IBM joins a number of companies that are pitching cloud computing as an ideal platform for large-scale data analysis. Google, for instance, offers its BigQuery service for crunching data online. VMware, along with parent company EMC, recently spun out a cloud service subsidiary, called Pivotal, that will focus on a providing data analysis services.
IBM also is offering to run copies of SAP HANA on its SmartCloud, where it can be used for data analysis. The company did not specify whether it will provide its own licenses for the services, or if customers should procure their own. One early customer of this service has been the department store Globus, which tracks sales for about 800,000 items on a SmartCloud instance of HANA.
Picciano did not disclose pricing information for the SmartCloud database service, stating that IBM works with each customer on a case-by-case basis.
Other cloud providers also made announcements this week. Google has cut the prices of its Google Cloud Datastore, a NoSQL data storage service, by up to 25 percent. Also, Microsoft announced that it is expanding its Azure cloud service to China, making it the first major cloud provider to do so, the company claimed.