Having just stored my first documents in my Glacier vault this morning, the service is very simple. You can create one or more vaults in which you can store zero or more archives. An archive can consist of one or more files. The cost for Glacier is a flat rate of $0.01 per gigabyte per month, with no volume pricing. To retrieve a file from the vault, you create a retrieval job, wait or poll for notification of completion (up to four hours), and then download the file. The service provides 99.999999999% data durability, which typically in Amazon-speak means it could survive the loss of three separate storage facilities.
Clayton Christensen's Innovator's Dilemma observed that disruptive innovations usually start as inferior to existing technologies, except in one or more features that appeal to an underserved market segment. It is only as the technology matures that we see it challenge and then eventually eclipse sustaining innovation.
Welcome to the most disruptive service from Amazon since S3. Let the cycle of disruption begin. ;)
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