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.

Amazon Glacier