I just started testing out AWS Glacier, which is an extremely low-cost data storage service by Amazon with a durability of 99.999999999%. It just costs one cent per gigabyte per month. Unlike S3, you cannot retrieve the data on demand. You need to initiate a request for download, which will be processed in 3-5 hours and then you will be able to download.
I have around 25 GBs of data in S3, which is not frequently accessed. I just use around 1 GB of data serving as CDN for few websites. If I can move that 24 GB of data to Glacier, it will cost me only 24 cents instead of $3 (S3 costs $0.125 per GB) that is a huge 92% saving. Think about the users/companies having TBs of data! 1TB now costs only $10.24 instead of S3 costing $128.
Glacier is ideal for backing up your photos, videos, and important documents which you want to backup safely and need to retrieve on failure of your system or external storage device. If you are storing them on DVDs, Pen Drives, or External Hard Disks, there is always a risk of losing the data at some point. I have had a horror story of losing important files only backed up on an external hard disk, so I always keep a copy of important data on Amazon S3.
Unfortunately, there is no option of upload in the Glacier console as of yet. Glacier documentation refers to API use for upload. So, I asked the Google and it pointed me to three Windows clients for Glacier.
1. Simple Amazon Glacier Uploader
2. Glacier freezer
All three are free. First two are Java-based clients. After a bit of usage, I liked the third one, FastGlacier.
FastGlacier is a full-fledged client to manage your Glacier account. You can put all your files in queue to be uploaded. It has both upload and download options. It also comes with a command line uploader for automation.
It has the following features:
”¢ Support for high-speed Multipart Uploads with ability to Pause and Resume.
”¢ Fast working multithreaded HTTP Engine.
”¢ Support for Multiple Amazon Glacier Accounts.
”¢ Console uploader for automated data uploads to Amazon Glacier.
”¢ Support for very large files. Up to the 40 TB in size!
”¢ Processing very large amounts of files effectively.
”¢ Bandwidth throttling and proxy support.
”¢ Drag and Drop from Windows Explorer.
Read more and download FastGlacier at: http://fastglacier.com/
Let me know if I missed a better, free GUI client.
PS: Data retrieval fees is a bit high, so be careful that you are not storing the data that you need frequently. In that case, S3 will be cheaper.