Showing posts from November, 2012

Amazon Glacier Improvements

Amazon has pushed out a couple of important updates related to Glacier recently. The most notable is a new S3 feature to automatically migrate data from S3 to Glacier based on certain rules like age and organization structure. The other update deals with partitioned retrieves of large data sizes; for instance restoring a large file in multiple operations to keep restore costs under control. Now, as much as I love the idea that S3 based structures can be automatically archived or migrated to Glacier, I would really prefer a storage client that offer intelligent use and configuration of these services. These two services offer very different price points and usage patterns, and a healthy combination would probably make sense for most backup scenarios. One example is that read/write data like a backup manifest or database would need a service like S3 whereas stable data like photos and videos would benefit from Glacier storage. Data used in sync scenarios would probably need to be on S

Amazon Glacier – Digging Into Peak Hourly Retrieval Rate

As the Amazon Glacier FAQ clearly states, it is designed for infrequent retrieval. In other words, excessive retrieval will make a clear dent in your monthly bill – and this comes in the form of something called Peak Hourly Retrieval rate. There are other components related to the Glacier retrieval policy, but they are straight forward and in line with other Amazon Services. Let us say you have 250 GB of data stored in Glacier and we have a month with 30 days. You get to retrieve 5% of your data at a monthly basis for free, which in a 30 day month is about 0.17% or 0.42 GB per day or 17.8 MB per hour. Anything more than this will be added to your bill based on your Peak Hourly Retrieval rate. Let us start by investigating the rate you would get if you had a dumb or generic backup client. You want to restore your 250GB of data, and the backup client will request this data from Glacier. If I understand Glacier correctly, the minimum processing time would be 4 hours. So let us use th

Amazon Glacier Pricing – a master class in confusion

I am fascinated by the Amazon Glacier product and its potential as the cloud backup store of choice, largely because of it its extremely low price point at around 1 cent per 1 GB per month – or around 30 dollars for a years’ worth of 250 GB quality storage. Also, transferring data into Amazon Glacier is free. So far so good, right? Well, there is an additional charge for the number of requests or API calls for a lack of a better description – but they should be relatively cheap as well. This charge isn’t very predictable, but depending on your backup software it might be a slightly larger number than the amount of files you are backing up. Anyway, there is really no way to know for sure. In short, we have an affordable way to back up our data to the cloud. Well, I guess it is time for the confusing part. You had a massive system failure or an accidental deletion, and it is time to get your data back. The process itself is relatively simple; you just fire up your backup software an

Adventures in Cloud Backup Land

I have usually tried to keep my critical data down to a reasonable size, and with a reasonable level of redundancy. In what I suspect can be referred to as the old days in computer time, I used to backup to external hard drives – or more recently popularized and modernized as a NAS device. While this remains an almost as popular approach as no backup at all, we are living in a cloud backup era and it is a good idea to find a backup option in this domain – and I suppose a lot of us have; knowingly or not. That said, I still like my local backup. So what does one do? Well, I did what I thought was sensible at the time. I when to my local backup supplier and found a cloud option – a no brainer one might think. It seemed to have all the bells and whistles to suit my somewhat skeptical mind. Well, my cloud experience with Acronis was short lived. For such a crucial player in the local backup and imaging marked, I have little positive feedback for their cloud service. Reminded me of when

New Engine - Similar Thoughts

Changed my blog engine to something slightly more integrated with my existing infrastructure - optimize and simplify. Earlier thoughts are still available at