Who knows where they came up with that name, but Glacier is a new, extremely low-cost data storage service from Amazon. The reason it’s so cheap is because it’s meant for archiving and long-term storage of data that you don’t expect to access very often.

Storage costs are just $0.01/GB. That’s 9.3x cheaper than Amazon’s Reduced Redundancy Storage and 12.5x cheaper than their Standard Storage. And Glacier gives you get the same data durability and reliability of the Standard Storage (99.999999999% durability).

The first thing I thought when reading about Glacier was, *Hellooooo Arq*. [I already use Arq](http://shawnblanc.net/2012/08/backup-2/) to backup my most important files to Amazon S3, but it’d be stellar if I could use it backup my entire MacBook Air while also reducing my S3 bill. A complete backup of my Air to Amazon’s rock-solid, encrypted, redundant data centers would only cost me $2.50/month. That’s crazy!

I got in touch with Stefan Reitshamer, the developer behind [Arq](http://www.haystacksoftware.com/arq/), to ask about Arq’s future support of Glacier. He’s done more reading than I have about just exactly how Glacier works, and it won’t be as simple as it may sound.

There are a few factors that make the storing and retrieving of data on Glacier not as straightforward as it is on S3. The biggest factor being the [retrieval cost](http://aws.amazon.com/glacier/#pricing). There’s a [discussion on Hacker News](http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4412886) about it and it’s not quite clear just [how much](http://aws.amazon.com/glacier/faqs/#How_will_I_be_charged_when_retrieving_large_amounts_of_data_from_Amazon_Glacier) it would cost to retrieve all your data, but it looks like it wouldn’t be cheap.

Amazon Glacier