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Amazon Adds Storage For Infrequently Accessed Data

21/09/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


Standard-IA holds data that's not accessed often, but when it's needed, it's needed fast, not like the chilled-out pace of Glacier data retrieval.

Amazon Web Services has announced Standard-IA, a new, lower-priced storage service for rarely accessed data.

The new offering is similar to AWS's Glacier storage, cold storage in Amazon Web Services' Simple Storage Service. Glacier is used for less frequently accessed or infrequently accessed data and objects. Its pricing dips as low as 0.7 cents per GB per month, compared to a more typical 3 cents per GB per month for the first TB of S3 Standard Storage. (S3 Standard storage prices decline gradually as the quantity of data rises above a TB.)

Standard-IA is designed for storing log files, backups, other rarely accessed data, or even for data that may never be accessed but still must be archived. Unlike some forms of archival storage, where speed of retrieval matters little, speed may be important if the data needs to be retrieved for recovery purposes.

Hence, Standard-IA (which stands for Standard, Infrequent Access) is priced at 1.25 cents per GB per month -- less than Standard Storage but above Glacier storage.

In a Sept. 16 blog post, Amazon evangelist Jeff Barr said the S3 team studied customer patterns and "found that many AWS customers store backups or log files that are almost never read. Others upload shared documents or raw data for immediate analysis. These files generally see frequent activity right after upload, with a significant drop-off as they age. In most cases, this data is still very important, so durability is a requirement. Although this storage model is characterized by infrequent access, customers still need quick access to their files, so retrieval performance remains as critical as ever."

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