Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Amazon Glacier

Just as I bitch and moan (footnote 2) about how unrealistic it is to host my music collection online, Amazon introduces a long-term backup solution. Shawn Blanc explains:

Storage costs are just $0.01/GB. That’s 9.3x cheaper than Amazon’s Reduced Redundancy Storage and 12.5x cheaper than their Standard Storage. And Glacier gives you get the same data durability and reliability of the Standard Storage (99.999999999% durability).

Even better, one can transfer up to a gigabyte of data per month for free, and data retrievals are almost free (be sure to read the fine print). It would cost me less than $4 per month to host all my music on Glacier1, and just a few cents to access all the music I can handle. Looks interesting.

But Klint Finley isn’t convinced. He examined the terms of service and the fine print for Wired:

Because the service is designed for long-term archival needs, not active use, it’s understandable that the fees for retrieval will be high in comparison to the fees for storage to discourage the use of Glacier for general purpose storage. It will also take three to five hours to prepare an archive for downloading, which will also deter misuse of the service. Presumably, Amazon powers off the hardware until it’s needed.

This looks like a great service for long-term storage and backup, but not for active use. There goes my great idea.


  1. Cool2 name. ↩︎

  2. Stop that, Nick. ↩︎