January 25 2023

What are the differences between AWS S3 and AWS Glacier?

S3 VS Glacier, discover the similarities and differences between popular Amazon AWS object storage solutions.

Data management has become an increasingly important part of business operations, and having a reliable and long-lasting archiving system is essential to ensure continuity of operations. However, setting up and maintaining an internal storage system can often be complex and expensive, especially with regard to hardware and RAID configuration.

Fortunately, there are enterprise-class storage services that offer reliable and scalable storage solutions without the need to manage disk hardware and maintenance. One of the major providers of these services is Amazon Web Services with its Object Storage services such as S3 and Glacier.

In addition, using S3 cloud storage also offers more security options than a local SAN or NAS, such as the advantage of using S3 cloud storage is physical security. With S3 cloud storage, data is stored in Amazon's enterprise-grade data centers, which offer high physical security, including alarms, surveillance, and physical access controls. This means that your data is protected against any physical damage or disruption caused by weather or other external causes.

These services offer advanced options such as geo-replication and the ability to archive data for extended periods of time, ensuring greater stability and security for corporate data.

What is an Object Storage and what are the advantages?

Object storage refers to a type of data storage where data is stored as objects, rather than as files or blocks. In an Object Storage system, each object is made up of three main components: data, a unique identifier and metadata.

Data is the actual content of the object, such as an image file or text document. The unique identifier is a unique label that identifies the object within the storage system. Metadata is additional information about the object, such as creation date, file size, and other useful information for data management.

Object Storage VS Traditional

One of the benefits of using an Object Storage system is its scalability. Object storage systems are designed to scale horizontally, which means they can handle an unlimited amount of data without disruption. In addition, Object Storage systems offer greater flexibility than traditional archiving systems, as they allow you to archive and retrieve data from anywhere on the Internet.

Enterprise solutions used globally in industry, government, healthcare, and military include Amazon S3 and Glacier.

Amazon S3

Amazon S3

AWS Amazon S3 is an object storage service designed for long-term archiving of data that is not strictly necessary but needs to be available quickly. This is ideal for storing files such as images, videos, documents and backups. S3 also offers advanced options such as geographic data replication for high availability and data security.

Features

  • Scalability: S3 is designed to scale horizontally, which means it can handle an unlimited amount of data without disruption.
  • Reliability: S3 offers 99,99% availability and 99,999999999% durability for archived data, ensuring that data is always available when needed.
  • Security: S3 offers several security options including data encryption in transit and at rest, access management through Identity and Access Management (IAM), and the ability to create private buckets.
  • Geo-Replication: S3 allows you to replicate your data to ensure high availability and increased data security.

Use Case

  • Backup and Recovery: S3 is used to create backup copies of corporate data to ensure availability in the event of a disaster.
  • File Storage: S3 is used to store files such as images, videos, documents and other types of content.
  • Big data archiving: S3 is used as an archive for large amounts of data, such as transaction logs and scientific data.

Amazon Glacier

Amazon Glacier

Amazon Glacier is a long-term archiving service from Amazon Web Services (AWS) designed for archiving data that is infrequently used. With cheaper rates than S3 for long-term data archiving, Glacier is a great choice for archiving data such as transaction logs or scientific data.

Features

  • Long-term archiving: Glacier is designed for long-term archiving of data that is infrequently used.
  • Cheap rates: Glacier offers cheaper rates than S3 for long-term data archiving.
  • Data Recovery: Glacier offers several options for data recovery, including standard recovery (within 3-5 hours) or fast recovery (within 1-5 minutes) at higher rates.
  • Security: Glacier offers several security options including encryption of data in transit and at rest, access management through Identity and Access Management (IAM), and the ability to create private vaults.

Use Case

  • Storing Historical Data: Glacier is used to store historical data that is not used frequently, such as transaction logs.
  • Scientific Data Storage: Glacier is used to store scientific data that is not used frequently, such as research data.
  • Storing Legal Data: Glacier is used to store legal data that needs to be retained for extended periods of time.

The price difference between Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier

Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier are both Amazon Web Services archiving services, but they offer different rates for data archiving. S3 is designed for long-term archiving of data that needs to be available quickly, while Glacier is specifically designed for long-term archiving of data that is infrequently used. As a result, data storage rates in S3 are generally higher than those in Glacier.

While the price difference between S3 and Glacier might be negligible when storing small amounts of data, it becomes significant when working with large volumes of data in the tens of terabytes or more. In these cases, using Glacier can mean significant savings on data storage costs over the long term. However, it's important to keep in mind that data retrieval times in Glacier can be longer than in S3, so you should carefully evaluate your specific data needs to choose the most appropriate archiving service.

Pricing for Amazon S3 storage varies by region and by the options you choose. Here are some of the rates for Amazon S3 storage in Europe:

Storage option Rate per GB per month
Standard storage $ 0,023
Cold Storage (S3 Glacier) $ 0,004
Cold Archive (S3 Glacier Deep Archive) $ 0,00099
Transfer option Rate per GB
Transfer in Free
Transfer within the same region Free
Transfer between regions $0,02 per GB
Request option Rate
Read request $0,004 per 1,000 read requests
Writing request $0,05 per 1,000 write requests

Please note that these are just some of the rates for Amazon S3 storage in Europe and may vary by region.

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