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Amazon Glacier Pricing Explained

Published: by on Post Type: Categories: AWS

Amazon Glacier is a low-cost cloud storage for data archiving. In fact, Glacier seems so cheap that many users chose it for storing all their backups. That may be costly, though. Why?

Because Amazon Glacier is as cheap for data storage as it’s expensive for restore. This article explains the pricing for AWS’s least expensive storage class.

Table of Contents

    Amazon Glacier Pricing

    Amazon Glacier pricing consists of 5 elements:

    • Storage pricing. Starts at $0,004 per GB/month 
    • UPLOAD Requests. Each time you need to upload a file or a piece of file, a request is sent. Requests are billed in thousands, as there are usually many of them. The price is - $0.05/1000 UPLOAD requests. 
    • Retrieval Pricing. Before you can start downloading files, you need to retrieve them from Glacier. That is a special operation, that exists only for that Amazon S3 class.
    • Retrieval Requests Pricing. Requests for retrieval operations.
    • Transfer out pricing - this is a price for each GB you’ve downloaded out of the Glacier to Internet or to other AWS region. It has several tiers, and will be reviewed further in the article.

    All prices depend on a region, you work in. We are referring to the US East (N. Virginia) region.

    Amazon Glacier Early Deletion Fee

    If you move or delete data in Glacier within 90-days since their creation, you will pay an additional charge, that is called an early deletion fee. In US East you will pay $0.004/GB if you have deleted 1 GB in 2 months, $0.008/GB if you have deleted 1 GB in 1 month and $0.012 if you have deleted 1 GB within 3 months. That’s effectively the same price for storing the given amount of data in a storage for a given time.

    Amazon Glacier Retrieval Cost

    Data retrieval is a process of preparing your files for download. In Glacier this can be done in the range of minutes to 12 hours. The time depends on one of the three retrieval rates, you will choose:

    • Expedited retrieval. You can access data within 1-5 minutes. The price for that rate is - $0.03 per GB plus additional $0.01 per request* or provisioned $100 per PCU**
    • Standard retrieval. You can access your data in 3-5 hours. The price is - $0.01 per GB plus $0.050 per 1,000 requests
    • Bulk retrieval. You can access the data in 5-12 hours. The prices are lowest among all retrieval rates -  $0.0025 per GB plus $0.025 per 1,000 requests

    *Expedited On-Demand requests, like EC2 On-Demand instances, are available the vast majority of the time.

    **Provisioned requests should be used when you need a guarantee that your retrieval capacity will be available when you need it. You buy Provisioned requests in Provisioned Capacity units, each of which ensures at least 3 Expedited retrievals every 5 minutes and provides up to 150 MB/s of retrieval throughput.

    You can retrieve 10 GB for free each month at standard speeds

    Amazon Glacier Retrieval Tiers Pricing Comparison

    Expedited (new) StandardBulk (new)
    Data Access Time1 - 5 minutes3 - 5 hours5 - 12 hours
    Data Retrievals$0.03 per GB$0.01 per GB$0.0025 per GB
    Retrieval RequestsOn-Demand: $0.01 per request

    Provisioned: $100 per Provisioned Capacity Unit

    $0.050 per 1,000 requests$0.025 per 1,000 requests

    Once the retrieval is finished, you have 24 hours to transfer data out

    Amazon Glacier Transfer Out Pricing

    In AWS terms, when you download data from Glacier, you transfer data out. Price for transfer depends on whether you transfer data to the Internet or to other AWS region.

    Data Transfer Out to Internet

    • 1GB each month is free.
    • 9.999 TB/ month - $0.09/ GB
    • Next 40 TB/ month - $0.085/ GB
    • Next 100 TB/ month - $0.07/ GB
    • Greater than 150 TB/ month - $0.05/ GB

    Data Transfer Out to AWS Regions is the same for all regions - $0.02/ GB

    Data transfer in Glacier is always free

    Amazon Glacier Deep Archive

    In 2019, Amazon Glacier Deep Archive storage class will become available. The new service is meant for deep archival data that is only needed very infrequently but can’t be deleted. Basically, Glacier Deep Archive is an extension to the existing AWS Glacier service, but at a far lower price. The storage of 1Gb will cost you $0.00099 per month. According to AWS, this service is intended to replace tape that many companies still rely on.

    How to Control Glacier Retrieval

    CloudBerry Backup lets you specify the required Glacier retrieval option. It allows you to choose exactly how you want to retrieve files - in Bulk, with Standard 3-5 hours or you need a fast but expensive Expedited restore.

    You’re in Charge

    If you have a well-planned data archival policy, Amazon Glacier will quickly become the obvious and the cheapest solution on the market of cold storage. 

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