updated 09:09 am EDT, Wed August 22, 2012
Penny-per-gigabyte storage has long retrieval lead times
Amazon has added a new tier to its cloud services. Amazon Glacier is being marketed as cloud-based backup storage for enterprise with considerably lower storage costs than the similar Simple Storage Service, however it lacks the immediate file retrieval found in S3. Instead, a job submission for files must be submitted and can take hours to process, as well as suffer a charge for backup retrieval.
The slow turnaround of these requests gave the service its name, which Amazon admits to in a company blog post covering the service's "leisurely pace." Although Amazon will charge between five and twelve cents per gigabyte of data retrieved through Glacier, about the same as S3, up to five percent of the pro-rated average monthly storage amount can be received at no charge. As for raw file storage costs, Glacier opts for a penny per gigabye per month, far lower than the S3 storage charging at most twelve cents per gigabyte.
Glacier is up and running now, and is available in three regions in the US, one in Ireland and one in Tokyo.