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Comparing Amazon S3 vs Glacier

Amazon Simple Storage Service, or better known as Amazon S3 is an object storage service (cloud storage) that offers scalability, availability, security and performance. Amazon S3 Glacier (Glacier Storage) and S3 Glacier Deep Archive are cloud storage classes targeted at infrequently used files, data archiving and long-term backups.

Unlike Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) or your computer's file systems, where data is managed in a hierarchy of directories, Amazon S3 treats data as individual objects.

When to use Amazon S3 Vs Glacier?

Since you can store a practically unlimited amount of data in both S3 and Glacier, the option of which of the two services to use is more geared towards the type of use you will make of the stored data. See the two options:

  1. Use S3 if you need low latency or frequent access to your data.
  2. Already use Glacier S3 for low storage cost and if you don't need millisecond access to your data.

Security, Availability and Access: What's the Difference Amazon S3 vs Glacier?

The S3 maintains compliance programs such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, FedRAMP, EU Data Protection Directive and FISMA to help meet regulatory requirements. THE AWS it also supports numerous auditing features to monitor access to requests to S3 resources.

Both S3 and Glacier are designed for 99.999999999% (11 9s) retention Data backup because it automatically creates and stores copies of all objects in multiple regions. This means data is available when needed and protected from failures, errors and threats.

S3 is designed for availability of 99.99%, while Glacier has no percentage provided by AWS.

Keep in mind that Amazon S3 Glacier and S3 Glacier Deep Archive offer advanced integration with AWS CloudTrail to log, monitor, and retain storage API call activity for auditing purposes.

How long does it take to recover data on Amazon S3 Glacier?

Amazon Glacier is marketed by AWS as “extremely low-cost data storage”. The cost per Terabyte of storage is only a fraction of the cost of S3.

Amazon Glacier was designed for the concept of write once to “disk” and recover rarely. This is reflected in pricing, where larger restores come at an additional cost and restoring objects requires lead times of up to 5 hours or 48 hours in the case of Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive.

The Amazon S3 Glacier Storage Class provides three recovery options via the AWS Management Console:

  1. Fast (data retrieval) or emergency recoveries typically return data within one to five minutes and are great for active archiving use cases.
  2. Standard recoveries complete in three to five hours and work well for activities where time is not as critical, such as backing up data, editing media, or long-term analysis.
  3. Bulk recoveries are the cheapest recovery option, and they return large amounts of data in 5 to 12 hours.
  4. The Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive storage class offers two recovery options, ranging from 12 to 48 hours.

Can I make lifecycle rules for files on AWS S3?

You can set up a lifecycle policy for your S3 objects to automatically transfer them to Glacier. Lifecycle management helps users store data in a cost-effective way using two actions:

  • Storage transition: Defines when objects transition to another storage layer. For example from S3 to Glacier.
  • Expiration: defines when objects will be deleted.
Lifecycle S3 vs Glacier 4Matt Technology

Other information :

  • S3 can be used to host static web content, while Glacier cannot, as it doesn't have frequent access;
  • A single glacier file can contain 40TB of data;
  • S3 supports versioning;
  • Objects stored in S3 (S3 Bucket) have a minimum storage duration of 30 days (except Standard S3).
  • Objects that are archived in Glacier have a minimum of 90 days of storage.
  • Objects that are deleted, overwritten, or transitioned to a different storage class before the minimum age will be surcharged with the recovery rate plus the minimum normal storage usage rate.
  • S3 Standard-IA and One Zone-IA have a minimum load capacity per object of 128KB. The glacier minimum is 40KB.
  • You can transition objects from some S3 storage classes to another.
  • Objects in Glacier cannot be transitioned to any S3 storage class.

If you'd like to learn more about how to build your own data storage strategy on AWS or Cloud Backup, talk to one of our experts.

AWS cost reduction best practices should be managed in a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) and using a single cloud governance platform where you can control Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and VMware.

It is very common that companies only pay attention to this control when their environment and consumption are already large and then it may be too late.

we are the 4Matt Technology, experts in Software Governance and CCoE, Cloud Center of Excellence.

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