Category Archives: Glacier

Cloud Mystery: What’s the Tech Secret Behind Amazon Glacier?

ITProPortal has a good writeup on Amazon Glacier technology: tape? cheap disks they power down? It’s more than just a post filled with wild speculation because it includes informed reasoning on the current state of the art for each of the candidate technologies behind Glacier:

…of all the services offered by AWS, none have fuelled the same level of speculation and interest as Amazon’s Glacier. Though the service is well-known and widely-used in enterprise, no one knows exactly what’s behind it.

Amazon has retained a thick veil of secrecy around its most mysterious web service. The Seattle-based company has always kept the processes behind its services fairly quiet, but the omerta surrounding Glacier has been especially strict, leaving experts in the tech community perplexed about what Amazon could be hiding.

TL;DR: It might be old-fashioned robot tape libraries; it might be cheap disks they fill up then turn off until they need them for retrieval; it might be some clever hybrid of the two.

Read the article.

Riverbed’s Whitewater Adds AWS Glacier, Google Storage Support

Riverbed Technology today announced Whitewater Operating System (WWOS) version 2.1 with support for Amazon Glacier storage and Google Cloud storage. WWOS 2.1 increases operational cost savings and high data durability from cloud storage services, improving disaster recovery readiness. In addition, Riverbed introduced larger virtual Whitewater appliances that allow customers to support larger data sets, improve disaster recovery capabilities, and manage multiple Whitewater appliances from a single window with a management console. These enhancements to the Whitewater cloud storage product family help enterprises use cloud storage to meet critical backup requirements, modernize data management strategies, and overcome challenges created by data growth.

“Once created, most unstructured data is rarely accessed after 30-90 days. Leveraging the cloud for storing these data sets makes a lot of sense, particularly given the attractive prices of storage services designed for long-term such as Amazon Glacier,” said Dan Iacono, research director from IDC’s storage practice. “The ability of cloud storage devices to cache locally and provide access to recent data provides real benefits from an operational cost perspective to avoid unnecessary transfer costs from the cloud.”

Cloud Storage Ecosystem Expansion Riverbed is offering customers choice and flexibility for data protection by adding Amazon Glacier and Google Cloud storage to its Whitewater cloud storage ecosystem. Now, Whitewater customers using Amazon Glacier cloud storage have immediate access to recent backup data while enjoying pricing from Amazon as low as one cent per gigabyte per month — approximately eight times cheaper than other currently available cloud storage offerings.

In addition, the extremely high data durability offered by Amazon cloud storage services and the ability to access the data from any location with an Internet connection greatly improves an organization’s disaster recovery (DR) readiness.

Larger Virtual Whitewater Appliances With the introduction of the larger virtual Whitewater appliances, Riverbed allows customers preferring virtual appliances to protect larger data sets as well as simplify disaster recovery. The new virtual Whitewater appliances support local cache sizes of four or eight terabytes and integrate seamlessly with leading data protection applications as well as all popular cloud storage services. To streamline management for enterprise wide deployments, WWOS 2.1 includes new management capabilities that enable monitoring and administration of all Whitewater devices from a single console with one-click drill down into any appliance.

“We have been successfully using Riverbed Whitewater appliances for backup with Amazon S3 in our facilities in Germany, Switzerland, and the U.S. since June 2012,” said Drew Bartow, senior information technology engineer at Tipper Tie. “We were eager to test the Whitewater 3010 appliance with Amazon Glacier and the total time to configure and start moving data to Glacier was just 24 minutes. With Glacier and Whitewater we could potentially save considerably on backup storage costs.”

“The features in WWOS 2.1 and the larger virtual appliances drastically change the economics of data protection,” said Ray Villeneuve, vice president corporate development, at Riverbed. “With our advanced, in-line deduplication and optimization technologies, Whitewater shrinks data stored in the cloud by up to 30 times on average — for example, Whitewater customers can now store up to 100 terabytes of backup data that is not regularly accessed in Amazon Glacier for as little as $2,500.00 per year. The operational cost savings and high data durability from cloud storage services improve disaster recovery readiness and will continue to rapidly accelerate the movement from tape-based and replicated disk systems to cloud storage.”

FileZoomer for Amazon S3 Adds Glacier, Life Cycle, Versioning, Batch Options

A new release of FileZoomer, a cross-platform client for Amazon’s S3 has been released,  adding support for new S3 features including Versioning and Object Life Cycle. Object Life Cycle for S3 includes the option to migrate files to the lower-cost AWS Glacier storage option, and includes a facility to retrieve archived files so they can be downloaded from S3.

The Glacier support in S3, as featured in FileZoomer, does not require a separate AWS Glacier account. Instead it is handled transparently by S3 and FileZoomer.

Versioning allows the option of keeping previous versions of files as they are updated.

Unique to FileZoomer is the Batch Processing option, which allows the interactive creation of configuration files that control batch uploads, downloads, and syncing files between a local machine and S3. Once configured, the pre-defined actions can be invoked from within the FileZoomer client, of from batch processes in Windows, Mac OS X, or linux.

FileZoomer is a free java client that runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and linux, and it can be downloaded from

CloudBerry Explorer Adds Amazon Glacier Support

CloudBerry Lab today released CloudBerry Explorer v.3.6, an application that allows users to manage files in Amazon S3 just as they would on their local computers.

In the new release CloudBerry S3 Explorer comes with support for Amazon Glacier, the recently introduced extremely low-cost storage.

From the new release CloudBerry S3 Explorer users can access and manage Amazon Glacier storage. Users can create vaults, move data to vaults and request to download them back to their computer. Users can create vaults in any of the available AWS regions.

Amazon Glacier is supported by both versions of CloudBerry Explorer: Freeware and PRO. Freeware version offers basic storage management capabilities such as browsing, creating, and deleting files, archives, vaults and uploading content from your PC to Glacier storage and vice versa. CloudBerry Explorer Freeware is available for download at

PRO version offers some advanced features over Freeware version. It costs $39.99 per license and available for download at

How Amazon Glacier Confronts Entropy

Keeping data around — and readable — for a long, long, time is tough. For users Amazon’s Glacier offers freedom from specific hardware issues. We will no longer be stuck with unreadable zip drives or tapes. But that just moves the problem to Amazon. This interview talks about how they are tackling that problem.

The interview also touches on Amazon’s expectation that if they provide the back-end third-party developers will step and provide archiving and indexing tools.