Home Cloud Amazon Web Services Amazon S3 Glacier: An underrated yet reliable storage option

Amazon S3 Glacier: An underrated yet reliable storage option


Amazon S3 Glacier is a cloud storage service for data archiving and long-term backup. It is a secure, durable and extremely low-cost storage option. AWS designed this to deliver 99.999999999% durability and offer comprehensive security and compliance protection.

S3 Glacier offers query-in-place functionality, that allows you to run powerful analytics directly on your archive data at rest. Amazon S3 Glacier allows you to save cost significantly as compared to on-premises services.

You can store data for as little as $0.004 per gigabyte per month. To keep the cost low yet suitable for the different retrieval needs, AWS offers three options with S3 Glacier to access archives. The retrieval process varies from a few minutes to several hours.

Qualities of Amazon S3 Glacier

1. Data retrieval can be as fast as 1-5 minutes

Amazon S3 Glacier offers 3 retrieval options. Expedited Retrievals can fetch data within 1-5 minutes. This property makes it a better option for Active Archive. Standard retrievals typically take 3-5 hours to complete the retrieval.

Also, it works well for less time-sensitive needs such as backup data, media editing or long-term analysis. Bulk retrievals are the lowest-cost retrieval option. With this, you can retrieve a large chunk of data within 5-12 hours.

2. Unparalleled Durability and scalability

Amazon S3 Glacier runs on the world’s largest cloud infrastructure and it is designed to achieve 99,9999999999% durability. Data is distributed automatically across, at least, three geographically separated physical Availability Zones within an AWS region.

3. Low cost

Amazon S3 Glacier is designed to be the least expensive AWS object storage class so that you can archive large amounts of data at a bare minimum cost. This makes it possible to retain all the data you want. Its use cases include data lakes, analytics, IoT, machine learning, compliance, and archiving media assets. Therefore, you only pay for what you use, with no minimum commitment or upfront fees.

4. Query in place

Amazon S3 Glacier is the only cloud archive storage service that lets you query data in place and only retrieves the data you need from an archive. Amazon S3 Glacier Select also helps you to reduce the total cost of ownership by commuting your data lake into lucrative archive storage.

5. Highly secure and compliance capabilities

Amazon S3 Glacier offers advanced integration with AWS CloudTrail to log, monitor and retain storage API calls. These details help in auditing and support three different forms of encryption. Amazon S3 Glacier also supports safety standards and certification of compliances including SEC Rule 17a-4, PCI-DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, FedRAMP, EU GDPR, and FISMA. Besides, Amazon Glacier Vault Lock enables WORM storage capabilities, thus satisfying all the compliance requirements for virtually every regulatory agency around the globe.

But this is not the only storage option in Amazon S3. Read more about the S3 storage types and their pricing.


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