Some quick Amazon Glacier numbers

Amazon Glacier. A very nice idea, a nice storage price (1 cent / GB month). Pricing up of restores is a bit more complicated but seems to work ok for large backups with small infrequent restores. Perhaps using it as a full DR target is a bit of a stretch due to the huge cost of restoring everything quickly.

As great as it sounds, I needed to get my head out of the cloud. So to bring it back to earth, how would it apply to me.

Hypothetically if you stored 10TB in it, that would be roughly $100/month in storage.

5% of that could be restored for free in any month, so 500GB. But that’s daily prorated, so 16.6GB/day for 30 days. If you exceed this you pay based on the maximum hourly transfer volume you achieved (less the hourly prorated free allowance (0.694GB in this example)) multiplied by the number of hours in the month (720 for 30 days) multiplied by the excess fee of $0.01/GB. Gulp.

Also each restore job is only available for 24hours, so that would be 30 restore jobs not just one. I didn’t see anything saying a limit to how many jobs can be done in a month or a per restore fee.

If you delete something within 3 months of uploading you pay a prorated fee per GB for deleting it. Best off leaving it there for 3 months because it’ll cost you the same either way.

Now for some real world more relevant figures. Australian ADSL2 is marketed as up to 24Mbps downstream (and is 1Mbps upstream unless you pay for Annex-M which is about 2Mbps upstream).

Glacier uploads are free (nearly), and can be multipart uploads to consolidate into one archive. Nearly free because transfer is free but requests are $0.05 per 1000.

With 1Mbps upload, say you can sustain 110KB/s (90% of theoretical max) for a whole 30 days, that would be nearly 272GB uploaded, which would cost $2.72/month to store. So to perform an initial seeding of an off site 10TB replica into Glacier it would take my DSL connection 36 months of continuous uploading. This would run up a Glacier storage bill of $1811 (y=0.5ax^2+0.5ax where a = monthly additional charge, and x is month).

On 2Mbps the duration to upload would halve (18 months) so the running costs don’t quite accrue as high, it comes to $930.

Now consider NBN with 40Mbit upload. Assuming the same 90% utilisation it should be good for 4394KB/s, or 362GB per day. Assuming Amazon can sustain that from an Aussie source IP. Now assuming the same 30 day months, that’s 10860GB in the first month, which would cost $108/month to store. Now that is a realistic baseline seeding duration.

However, internet quotas would still come into play. With 1TB plans available it would still take 10 months. 10 Months uploading $10/month storage addition per month, comes to $550 storage fees for the initial seed.

So bottom line, even if NBN comes to my house, I wouldn’t be able to backup to Glacier unless quotas increased dramatically (even temporarily).

Double facepalm

Disclaimer: my numbers might be off, probably because this whole post was knocked together in about 45 minutes. Record timing!

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