Amazon Glacier: Archival Storage from $0.01/GB Per Month


Glacier provides – at a cost as low as $0.01 (one US penny, one one-hundredth of a dollar) per Gigabyte, per month – extremely low cost archive storage. You can store a little bit, or you can store a lot (Terabytes, Petabytes, and beyond). There’s no upfront fee and you pay only for the storage that you use.

Very cool (no pun intended) idea from Amazon as part of Amazon Web Services as an alternative to S3 for long-term file storage, but the pricing structure is still too confusing for most people. There’s Storage Pricing, Request Pricing and Data Transfer Pricing structures to calculate. As one user on Hacker News writes:

The retrieval fee for 3TB could be as high as $22,082 based on my reading of their FAQ. It’s not clear to me how they calculate the hourly retrieval rate. Is it based on how fast you download the data once it’s available, how much data you request divided by how long it takes them to retrieve it (3.5-4.5 hours), or the size of the archives you request for retrieval in a given hour?

I’m not convinced this is something that will find a large user base if you’re expected to perform some complex mathematics before backing up or restoring.