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Amazon S3 Glacier

Amazon S3 Glacier


What is Amazon S3 Glacier?

The Amazon S3 Glacier storage classes are purpose-built for data archiving, providing a low cost archive storage in the cloud. According to AWS, S3 Glacier storage classes provide virtually unlimited scalability and are designed for 99.999999999% (11 nines) of data…

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Product Details

What is Amazon S3 Glacier?

The Amazon S3 Glacier storage classes are purpose-built for data archiving, providing a low cost archive storage in the cloud. According to AWS, S3 Glacier storage classes provide virtually unlimited scalability and are designed for 99.999999999% (11 nines) of data durability, and they provide fast access to archive data and low cost.

The user chooses from three archive storage classes optimized for different access patterns and storage duration. For archive data that needs immediate access, such as medical images, news media assets, or genomics data, can use the S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval storage class, an archive storage class that delivers a low cost storage with milliseconds retrieval. For archive data that does not require immediate access but needs the flexibility to retrieve large sets of data at no cost, such as backup or disaster recovery use cases, choose S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval (formerly S3 Glacier), with retrieval in minutes or free bulk retrievals in 5-12 hours. To save more on long-lived archive storage such as compliance archives and digital media preservation, S3 Glacier Deep Archive presents an option.

Amazon S3 Glacier Technical Details

Deployment TypesSoftware as a Service (SaaS), Cloud, or Web-Based
Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationNo
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Reviews and Ratings


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(1-8 of 8)
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Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Recently we had an incident where we had security breach and data was deleted by the intruders. So our client wanted to have a backup solution where they can backup all their files as they're in banking/financing sector and those data is very crucial to them. For this I suggested them S3 Glacier as most of our deployment is AWS centric only. So we decided to got with S3 Glacier and we are backing up S3 into Glacier. With this the cost is also reduced to save objects.
  • We can setup the triggers and lifecycle process of objects to archive or backup to Glacier from S3 buckets.
  • Easy to integrate with other AWS services and access with keys
  • Till now we have only tested the backup restoring process with less data but it is fast and easy
  • Cost efficient when we compare with other vendors
  • Sometime due to slow drives there are operation failure noticed by us in testing
  • Cost of restoring data is high and if you have regular restoring them it is not good option and slow as well.
  • While we were setting up the system we took some support from AWS and in many cases their answers were not up to the mark.
If you have data that is more suited for archiving and not for frequent retrieval for operations or backup then you can go for it. Although retrieval is fast but it costs too much as compare to keep them on storage of S3. You must have well managed IT team to manage such AWS services. Good if you have to auto archive objects from S3.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Amazon Glacier is in use by several of my clients for long-term, "low-touch" storage of archival data. The main use is by media departments to backup large quantities of archival media such as photos, videos, and audio recordings. Amazon Glacier is used because of the extraordinarily low cost of storage compared to other cloud storage services.
  • Extremely low cost. Most major cloud storage providers don't compete in this field.
  • Snowball device for data transfer works perfectly for transferring huge amounts of data to Amazon Glacier.
  • Works in concert with CloudBerry Backup for continuous backup once initial backup seeded by Snowball.
  • Compared to other cloud storage providers, even Amazon's S3 service, interfacing with Amazon Glacier is complex.
  • While the Snowball device is a boon for transferring data to Amazon Glacier, at the time that I used it, it was a command-line only affair. While the actual commands were simple, the logging and reporting provided by the device made me nervous I hadn't captured all of our data to the device. Once Amazon received it back and transferred from the Snowball to Glacier, it turns out I had transferred everything.
  • Amazon also accepts external hard drives for seeding Glacier backups. However, we've had several that we felt matched all of their requirements, but the seeding failed without a satisfactory explanation from Amazon.
  • If you plan to access/restore data from Amazon Glacier regularly, the cost and complexity become a problem. Truthfully, if you're looking for cloud STORAGE and not cloud ARCHIVE, you should look elsewhere.
If your organization has a lot of archival data that it needs to be backed up for safekeeping, where it won't be touched except in a dire emergency, Amazon Glacier is perfect. In our case, we had a client that generates many TB of video and photo data at annual events and wanted to retain ALL of it, pre- and post- edit for potential use in a future museum. Using the Snowball device, we were able to move hundreds of TB of existing media data that was previously housed on multiple Thunderbolt drives, external RAIDs, etc, in an organized manner, to Amazon Glacier. Then, we were able to setup CloudBerry Backup on their production computers to continually backup any new media that they generated during their annual events.
Dylan Cauwels | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We used it for long term storage solutions at a low cost. Generally, it's a backup solution for when we have legacy systems that are getting replaced by a newer application. We will throw all the associated data/files/information on the legacy application onto Glacier to be pulled out if we ever need to revamp it or reference the application for any reason.
  • Low cost, long term storage is the marketed strength of Glacier and something that it does very well
  • Great for storing data needed for compliance purposes without breaking the bank
  • Storing data that you don't need but want to ensure is there if you ever do need it. I feel very safe putting data in Glacier given its (up to) 11 9's redundancy
  • Having the option to pay to get the data back faster would be much appreciated, but given the price and the disclaimers given before storing this is an understandable inconvenience
  • Setup can be a bit difficult in certain implementations as it requires a 3rd party client to transfer data into
  • Support and download costs were higher than expected
Well suited for storing data that doesn't need to be accessed but needs to be kept for compliance or support reasons later on. If you have data that you will need to access quickly once you realize you need it, be sure to either choose the quick-retrieval option of Glacier that costs more or store it in S3. Needing data quickly and not being able to retrieve it is one of the worst situations you can find yourself in at the expense of saving a few bucks.
Gavin Hackeling | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
My organization is required to retain application audit logs for several years. The engineering team at my organization uses Amazon Glacier to provide a simple, inexpensive and compliant log storage. It is easy to configure the lifecycles for our log buckets in S3 to automatically transition objects to the infrequent-access storage class, and eventually to Glacier.
  • Glacier is an inexpensive solution to the problem of storing rarely-accessed data for years.
  • You can configure S3 buckets to transition objects to Glacier with a few clicks.
  • It is easy to get started with Glacier; there is little learning curve and few concepts to familiarize yourself with.
  • Accessing data stored in Glacier is slow. That shouldn't be a surprise, but it is undesirable nonetheless.
  • Retrieving a large amount of data can be expensive; Glacier's intended use is as an archive of rarely-accessed data.
  • Some users regard Glacier with fear and uncertainty. Slow retrieval time and high retrieval cost are the greatest risks of using Glacier, and they are also the Glacier interaction that most users have the least experience with.
Glacier is perfect for some narrow use-cases, particularly for logging and regulatory compliance. For example, Glacier is ideal for archiving audit logs that are rarely accessed for several years. Glacier is very inexpensive for this use-case, and automatically transitioning objects from S3 buckets to Glacier after a few months is a breeze.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We've only recently begun to use Amazon Glacier for larger parts of the company, but we've been using Amazon Glacier for portions of our storage for 3 years. It helps provide extra redundancy in our data storage and the fact that it can be accessed from anywhere is a huge plus.
  • Globally accessible
  • Inexpensive for the amount of data you can store compared to cost
  • The name Amazon provides a lot of peace of mind
  • Billing system isn't the smoothest to operate
  • Recalling information from glacier can run slow depending on type of data
  • Customer support
We have backed up all of our company's long-term data on Amazon Glacier and we've recently begun experimenting with setting up consultants' workspace on amazon glacier. This will allow us to keep a separation between core employees' work and temporary workers. As we keep expanding we are excited to see other ways we can leverage Glacier.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Glacier is an amazing way to start all the data you rarely need but have to store in case of emergency. It is being used by our technology department and allows us to keep massive amounts of files for very cheap, files we would rarely need but can't throw away.
  • Very inexpensive
  • Easy to transfer files
  • 24/7 availablity
  • Low availability
  • Only access to files in small timeframes
Amazon Glacier is great for any time you need to store files but do not want to use on site storage (costly) or S3 (cheaper but why pay for old, stale rarely used data?). Any time you have data but are not sure you will ever need to use it again, send it to Glacier for pennies a month.
Jeff Stockamp | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
It's being used to archive infrastructure and application logs. These are being being pushed into Glacier by lifecycle policies on S3 Buckets. These objects are very rarely retrieved.
  • Easy to implement, especially if you're using S3 lifecycle policies.
  • Helps meet compliance requirements, especially when combined with vault lock policies.
  • Very low cost.
  • Pricing for retrieval of large objects is too high.
It's great for objects that are already in AWS, like in S3. Moving objects from S3 to Glacier is very simple.

It would be difficult to consider Glacier outside of other AWS services. It's unlikely that someone would use AWS just for Glacier. It's great as part of the AWS ecosystem, but shouldn't really be deployed as a stand alone product.
Rytis Slatkevičius | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We used Amazon Glacier to store backups of virtual machine images. A virtual machine image may take gigabytes and, considering that we made snapshots quite often, that would generate a lot of data very fast. Amazon Glacier turned out to be a cheap solution to store all that data.
  • Cheap storage of backup data.
  • Can be used as a part of the entire suite of tools from Amazon, without requiring you to leave the familiar stack.
  • Enumeration of data takes hours. In order to get data back you'll need to do inventory of the bucket, but that takes a few hours to complete.
  • Data and bucket deletion also requires inventory. Moreover, it is not possible to delete a bucket that has been recently written to - making bucket deletion a lengthy ordeal: first, you perform inventory, then delete your files, but you cannot delete the bucket as you recently deleted files, so you have to wait for another day in order to delete the bucket itself.
  • While data storage is cheap and easy, data retrieval can be expensive as you only get a download quota that is a few percent of your storage.
As described in the use case, it is perfect for backup data storage where you do not expect to retrieve the data often. Think of it as a data dump; it is nice to know you have a backup, but it actually is expensive and somewhat difficult to retrieve everything.
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