Amazon has launched a new service for the digital equivalents of wedding dresses and high school yearbooks -- stuff you need to hang on to, but don't need to keep close by.
The company today launched Amazon Glacier, an archival storage service priced as low as one penny per GB per month. The service is designed to simplify and reduce the expense of archiving data, for which enterprises spend time and money on disk, optical media, and tape, requiring hardware maintenance, planning, negotiating with vendors, and managing facilities, according to an Amazon blog.
The capacity is "Terabytes, Petabytes, and beyond," with no upfront fee, and fees only for what's used, Amazon says.
Glacier differs from Amazon S3, its previous cloud storage service, in two respects: First, S3 is optimized for rapid retrieval, generally tens or hundreds of milliseconds per request. "With Glacier, your retrieval requests are queued up and honored at a somewhat leisurely pace. Your archive will be available for downloading in 3 to 5 hours," Amazon says. Users can retrieve up to 5 percent of their average monthly storage, pro-rated daily, for free each month. Beyond that, the retrieval fee is $0.10 per gigabyte. "So for data that you'll need to retrieve in greater volume more frequently, S3 may be a more cost-effective service," Amazon says.
Also, while S3 allows users to pick their own names for objects, Glacier assigns its own unique ID.
Amazon gave several examples of how Glacier might be used: Enterprise IT might use it to store email, corporate file shares, legal records, and business documents that need to be stored for years or decades with little or no reason to access it. Users in digital media can use it to archive books, movies, images, music, news footage, and more -- content that requires a great deal of storage and little access. And Glacier can be used to store scientific or research data.
Glacier, available now, will be helpful to businesses in legal, healthcare, education, and other industries with regulatory requirements for long-term archiving large volumes of data. At the same time, enterprises need to consult with their legal and regulatory officers to ensure that Glacier complies with regulations.
Amazon will have to convince enterprises that its cloud storage is reliable, which might be difficult in light of a recent outage that took down popular services including Netflix, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.
To start using Glacier, users create a named vault, with up to 1,000 vaults per region in an Amazon Web Services account. Uploaded data is called an "archive," and each archive can be up to 40 terabytes. Amazon encrypts data using AES–256. The annual durability -- or error prevention rate, to stop lost or corrupted data -- is 99.999999999 percent per archive, with integrity checks and self-healing permitting the concurrent loss of data in two facilities without losing any customer data.
Amazon explains Glacier in this video:
What do you think? Can Amazon be trusted with archival data?
My main concern would be to ensure that the contract shifts all liability to Amazon should records I'm retaining for regulatory (or litigation) reasons prove impossible to recover. Penalties for failing to retain records can be steep.
Wired's Klint Finley initially expresses concern that the pricing structure could contain hidden charges that will run up a big cost for anybody who actually retrieves the data. Later, Amazon corrects that notion, but he's still concerned that an accidental coding error could prove costly.
kq4ym - It's slow by design. It's not designed to be used for materials you need frequent or rapid access too. It's for materials you almost certainly will never need to look at again, but need to hang on to just to be sure. I think the best example is materials that companies are required to hang on to for regulatory reasons, but never actually look at.
The ThinkerNet does not reflect the views of TechWeb. The ThinkerNet is an informal means of communication to members and visitors of the Internet Evolution site. Individual authors are chosen by Internet Evolution to blog. Neither Internet Evolution nor TechWeb assume responsibility for comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and ThinkerNet bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.
The state of cloud deployments is a glass-half-empty/glass-half-full thing. On the one hand, businesses are still dealing with only basic goals for cloud deployments. On the other hand, they have plenty of room to grow and enjoy new benefits.
You've heard of Swiss banks. How about Swiss clouds? Swisscom, the Swiss telecom provider, is building out its cloud offering as a platform to allow companies to shield sensitive data from foreign intelligence services.
The cloud is great for email, document sharing, and other basic tasks, but scientific High-Performance Computing (HPC) requires expensive, dedicated servers. Or does it? That's the assumption Argonne National Laboratory is proving wrong.
Dave Austin, communications director for Multnomah County, discusses why he's excited to move from the county's "old and clunky" intranet and onto an open-source platform, and how this change will help him do his job.
Enterprises would like to move to cloud computing but are hesitant because they are concerned about providers’ ability to secure company data. Here are some tips that help to ensure that if breaches occur, the business is not left holding the bag.
You've heard the expression, "Out of the frying pan, into the fire?" Amazon lives in the fire. The e-tailer wins by keeping things hot for its competitors, employees, and itself, according to a new book.
Positec, a manufacturer of power tools for homes and commercial applications, achieves greater customer service flexibility and cuts hold times in half by using a cloud-based service to manage its call center.
Big-data and analytics tools enable marketers to understand customers as individuals, identifying unmet needs and addressing each customer as a "segment of one," says John Kennedy, VP corporate marketing, IBM.
Linux Journal recently released its 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards. As an Ubuntu convert in recent years, I was glad to see Ubuntu took the top spot for "Best Linux Distribution" (at 16 percent, edging out Debian, which took 14.1 percent).
Expert Integrated Systems: Changing the Experience & Economics of IT In this e-book, we take an in-depth look at these expert integrated systems -- what they are, how they work, and how they have the potential to help CIOs achieve dramatic savings while restoring IT's role as business innovator. READ THIS eBOOK
your weekly update of news, analysis, and
opinion from Internet Evolution - FREE! REGISTER HERE
Wanted! Site Moderators Internet Evolution is looking for a handful of readers to help moderate the message boards on our site as well as engaging in high-IQ conversation with the industry mavens on our thinkerNet blogosphere. The job comes with various perks, bags of kudos, and GIANT bragging rights. Interested?