Amazon Re:Freeze makes it easier to transfer Glacier vault archives

Amazon has announced the Glacier Re:Freeze serverless service to transfer an entire Glacier data vault to another S3 class such as Glacier Deep Archive.

The idea is to transfer an entire archive vault of data in a single service operation, with Amazon Lambda functions taking core of the component source vault inventory, restore, archive copy operations and data integrity checks. There is a dashboard to track progress.

An Amazon whats-new post states: “Deploying this solution allows you to seamlessly copy your S3 Glacier vault archives to more cost effective storage locations such as the Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive storage class.”

Glacier is Amazon’s S3 object storage service to store low-access rate data in a low-cost repository with data access taking minutes to hours. Glacier Deep Archive costs less than Glacier and takes longer to access data. Ordinary data access can take up to 12 hours with bulk data access at the PB level taking up to 48 hours.

Three points. Firstly, the copied Glacier vault is not deleted. A user has to do that manually. Secondly the Amazon post clearly states that Re:Freezer “automatically copies entire Amazon S3 Glacier vault archives to a defined destination Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket and S3 storage class.” It does not restrict the target S3 storage class to Glacier Deep Archive.

S3 Re:Freezer architecture diagram.

We take that to mean that the source Amazon Glacier archive contents can be copied to any S3 storage class: S3 Standard, S3 Intelligent Tiering, S3 Standard-Infrequent Access (IA), S3 One Zone-IA as well as S3 Glacier Deep Archive.

Our third point? We perceive potential nomenclatural confusion. If data is in the Glacier archive vault it is already ‘frozen’ and a service to transfer an archive to S3 Deep Archive ought to be called DeepFreezer – not Re:Freeze. Alternatively, a service to transfer it out of the Glacier archive to faster access S3 storage classes could be called DeFreezer. 

Blocks & Files envisages Azure, the Google Cloud Platform and other public cloud data archive services responding to this Amazon move with their own bulk archive copy services.

A Github ReadMe webpage contains a lot of information about Re:Freezer and deserves a look if you are interested in the idea of bulk copying of data from S3 Glacier to another S3 storage class.