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AWS Glacier: Secure and Durable Data Archiving in the Cloud


AWS Glacier: Secure and Durable Data Archiving in the Cloud

AWS Glacier:


In today’s digital age, businesses, and organizations generate massive amounts of data that must be stored securely and efficiently. Amazon Web Services (AWS), a leading cloud computing platform, offers a robust solution for long-term data archival and backup needs—AWS Glacier. This blog will explore AWS Glacier in detail, including its features, use cases, pricing, and benefits. Whether you are a business owner, IT professional, or data enthusiast, understanding AWS Glacier will help you make informed decisions about long-term data storage and retrieval strategies.

Overview of AWS Glacier:

AWS Glacier is an archival storage service that provides secure, durable, and low-cost storage for long-term data retention. It is designed to store data that is infrequently accessed but needs to be preserved for regulatory, compliance, or business requirements. With Glacier, users can reliably store and retrieve data over extended periods, ensuring data integrity and durability.

Key Features and Benefits of AWS Glacier:

  1. Durability and Data Integrity: AWS Glacier provides eleven nines (99.999999999%) of durability, ensuring that data remains intact and accessible for a long time. The service redundantly stores data across multiple facilities and performs regular integrity checks.
  2. Security and Compliance: Glacier incorporates robust security measures, including server-side encryption, encryption in transit, and identity and access management controls. It also supports compliance with various regulations, such as HIPAA, GDPR, and SEC Rule 17a-4
  3. Cost-Effectiveness: Glacier offers a highly cost-effective storage solution for long-term data retention. The pricing model is based on data storage volume and retrieval requests, with significantly lower costs compared to other storage options.
  4. Data Retrieval Options: AWS Glacier provides different retrieval options to cater to various needs. Expedited retrieval allows for faster access to data within minutes, while standard and bulk retrievals offer lower costs for longer retrieval times.
  5. Lifecycle Policies: Glacier integrates with AWS S3 and allows the creation of lifecycle policies to automate the transition of data from S3 to Glacier based on predefined rules. This simplifies data management and reduces storage costs.

Use Cases for AWS Glacier:

  1. Data Archiving: Glacier is ideal for archiving large volumes of data, such as financial records, medical records, research data, and historical documents. It provides a safe and cost-efficient solution to organizations with regulatory compliance requirements.
  2. Backup and Disaster Recovery: Businesses can leverage Glacier for long-term backup and disaster recovery purposes. By storing backups in Glacier, organizations ensure data resilience and the ability to restore critical data in case of lost data or system failure.
  3. Digital Media Preservation: Glacier is suitable for preserving digital media assets, such as images, videos, and audio recordings. It enables content creators, media agencies, and museums to store and retrieve large media files reliably and economically.
  4. Legal and Compliance Requirements: Many industries have legal obligations to retain data for a specified period. Glacier allows organizations to meet compliance requirements by securely storing and managing data for the required duration.
  5. Long-Term Data Analytics: Glacier serves as a repository for historical data that might be valuable for future analysis. By storing data in Glacier, organizations can access and retrieve it as needed, enabling data-driven insights and decision-making.

AWS Glacier Pricing:

AWS Glacier pricing consists of two components: storage costs and data retrieval costs. Storage costs depend on the amount of data stored per month, with pricing tiers based on data volume. Data retrieval costs are based on retrieval requests, data transfer out of Glacier, and expedited retrievals for faster access.

Best Practices for AWS Glacier:

To maximize the benefits of AWS Glacier, consider the following best practices:

  1. Data Organization: Properly categorize and organize data using Vault Lock policies, tags, and sensible folder structures to streamline data management and retrieval.
  2. Lifecycle Policies: Utilize lifecycle policies to automate the transition of data from S3 to Glacier, ensuring efficient data archival and cost savings.
  3. Data Retrieval Planning: Plan and strategize data retrieval based on your specific needs, considering the different retrieval options and associated costs.
  4. Encryption and Security: Implement server-side encryption and data transfer security measures to protect data stored in Glacier.
  5. Data Documentation: Maintain clear documentation of the data stored in Glacier, including metadata, timestamps, and any relevant contextual information for future reference.


AWS Glacier provides an effective and reliable solution for long-term data archiving and backup needs. With its durability, security, cost-effectiveness, and various retrieval options, Glacier enables businesses to store and preserve data for extended periods while maintaining data integrity and compliance. Whether you require data archiving, backup, legal compliance, or long-term analytics, AWS Glacier offers a scalable and secure storage solution. By understanding the features, benefits, pricing, and best practices associated with AWS Glacier, you can make informed decisions about leveraging this powerful archival storage service to meet your organization’s data storage and retrieval requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions about AWS Glacier

Although Amazon considers Glacier to be an official part of S3, the two storage options serve distinct purposes. Amazon S3 is a high-speed, web-based cloud storage service designed for online backup and archiving of data or applications on AWS.

Amazon S3 is a durable, secure, simple, and fast storage service, while Amazon S3 Glacier is used for archiving solutions

Use cases.

  • Media asset workflows. Media and entertainment assets, such as video and news footage, require long-term storage and can accumulate to many petabytes over time.
  • Healthcare information archiving.
  • Archive regulatory, compliance, and business policies.

The first storage class for Amazon S3 Glacier is the classic S3 Glacier class, that is intended for long-term storage that you don’t need to access quickly.

Amazon S3 Glacier is a low-cost, cloud-archive storage service that provides secure and durable storage for data archiving and online backup.

Data stored in Amazon Glacier is immutable, which means that once created, an archive cannot be updated. To gain access to Glacier, you must provide credentials that AWS can use to authenticate your requests. Those credentials must be authorized to access Glacier vaults or S3 buckets.

The Amazon S3 Glacier data model core components include vaults and archives.

S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval offers three retrieval options: expedited retrievals (typically completed in 1-5 minutes), standard retrievals (typically completed in 3-5 hours), and free bulk retrievals (typically completed in 5-12 hours).

Starting at $0.0036 per GB per month,

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