Announcing IBM Cloud Object Storage Smart Tier

4 min read

Smart Tier is a new storage option that delivers automatic cost optimization for changing data patterns.

If you’re looking for object storage that offers the simplest pricing structure with a capacity charge that adapts to your data activity, lowest ops charge, no retrieval charges, no minimum object size, and no minimum storage duration, you should consider Smart Tier, a new storage class from IBM Cloud Object Storage that we’re launching today.

With Smart Tier, you no longer have to worry about selecting the right storage class for your workloads. Smart Tier will track your monthly activity and bill you one monthly capacity rate from three built-in pricing tiers: hot, cool, or cold.

Smart Tier employs automatic cost optimization to ensure that you get the lowest storage cost each month. This is valuable for all workloads, especially ones with variable or unpredictable data access patterns and ones that change over time.

The Challenge: Selecting an appropriate storage class when data access frequency changes over time

For many types of applications, access fluctuates across the data lifecycle. For some, the access is most frequent towards the beginning of the cycle, while for others, data access is relatively low most of the time, but activity occasionally spikes. Still other types of data have completely unpredictable data access patterns and frequency.

Selecting the right object storage class when access varies is difficult. If you choose the option that accommodates the periods of greatest access, you can spend more than you have to. If you use a storage class appropriate for the periods of least access, you’ll pay a premium during periods of heavy activity. Ideally, you’d select storage smart enough to accommodate any data access frequency—at the best price.

The Solution: IBM Cloud Object Storage Smart Tier

IBM Cloud Object Storage Smart Tier uses an adaptive pricing model that automatically applies a pricing tier classification based on each month’s data activity. You pay only for the access you use—at the optimal price for that month’s data activity—with no per-object data movement charges or other hidden fees.

For data that is consistently cold, the Cold Vault storage class may offer even better pricing. However, if you don’t know your data activity or if it varies at some point in its lifecycle, IBM’s Smart Tier is the right choice.

How Smart Tier works

Smart Tier has three built-in activity-based pricing tiers: hot, cool, and cold. At the end of each month, Smart Tier analyzes your monthly activity (a combination of write operations, read operations, and retrievals), and bills you at either the hot, cool, or cold rate based on the amount of storage and access. (Details about how Smart Tier classifies data—into either hot, cool or cold pricing tiers—are available here.)

Smart Tier offers the same durable, low-latency storage as other Cloud Object Storage classes and maintains the highest service level agreements (SLAs) of any IBM Cloud Object Storage class. It has no additional retrieval fees or overhead charges, no minimum object size, and no minimum storage duration charges.

To manage the data lifecycle, you can apply the lifecycle policy to archive your objects as they age or write expiration rules based on time of creation. If you need to access your archived objects, you can restore them back to the Smart Tier.

Sample scenario that shows how Smart Tier pricing could help

Imagine a data access scenario where activity levels vary considerably over three months. There is a large amount of activity the first month, moderate activity the second month, and very little activity the third month. The following table represents this scenario.

If fixed-price storage classes were the only option, it would be difficult for an organization with these activity levels to select the most cost-effective storage tier. The table below compares the price they would pay with each of the fixed-price object storage classes and what they would pay with Smart Tier pricing. Because Smart Tier automatically applies the optimal category—hot, cool, or cold rate based on the month’s activity—the company saves.

The table below compares the price they would pay with each of the fixed-price object storage classes and what they would pay with Smart Tier pricing. Because Smart Tier automatically applies the optimal category—hot, cool, or cold rate based on the month’s activity—the company saves.

Conclusion

IBM Cloud Object Storage Smart Tier provides simplified pricing with automatic pricing tier classification for cost optimization. With Smart Tier, you get the optimal storage cost based on your activity each month without having to monitor your storage activity or move data between storage classes as access fluctuates.

The growth of data and development of new applications can make it a challenge to manage storage costs. IBM Cloud Object Storage Smart Tier is suited for any data activity. You automatically get the best price and don’t have to worry about cost overruns due to selecting the wrong storage class.

Smart Tier highlights

  • Retrieval charges: None
  • No additional charges: There are no additional charges for automated cost optimization.
  • Minimum object size: None
  • Minimum storage duration: None
  • Lifecycle: You can use a Lifecycle Policy for a Smart Tier bucket to transition the objects to archive, set expiry rules for deletion of data after specified time, or both.
  • Security, durability, and availability: IBM Cloud has designed the Smart Tier to maintain the highest level of security, availability, and durability.
  • UI, API, SDK, and CLI: You can use the IBM Cloud UI, API, SDK, or CLI to access Smart Tier.
  • Locations: Smart Tier is available today in all IBM Cloud Object Storage Regions, with follow-up availability in Cross Regions and at single sites.

For more information, see IBM Cloud Object Storage Classes and Archive or start your free trial today. You can find additional pricing information on the Cloud Object Storage pricing page

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