Who knows where they came up with that name, but Glacier is a new, extremely low-cost data storage service from Amazon. The reason it’s so cheap is because it’s meant for archiving and long-term storage of data that you don’t expect to access very often.
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).
The first thing I thought when reading about Glacier was, Hellooooo Arq. I already use Arq to backup my most important files to Amazon S3, but it’d be stellar if I could use it backup my entire MacBook Air while also reducing my S3 bill. A complete backup of my Air to Amazon’s rock-solid, encrypted, redundant data centers would only cost me $2.50/month. That’s crazy!
I got in touch with Stefan Reitshamer, the developer behind Arq, to ask about Arq’s future support of Glacier. He’s done more reading than I have about just exactly how Glacier works, and it won’t be as simple as it may sound.
There are a few factors that make the storing and retrieving of data on Glacier not as straightforward as it is on S3. The biggest factor being the retrieval cost. There’s a discussion on Hacker News about it and it’s not quite clear just how much it would cost to retrieve all your data, but it looks like it wouldn’t be cheap.