Amazon Web Services (AWS) wants you to burn your magnetic tape storage and put all the data on it on “ice” instead. That’s AWS Glacier Deep Archive, rather: the company’s ultra-cheap cloud-based storage offering which is now generally available.
First announced at the company’s Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas last November, Deep Glacier is priced at a mere $1 per TB. Its intended market: those seeking to store data that is rarely accessed – whether that’s reels of intellectual property or datasets that have to be maintaining in order to be compliant with local regulations – but which users may still want to pull to run machine learning on, or otherwise access.
Under their new scheme clients will be able to store their data in Amazon datacentres at $0.00099 per GB each month,. AWS is quick to say that anything you store in their cheaper offer is protected 99.999999999% of the time. Any date stored using S3 Glacier Deep Archive is replicated and stored in datacentres in three different regions. If anything happens they say they can restore it within 12 hours or less.
Mai-Lan Tomsen Bukovec, VP of Amazon S3 said: “We have customers who have exabytes of storage locked away on tape, who are stuck managing tape infrastructure for the rare event of data retrieval. It’s hard to do and that data is not close to the rest of their data if they want to do analytics and machine learning on it.”
“S3 Glacier Deep Archive costs just a dollar per terabyte per month and opens up rarely accessed storage for analysis whenever the business needs it, without having to deal with the infrastructure or logistics of tape access.”
S3 Glacier Deep Archive Creates Copies
All data you store in the ice archive can be retrieved by initiating a restore commanded in the Amazon S3 Management console. Initiating a restore actually: “Creates a temporary copy of your data in the S3 RRS storage class while leaving the archived data intact in S3 Glacier Deep Archive.”
This storage system is acutely aimed at those organisations that have large datasets that they don’t need to run any kind machine learning analytics on immediately. Many enterprise do still store their data in this method, while magnetic tapes are a solid cheap storage option, it does require continued maintenance as tape degrades and has to be replaced if not stored in an appropriate manner.
Keeping data in magnetic tape libraries is an extra cost associated with IT departments that in the era of cloud storage is becoming less appealing.
Andy Shenkler, Chief Product Officer at Deluxe, a video creation enterprise, commented in an emailed statement that: “As the demand for higher quality and increased amounts of content continues to rapidly grow, we will now have the ability to eliminate the limitations of a hybrid on-prem tape model by using S3 Glacier Deep Archive to reduce access time and rapidly shift the availability and workability of content sources exclusively on the cloud,”
“AWS’s S3 Glacier Deep Archive addresses the challenges that have previously existed around the economics and timelines associated with accessing and utilizing large media assets throughout every step of the content creation and distribution process.”
The death of tape has been proclaimed before, however, but the tape storage industry has thus far shown no sign of disappearing; innovations on the aging technology have been continuing, with throughput rates and capacity continuing to improve.