Glacier Deep Archive

Back in 2013, Amazon announced its Amazon Glacier storage solution–cloud-based storage that was cheap, but designed for data that would need to be accessed very infrequently.

But even Glacier is expensive for some purposes. For example, I’ve got about 100 terabytes I need to back up, and even at Glacier’s low cost of $4-5/terabyte/month, that would still be ~$500/month. At that price, I might be better off buying a tape drive.

Now, Amazon has announced its Glacier Deep Archive storage solution that is designed to go after use cases like this. At a little over $1/terabyte/month, the costs of storing 100 terabytes in the cloud approaching the cost of tape backup.

There are a few caveats, however. First, it appears that the data stored in Glacier Deep Archive cannot be deleted. I assume that’s Amazon reducing costs by simply not making that feature available.

Second, as with the regular Glacier storage solution, getting data back out of Glacier Deep Archive is likely to be slow and more expensive than storing it. Standard retrieval for data in Glacier is around $12/terabyte. If you need faster retrieval, you can do so by paying more.

I do plan to look closely at Glacier Deep Archive and will likely use it as a sort of backup of last resort. I already have a backup system and process, but $100/month for the volume of data I have is very reasonable for a “if everything else gets screwed up” peace of mind.

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