Amazon has just announced their new low-cost backup solution for the Amazon Web Services cloud service. Entitled "Amazon Glacier" the service promises to offer backup for as little as $0.01 a GB/month. Not only could this disrupt the corporate world, but the personal world too. End-users could backup massive amounts of personal data to the Amazon cloud long term, for next to no money.
The service promises to save IT organizations money for their backup solutions, since many companies must purchase more than they need in anticipation of growing backup demand. Amazon Glacier solves that problem by only making users pay for what they use per month.
According to the promotion page, backup jobs are stored as "archives" and take around 4-5 hours to retrieve when needed. Users are only billed for what data they transfer to/from Glacier, and the data that they store. The solution stores the backed up data across multiple datacenters, giving resiliency many companies could never afford for a much lower cost.
Pricing for storage starts at $0.01 a gigabyte, and doesn't get any more expensive unless you choose to host the data off of US shores. What's incredible, is that Amazon says that there is no limit to backup size (except a single file can only be 40 Terabytes) or duration of retention. Even better? You can retrieve up to 5% of your backups every month for free. That should be more than enough for those backup jobs where a user lost a folder of documents.
The company even advertises the services as a great replacement for those ageing magnetic backup tapes that many companies use, and could be the first time that many can consider moving away from them. More information on the new service can be found in the FAQ here.