AWS S3 Glacier Billing Example – The Peak-Restore-Bytes-Delta Burn

There’s lots to read about S3 online, but nothing helps more with overarching service design than the burn of an actual bill.

Peak-Restore-Bytes-Delta is effectively a usage penalty and as you can see the fines can be massive and render using Glacier financially infeasible.

As expected, on the billing front there is nothing Simple about using the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). In fairness however 5 out of 8 line items can be attributed to using Glacier along with S3.

The costs below represent a single month of testing using the Asia Pacific (Sydney) Region (ASP2) during October 2014.

ITEM COST PER UNIT USAGE COST
EarlyDelete-ByteHrs $0.036 per GB – Glacier Early Delete 1.440 GB-Mo $0.02
Peak-Restore-Bytes-Delta $0.012 per GB – Glacier Restore Fee 16.277 GB $0.20
Requests-Tier1 $0.00 per request – PUT, COPY, POST, or LIST requests under the monthly global free tier 168 Requests $0.00
Requests-Tier2 $0.00 per request – GET and all other requests under the monthly global free tier 52 Requests $0.00
Requests-Tier3 $0.06 per 1,000 Glacier Requests 16 Requests $0.01
TimedStorage-ByteHrs $0.000 per GB – storage under the monthly global free tier 0.000022 GB-Mo $0.00
TimedStorage-GlacierByteHrs $0.0120 per GB / month of storage used – Amazon Glacier 0.181 GB-Mo $0.01
TimedStorage-RRS-ByteHrs $0.0264 per GB – first 1 TB / month of storage used – Reduced Redundancy Storage 0.003 GB-Mo $0.01

The red hot glaring line item is Peak-Restore-Bytes-Delta, note that in the given month, only 181 MB was archived costing a paltry $0.01 (this cost provides some insight into AWS’s rounding). So why the comparatively massive $0.20 for the retrievals? Peak-Restore-Bytes-Delta is effectively a usage penalty and as you can see the fines can be massive and render using Glacier financially infeasible. With Glacier only 5% of the total amount of storage used can be retrieved for free in a given month. The $0.20 is for the peak billable retrieval rate as per the Glacier FAQs (look for the question entitled “Q: How will I be charged when retrieving large amounts of data from Amazon Glacier?”) and it means a peak rate of 16.277 GB/hr worth of transfers took place – so in essence during one particular hour 16.277 GB worth of retrievals where scheduled.

It’s also worth looking at the EarlyDelete-ByteHrs. A total of 1.440 GB-Mo was deleted early (within less than 90 days). Now first off what is a GB-Mo? Presumably it means Gigabyte-Months which means Gigabytes multiplied by months which is 3 months in terms of what an early delete is defined to mean. In essence, if one looks at the rate (3 times the TimedStorage-GlacierByteHrs rate) then EarlyDelete-ByteHrs just means they will bill you for 3 months of usage no matter what.

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