Amazon Glacier is a low-cost object storage for data archiving in the cloud. The data cannot be accessed or restored immediately, and it usually takes anywhere from one minute to twelve hours for the object to be ready for download depending on the retrieval option. With the unprecedented price of $0,004 per gigabyte per month, it is a good fit for long-term backup and archiving.
However, AWS monthly bill may come as an unpleasant surprise to those who use Amazon Glacier for backups. Backed up data needs to be restored from time to time, and data retrieval requests with data restore fees are listed in separate pricing categories and entail additional expenses.
In this article, we will explain how Amazon Glacier pricing is calculated and advise on how to control Amazon Glacier Retrieval costs.
Amazon Glacier Data Retrieval Pricing
Retrieval requests start at $0.05 per 1000 requests/month for Standard retrieval. In 2016 Amazon introduced new Glacier storage pricing, two additional data retrieval types and changed the free retrieval tier, thus creating more transparent retrieval pricing structure.
Note: In this article, we refer to Standard US-East region prices for calculations, but keep in mind that prices may be different for other regions.
- Free tier was changed from provisioned 5% of stored data to 10GB of free data retrieval per month
- Expedited retrieval has been introduced for those who need their data as soon as possible. You can access data within 1-5 minutes but for $0.03 per GB plus additional $0.01 per request* or provisioned $100 per PCU**
- Standard retrieval indicates that you have to wait 3-5 hours to access your data and pay $0.01 per GB plus $0.050 per 1,000 requests
- For those planning their archive retrieval, AWS has introduced cheap but long bulk retrieval. Your data is ready for download in 5-12 hours for as little as $0.0025 per GB plus $0.025 per 1,000 requests
Here is a quick comparison table of these three retrieval options:
|Expedited (new)||Standard||Bulk (new)|
|Data Access Time||1 - 5 minutes||3 - 5 hours||5 - 12 hours|
|Data Retrievals||$0.03 per GB||$0.01 per GB||$0.0025 per GB|
|Retrieval Requests||On-Demand: $0.01 per request|
Provisioned: $100 per Provisioned Capacity Unit
|$0.050 per 1,000 requests||$0.025 per 1,000 requests|
The typical restore process from Amazon Glacier has three stages. Initially, a user sends a retrieval request. Once the data is retrieved, you have 24 hours to download it from S3 or access it through Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud service.
*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.
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 mostly 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
After years of complicated calculation logic, AWS has finally introduced simple and straightforward pricing for Glacier. You have to keep in mind:
- 10 GB free retrieval tier
- Retrieval price
- Price for requests
- Transfer out costs
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.