68% Savings with S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval Storage

Written by Vani Palanikumar

Published: 15-04-2021

Amazon S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval is an archive storage class that delivers the lowest cost storage for long-lived data that is rarely accessed and requires milliseconds retrieval. With S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval, one can save up to 68% on storage costs compared to using the S3 Standard-Infrequent Access storage class, if the data is accessed once per quarter. It has the same throughput and millisecond access as the S3 Standard and S3 Standard-IA storage classes.

The S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval storage class would be a great option for archive data that needs immediate access, such as medical images, news media assets, or genomics data but are accessed rarely.

Key Features of S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval

The S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval provides 68% more savings in comparison to the S3 Standard Infrequent Access storage class, provided the data is retrieved once or twice in a quarter. The data retrieval is in milliseconds with the same performance as the S3 Standard class. This storage class is a combination of features from S3 Standard and S3 Glacier, providing the best of both in cases where the data is retrieved once or twice per quarter.

It is designed for durability of 99.999999999% of objects across multiple availability zones. Data is also resilient in the event of the destruction of one entire AZ and is designed for 99.9% data availability in a given year. The minimum object size is 128 KB.

Storing Objects in S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval

Objects can be directly uploaded to S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval with the S3 PUT APIs.

The objects can also be migrated to S3 Glacier IR using S3 Lifecycle management. Lifecycle rules take actions based on the object’s age. For example, objects older than 30 days can be moved from S3 standard to S3 glacier IR and objects older than 365 days can be moved to S3 Glacier Deep Archive.

S3 Intelligent Tiering with S3 Glacier IR

Before the introduction of the S3 Glacier IR class, S3 Intelligent tiering automatically optimized costs by moving objects between the frequent and infrequent access tiers.

After the introduction of the S3 Glacier IR class, S3 Intelligent tiering automatically moves objects between the three access tiers to optimize the costs. If S3 Intelligent tiering is enabled, then the benefits of the new S3 Glacier IR class can be automatically reaped with no new changes.

Ideal data for S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval

The S3 Glacier Instant retrieval class was introduced to handle petabytes of data stored for indefinite periods of time which are rarely accessed after a given time window. If the data is not frequently accessed, but when it is accessed it needs to be retrieved instantly, then such objects would be ideal candidates for this storage class.

The best examples of such objects are medical images, news media reports which are rarely accessed after 60-90 days of uploading but need millisecond retrieval time when accessed.

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