of terabytes of data or more to the cloud, Fork said. It can help companies free up on-premises storage, implement a backup and recovery plan, create an active archive or media repository, or take advantage of a range of services including database and analytics solutions offered in the IBM Cloud to extract deeper value from their data. 

Other Use Cases

Companies can also use the service as part of a data center de-commission strategy to ensure sensitive data is secured and deployed in the IBM Cloud during downsizing, expansion or relocation, Fork said.

IBM Cloud Mass Data Migration can be appealing to companies who need to store, manage and access large video, audio and image files. Once they get their data into the IBM Cloud, they can use cognitive services, such as Watson Content Enrichment, to gain intelligence from their unstructured data and make more informed business decisions about the content they create, acquire and deliver to users or viewers.

So, for IBM, this is a way for it to introduce users to both its computing and storage cloud and Watson intelligence franchises. For users, it could be that “Easy Button” they’ve been seeking to solve storage issues.

For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...