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Amazon adjusts S3 Glacier’s pricing model and introduces a snapshot solution for Elastic Block Store (EBS). Organizations currently using either service have new, possibly more cost-effective storage options available.

Amazon shares the news at conference AWS re:Invent, kicking off with the introduction of Amazon S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval. A new form for the existing Glacier storage layer, intended for storing data that rarely needs to be retrieved.

Glacier is currently the cheapest form of storage in S3. Within the layer, prices differ based on the speed at which an organization wants to be able to retrieve data. The longer you are willing to wait, the less you pay. S3 Glacier Deep Archive is the cheapest option by far. The price point is contrasted by a hefty data retrieval waiting time, which ranges from 12 to 48 hours. The fastest, most expensive option peaked at a waiting time of a few minutes — until today.

Amazon is introducing Glacier Instant Retrieval, whose wait times encompass milliseconds, similar to S3’s hotter Standard storage layer. The Standard layer has an ‘Infrequent Access’ variant, where data can be stored for a relatively low price, provided the data is retrieved infrequently. While the ‘Infrequent Access’ variant remains, the new Glacier Instant Retrieval serves as its spiritual successor.

Amazon itself states that the new form is nearly 70 percent more cost-effective for organizations that currently use S3’s ‘Infrequent Access’ and retrieve data up to four times a year. Glacier Instant Retrieval is a serious candidate for Amazon’s most cost-effective layer for backups and recovery.

EBS Snapshots Archive

Secondly, Amazon is adding a solution to Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS). The so-called Amazon EBS Snapshots Archive is intended to be a cost-effective option for storing snapshots of volumes in EBS.

EBS is Amazon’s block storage option. Whereas the aforementioned Glacier is suitable for archiving, organizations use EBS to provide storage for fast-moving, demanding cloud workloads.

Backups and snapshots remain essential. Amazon states that EBS users regularly write their own scripts to automatically transport snapshots from EBS to a Glacier layer, taking cost-effectiveness into their own hands. With the introduction of EBS Snapshots Archive, Amazon hopes to eliminate the need for a detour.

The solution has prices we’ve come to expect from Glacier. But whereas Glacier lacks support for EBS, EBS Snapshots Archive features tooling to create, share and restore EBS snapshots to a volume in the event of data loss.

Tip: Techinze’s full coverage of AWS re:Invent 2021