The idea behind Amazon Glacier is to provide a separate tier of cloud storage at low cost for backup and archiving purposes.
Pricing starts at $US0.01 per gigabyte per month ($US0.0012 at Amazon's Asia Pacific data centre in Tokyo), but data transfer charges are levied on data leaving the centre (starting at $US0.201 per gigabyte after the first 10GB).
There is a small fee for upload and retrieval requests ($US0.06 per thousand requests),and if more than 5% of the average monthly storage is retrieved, a further retrieval fee is applied, starting at $US0.012 per gigabyte.
Reflecting the intention that Glacier is used for backup and archiving, a surcharge of $US0.036 per gigabyte is applied for items deleted within 90 days.
So like other Amazon Cloud Services, Glacier is true 'pay only for what you use' cloud archival storage.
Security is provided via Amazon's Identity and Access Management service, and the service has been designed to provide average annual durability of 99.999999999% for each item stored through the use of automatic replication and integrity checks.
Amazon officials suggest Glacier is suitable for a variety of applications, including the archiving of enterprise information, media assets (eg, TV news footage), and scientific data.