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Amazon Web Services unveils Glacier tool for data archiving in the cloud

21 Aug 2012
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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a data archiving service in the cloud to help firms reduce their storage costs.

The Amazon Glacier tool is designed to allow firms to store data that is rarely needed during day-to-day operations but has to be kept, such as healthcare details, financial records and digital media archives.

AWS explained that many firms often pay too much for storage of data as they buy based on projected needs, rather than actual requirements, but by using a cloud model it can overcome this issue.

"We have found back-up and archival storage customers typically don't require many of Amazon S3's features and functionality, such as low latency retrieval, and will gladly trade these features for lower storage costs," an AWS spokesperson explained to V3.

"By creating a technology that is optimised for the archival storage customer, Amazon Glacier will help existing Amazon S3 back-up and archival storage customers save money, and will attract new customers who will find Amazon Glacier significantly less expensive than their current archive storage solution."

The firm also said the use of a cloud system would remove many of the management headaches that on-site storage can create.

"Amazon Glacier can replace on-premise or offsite tape libraries. Although magnetic tape-based storage can be cost-effective when operated at scale, it can be a drain on resources as tape libraries need to be maintained (often in geographically distinct locations) requiring specialised personnel, and taking up valuable space in datacentres," the spokesperson said.

"In addition, the tapes themselves must be carefully stored and managed, which can include periodically copying data from old tapes onto new ones to ensure that your data can still be read as tape technology standards evolve."

AWS said pricing for the service would start from $0.01 per GB per month, and is available across the world from its datacentres in North Virginia, California, Oregon, Tokyo and Ireland.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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