Amazon Glacier launches as cold storage solution for less-essential photos and files

Amazon has launched a new remote storage service aimed at those who need to keep masses of files backed up, but don't need to access them regularly. Called Amazon Glacier - a take on the term "cold storage" - it is phenomenally cheap to store huge amounts of files, with limited free access to them.

Prices start at $0.01 per month per Gigabyte - so if you have 500GB of pictures that you need to back up but don't need to look at on a day-to-day basis, it'll cost a measly $5 per month. Other, immediate access services can cost much more.

Dropbox, for example, will cost $49.99 per month for 500GB of storage space. And Amazon's own S3 service, a more business-oriented option, costs $0.125 per month per GB up to the first terabyte stored. That equates to $62.50 per month for 500GB.

It does get more complicated should you wish to retrieve your files. Amazon Glacier allows you to retrieve up to five per cent of your average monthly storage for free each month, with very GB retrieved after that allowance costing $0.01.

For companies that store massive amounts of data - petabytes, for example - this could turn out more costly than S3 and other similar services.

However, Glacier is not designed for constant transfer, rather it is a safe vault for back-ups that could prove essential down the line. In consumer terms, that could mean those wedding photos and the like that you would be devastated to lose should your own back-ups fail.

Find out more at aws.amazon.com/glacier. At present, as with S3, it is available only to individuals and businesses in the US-East (N. Virginia), US-West (N. California), US-West (Oregon), EU-West (Ireland) and Asia Pacific (Japan) regions.

Pic: (cc) Donna62