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.
It is also said to be relevant to digital preservation efforts, as it allows projects to start small at low cost and then scale up to massive collections, while automatically providing data integrity checks and performing automatic repairs if errors are detected.
"An organisation like ours thinks in centuries when it comes to content retention, and long term preservation of our Master Archives is a critical part our mission here at NYPR," said Steve Shultis, CTO of New York Public Radio.
"Storing these core assets on traditional media such as local disk and off-site tape exposes us to corruption and even outright-loss of data.
"We are excited to move our archives to Amazon Glacier, which will be a better long-term solution."
Alyssa Henry, vice president of AWS Storage Services, said "Today, most businesses rely on expensive, brittle, and inflexible tape for their archiving solution.
"Amazon Glacier changes the game for companies requiring archiving and backup solutions because you pay nothing upfront, pay a very low price for storage, are able to scale up and down whenever needed, and AWS handles all of the operational heavy lifting required to do data retention well."