Amazon has expanded its list of services and it covers a variety of areas, including cloud storage. There are different solutions available from the company based in Seattle, Washington, including Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier. The latter is an affordable option that offers an impressive amount of backup space for a reasonable price. However, there are a few limitations that should be taken into consideration before signing up for the service. We’ll go through different aspects of Amazon Glacier, including its performance, limitations and cost. Then, we’ll check the actual backup process.
It is difficult to establish the monthly price of Amazon Glacier since there are different factors that determine the charges applied. The first aspect that is taken into consideration is disk space. The price you pay depends on the gigabytes per month used when you keep your files in the storage vaults. Bandwidth is another aspect that determines the monthly cost of the service. The price varies according to the amount of data transferred to and from the cloud.
The length of storage should also be kept in mind since you could be charged an additional fee for storing a file for less than three months before you delete it. The price also depends on the physical location or regions. Additionally, it should be noted that retrieving a file can take at least 4 hours. The longer you wait, the amount you pay is less.
Amazon Glacier is affordable, but the price is not as straightforward as other solutions such as SugarSync and Dropbox. Fortunately, there is a practical calculator (although it is not official) that allows you to get an idea of how much you would need to pay per month. You can find it here: http://blender.ca/aws-glacier-calculator
What makes Amazon Glacier an affordable option?
Amazon Glacier is meant to be a long-term storage solution. As the name suggests, this cloud storage service is set to “freeze” your data. When you upload data to Amazon Glacier, it is stored securely, but it is not easy to access. As such, it is not a storage service that should be considered is you need file syncing or continuous backups. Glacier works like a tape backup drive and in order to get your data, you will need to wait more time and pay a higher amount than with other options. If you don’t need to access your files on a regular basis, Amazon Glacier could be a good and cheap option to store your data.
How does Amazon Glacier work?
You can easily register for Amazon Glacier, but before you do, it is advisable that you become familiar with the way in which the service works. It is possible to use your regular Amazon login to create a storage account. Then you will be able to download the Amazon Glacier client to manager your data. There are different Amazon Glacier solutions that you can try and here you will find more about them.
Glacier Uploader is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux. This makes it a practical option if you are generally moving from one computer to another. Glacier Uploader is more suitable for users with some advanced technical knowledge. Still, this Java client for Amazon Glacier is a good option that can be combined with other cloud backup service or a memory stick.
Windows users can opt for Fast Glacier, an easy to use option that is free when you only need it for personal use. It is ideal for uploading large amounts of data into the cloud if you don’t have a T1 connection available, because you can opt for multi-part uploads. The commercial version costs less than $30. Fast Glacier also gives you the possibility of connecting multiple Amazon Glacier accounts. This is very convenient if you need to manage data stored in the cloud service at home or at work. It supports a drag and drop option with windows Explorer.
CloudBerry Backup is another good solution for Windows. It works like a conventional backup technology, giving you the possibility of uploading data based on your pre-set schedule. This client is compatible with Amazon S3, Azure, Google and of course, Amazon Glacier. If you use multiple cloud storage solutions, CloudBerry Backup is a practical choice. Personal users would need to pay $29.99, while the price for commercial users is between $79.99 and $299.99. However, there is a free trial that allows you to try the service for 15 days. CloudBerry Backup offers good features for home use, but it is more suitable for corporate users.
If you are concerned about security, you can consider Arq, an option for Windows and Mac that encrypts your data before upload. It works for both Amazon Glacier and Amazon S3. This allows you to enjoy access to your data stored in the cloud instantly when you use S3, while keeping long-term storage in Glacier, for files that you don’t need to access too often. Arq offers a trial that allows you to try the service before purchasing it and it is a more stable and practical alternative to Time Machine for Mac users.
SAGU stands for Simple Amazon Glacier Uploader and it uses the command line Glacier application, featuring a convenient and appealing interface. Although it is quite basic and doesn’t offer an extensive selection of features, its simplicity may be exactly what you are looking for. Plus, since it is built in Java, it is very portable.
Cloud Gates is an option that sets up a virtual drive on your computer. This virtual drive can be connected to your Amazon Glacier or Amazon S3 and then you can use your usual FTP software to upload files to it. The website is very basic and their Amateur plan, which offers up to 500GB costs $25 per month. However, they promise to refund customers if they are not entirely happy with the service.
It is important to keep in mind that regardless of the Amazon Glacier Client that you opt for, the backups can take a long time to become accessible. This means that it is not the right option for files that you need to access regularly and quickly. Furthermore, you can’t request a single file, but a complete archive in zip file format. Whenever you access an archive, you are charged for the bandwidth that is used to download the data. If you have a large amount of data and a lot of it consists of files that you rarely use (but you still want to keep them), Glacier is a good option. However, it is not the right choice for storing work documents, studying materials or other files that you use on a regular basis.