Mac Client For Amazon Glacier

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Amazon Glacier is an extremely low-priced cloud storage solution — as low as one cent per gigabyte (GB), in fact — that is designed for long-term file and data backups with infrequent retrievals or removals. It’s great for manually archiving data or maybe even serving as online backup for your PCs, especially if you also. The Amazon S3 Glacier storage class provides three retrieval options to fit your use case. Expedited retrievals typically return data in 1-5 minutes, and are great for Active Archive use cases. Standard retrievals typically complete between 3-5 hours, and work well for less time-sensitive needs like backup data, media editing, or long-term analytics.

Every edition of Retrospect includes our extensive feature set for complete data protection.

  • Centralized Management

    Retrospect's high-level dashboard provides a high-level view of the entire state of your backup environment.

  • Cross-Platform Support

    Heterogeneous networks are protected using Retrospect’s native client software, ensuring perfect backups regardless of operating system.

  • End-to-End Security

    Retrospect supports a variety of encryption algorithms, including AES-256, for both at-rest and in-transit security options.

  • Smart Incremental Backup

    Intelligent incremental backups enable Retrospect to backup up only new or changed files.

  • Smart Restore

    Retrospect always restores exactly the files that belong on a volume; no unwanted files get restored and later require cleanup.

  • Fit any Storage Budget

    Grooming allows customers to stay protected with a long-term backup retention policy to ensure recovery from yesterday, last month, or five years ago, using storage that fits their budget.

  • Monitoring Tools

    Retrospect integrates with the latest monitoring systems, including Nagios, Slack, and IFTTT.

  • Data Deduplication

    Retrospect maximizes storage usage by only copying unique files—even across multiple computers—to the backup media.

  • Disaster Recovery

    Boot media can be created for nearly every Windows system protected by Retrospect to provide fast recovery from a non-bootable state.

  • Flexible Destination

    Retrospect supports most types of magnetic media for backup, including hard disk drives, network-attached disk, cloud storage, flash media, and every major tape format.

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  • Powerful Filtering

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  • Power Conservation

    To reduce the overall power demands for backups, Retrospect awakens sleeping/stand-by mode computers to back them up and then allows them to return to their low-power state.

  • Monitor on an iPhone

    Use the free Retrospect iOS app on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to keep tabs on backups over Wi-Fi or 3/4G.

Check out my article on using Qrq with a Google Cloud Storage Nearline. It’s cheaper than Amazon Glacier.

Being a photographer, I have a lot of pictures on my hard disks. Using a Canon 5D Mark II with it’s 23 megapixel sensor shooting in RAW doesn’t help. My main backup is two different NAS servers doing alternating TimeMachine backups every other hour, a feature added in Mountain Lion. This is great, because if one backup unit breaks down or gets stolen, I still have another copy on the other NAS. But what if both got stolen? Imagine the horror? So I’ve been searching for an offsite backup solution that’s cheap and just works. And now I think I found it.

Amazon Glacier

Amazon has launched a new service called Glacier for storing files that doesn’t need to be accessed often. And the price per Gb is dirt cheap. So using this service would be perfect to use for my purpose. But to make everything easy, you need a backup program that supports Amazon Glacier for storage, and fortunately I found one.

Amazon Glacier is an extremely low-cost storage service that provides secure and durable storage for data archiving and backup. In order to keep costs low, Amazon Glacier is optimized for data that is infrequently accessed and for which retrieval times of several hours are suitable. With Amazon Glacier, customers can reliably store large or small amounts of data for as little as $0.01 per gigabyte per month, a significant savings compared to on-premises solutions.

Mac Client For Amazon Glacier Bay

Arq 3 Backup for Mac OS X

Arq 3 is a backup application that can do backup to Amazon S3 or Glacier. It doesn’t use Amazons server side encryption so the data is sent encrypted directly from Arq 3 itself. Haystack Software provides a command line utility called arq_restore on github enabling you to access your data without Arq 3, which is a nice touch if they should go out of business and not leaving you stranded with data you can’t access. An even better solution would have been to put a unencrypted compressed file containing the source code for arq_restore in every backup bucket.

Setting up the backup


The application installs a menu bar icon to make access to the application a breeze.

After getting registering for an account at Amazon, something Arq 3 guides you through, you just add the folders you want to have backed up.

You can select to store it in S3 which has faster access times but is more expensive, or choose Amazon Glacier with it’s lower cost but have slower access times.

You can exclude files and folders from the backup, or choose to not backup files that fit a specific search criteria.

Mac Client For Amazon Glacier National Park


One nice feature is the Budget preference. Here you can set up a cost limit so you don’t get any surprises when it’s billing time. Very handy!

Bandwidth throttling

Mac Client For Amazon Glacier

You can set up the backup to slow down when you are actively using your Internet connection, set it for full speed or choose a specific bitrate for uploading. I have a 100/10MBit line and upload at full speed and the application seems very CPU friendly, something not all backup programs can brag about.


You can set how often the backup executes. There is options to set different times for S3 and Glacier. I wish that you could set this per folder also, but that’s an minor annoyance.

Mac Client For Amazon Glacier Melting

First backup

Be prepared that the first backup will take a long time. Of course this depends on the amount of data to backup and the speed of your Internet connection. But after the initial backup, only changes are uploaded.


Mac Client For Amazon Glacier Lake

If you need to restore, Arq will test your download speed, and then do an estimate of total cost for downloading your backup data. If you have a fast internet line, the restore could become very costly, because you pay more the faster you download. But there’s a built in function for setting the download speed manually, essentially throttling the download. You get a cost estimate, so if your not in a hurry, just enter a lower download speed value. You get an estimate cost for restore directly, so choosing how fast you want your data is easy.

The fear of loosing years worth of photos is something I hope this will remedy. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.