Glacier

Amazon has launched their new service for data storage named as Amazon Glacier. It also claims to be costing just a $0.01 per gigabyte per month. Glacier is optimized for data that is infrequently accessed. But know that there is a catch here, you’ll need to wait for some time (approx 3-5 hours) to retrieve data. This is because the service is aimed primarily for backup and long term storage.

Let’s take a closer look at how Amazon Glacier works. After signing-up for Glacier, you’ll need to create a “vault” which is used to store data. You can create up to 1,000 vaults per account per region. You can store up to 40 terabytes of data in each archive, which in most cases is more than enough for storage needs. Glacier will also encrypt your data using AES-256 and will store it durably in an immutable form.

Amazon claims that the data is stored with high durability, with an average durability of 99.999999999% per archive. Glacier performs regular, systematic data integrity checks and is built to be automatically self-healing.

With Glacier, you can store any amount of data with high durability at a cost that will allow you to get rid of your tape libraries and robots and all the operational complexity and overhead that have been part and parcel of data archiving for decades.

You may be wondering how this new service differs from the Amazon S3 storage ? Well, it’s mainly designed for archiving data while S3 gives you frequent access to your data. Retrieval requests from Glacier are queued up and archives are available for downloading in 3 to 5 hours. You can retrieve up to 5% of your data stored in Glacier for free each month.

To sum up, Glacier is a low cost solution for data archival that doesn’t needs immediate retrieval. You’ll need to wait for some hours before getting your hands on your data. It can be useful if you’re thinking to backup your entire hard drives, optical discs, or tapes. This new service can be useful if you’re thinking to backup not-so frequently used data.

Check out Amazon Glacier. Also see Amazon’s FAQ page.

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