Amazon breaks out Glacier cloud archive service

 

Low-cost alternative to tape?

Amazon has taken the wraps off its Glacier low-cost archive service, which it claims could act as a viable alternative to using disk or tape libraries for long-term data storage.

The internet giant priced the new service at one cent a gigabyte a month for its US regions, 1.1 cents for its European region and 1.2 cents for its Asia Pacific region, based in Tokyo.

Glacier customers can attach up to 1000 'vaults' to an Amazon account. Within each vault, users can upload an 'archive' of up to 40 Terabytes of data.

The new service beefs up Amazon's cloud storage portfolio, but differs from the existing S3 service in several ways, according to the firm.

"First, S3 is optimised for rapid retrieval (generally tens to hundreds of milliseconds per request). Glacier is not (we didn't call it Glacier for nothing)," Amazon said in a blog post.

"With Glacier, your retrieval requests are queued up and honoured at a somewhat leisurely pace. Your archive will be available for downloading in 3 to 5 hours."

Amazon said it would allow users to retrieve "up to 5 percent of your average monthly storage, pro-rated daily, for free each month". Beyond that, retrieval fees were charged.

"So for data that you'll need to retrieve in greater volume more frequently, S3 may be a more cost-effective service," the firm said.

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