Adding another layer to Amazon's Web Services onion of cloud technologies, Glacier offers low-costs to compete with local storage providers, and offer a remote place to keep those archives and back-ups. 

A Cold Cloud Front

Despite a few recent wobbles, the cloud is becoming an ever-bigger part of corporate IT, and Glacier, a new Amazon AWS service, is here to help business do away with (or, more realistically reduce) the need for local infrastructure.

Amazon Glacier offers customers an extremely low-cost storage service for secure and durable storage for essential data archiving and backups. Unlike regular AWS services, this is for data that is infrequently accessed by users, so doesn't have the high response times associated with working files. Naturally, any cautious business would still want a local copy, but overall storage needs could be reduced. Find out more on the Glacier site

Amazon cites low-intensity data such as enterprise or scientific information back up, media file storage, digital preservation and magnetic tape replacement as typical use cases. 

Learning Opportunities

No More Flashing Lights

Pricing starts from as little as $0.01 per gigabyte per month, at $0.050 per 1,000 upload or retrieval requests, which is where Amazon hopes to compete with on-premises solutions. Even if a reseller can offer you terabytes of storage for next to nothing, you're still paying for admin, power and infrastructure. Also, Amazon's offering is easily and instantly expandable, so no waiting around for courier deliveries of new hard drives when you run out of room. 

The usual AWS dashboard helps to handle all of the management and operational heavy lifting required to do data retention well. It only takes a few clicks in the AWS Management Console to set up Amazon Glacier and then you can upload any amount of data you choose.  The service is initially available in the US-East (N. Virginia), US-West (N. California), US-West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Tokyo) and EU-West (Ireland) regions.

Amazon has been pretty busy recently, expanding its media selection for Amazon digital customers, adding a games development studio and now diversifying its cloud offerings. If rumors are true, an Amazon smartphone is next up for the company.