Tuesday, August 21, 2012 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Amazon Glacier

Amazon Glacier is like Amazon S3 except that it’s much cheaper to store data (1 cent vs 13 cents per GB per month, uploading still for free) and accessing that data takes much longer (hours!). It will be interesting to see whether backup applications such as Arq will able to take advantage of Glacier (probably in combination with S3).

Update (2012-08-22): sintaks:

While the link between your device and the service will be much fatter, the reason Glacier is so cheap is because of the custom hardware. They’ve optimized for low-power, low-speed, which will lead to increased cost savings due to both energy savings and increased drive life. I’m not sure how much detail I can go into, but I will say that they’ve contracted a major hardware manufacturer to create custom low-RPM (and therefore low-power) hard drives that can programmatically be spun down. These custom HDs are put in custom racks with custom logic boards all designed to be very low-power. The upper limit of how much I/O they can perform is surprisingly low - only so many drives can be spun up to full speed on a given rack.

Jeff Barr:

Retrieval requests are priced differently, too. You can retrieve up to 5% of your average monthly storage, pro-rated daily, for free each month. Beyond that, you are charged a retrieval fee starting at $0.01 per Gigabyte (see the pricing page for details). So for data that you’ll need to retrieve in greater volume more frequently, S3 may be a more cost-effective service.

9 Comments

"Amazon Glacier is like Amazon S3 except that it’s much cheaper to store data (1 cent vs 13 cents per GB per month, uploading still for free)"

Interesting. Beginning to slowly approach bare HD local storage, (no pun intended). Costs what a bare drive cost every 6 months.

"It will be interesting to see whether backup applications such as Arq will able to take advantage of Glacier"

One would certainly hope so. Perfect fit with Arq.

And separate from Arq, starts to make sense to periodically toss clone snapshots up there.

If my math is correct:

- Toss a 60GB clone snapshot up every 3 months, keeping the last four: $28/yr

- Keep a single snapshot 400GB diskimage up there, which should take care of many use-cases for non-video data: $48/yr

That's some tasty pricing on serious cloud backup.

Soulver is a very nice app, and a bargain at that.

Though I suppose I should wait until I can figure out how much restoring data would cost before getting too excited about Glacier.

As things stand now, it's all Greek to me...

Great, except that it looks like you get the cheaper price once you go above 5 000 TB.

Even with the clarification from Jeff Barr, the pricing of getting data out is still Greek to me.

For example, "data retrieval" is $0.01 per GB. But "data transfer out" is more in the range of $0.10 per GB.

Say wha? Am I really too nescient to figure out what that all means?

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