Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Best Tools for Uploading Files to Amazon Glacier

Learn about some of the best tools (or clients) that will let you upload files and folders from the desktop to your Amazon Glacier vaults for backup.
Amazon Glacier is the most cost-effective online backup service ever and, sensing a strong demand, developers have been busy writing tools (or clients) that will allow users to easily upload files from the computer to Amazon Glacier vaults for backup. The first batch of these Glacier Clients is now available and some of them are pretty impressive.
Before we explore the tools, let’s quickly recap some essential Glacier jargon:
  • Vaults – A Vault is like a main folder where you store your files and folders. You may create multiple vaults (like HomePC or MyPictures) in your Amazon Glacier account for better organization.
  • Archives – The stuff stored inside your Glacier Vaults are called Archives. You can zip multiple files and folders on the computer and upload them to your Amazon Vault as a single archive. Consider encrypting files for improved security.
  • Region – This is like a physical data center where you would like Amazon to store your files (or vaults). The storage costs (see pricing) for Amazon’s US East data center is lower than Tokyo so you may want to keep this in mind before picking a default region for your Glacier Vaults.

Amazon Glacier Clients

To get started, sign-up for Amazon Glacier - you’ll need a credit card for completing the sign-up process though you won’t be charged at this time. Next go here  to generate your secret Access Keys – all clients will need these for interacting with your Glacier Account.
Now that you have all the required information, let’s explore the various Glacier Clients:
1. Fast Glacier – This is the first Glacier client that hit the shelves almost a week after Amazon released Glacier and since then, this Windows-only tool has been updated to support multi-part uploads (for uploading large files). Fast Glacier has an easy UI and it can upload individual files as well as full folders. The tool is free for personal use while a commercial licence is available for $29.95.
Amazon Glacier Client
Fast Glacier is free and allows you to backup individual files as well as folders
2. Glacier Uploader - A Java based client for Amazon Glacier meaning you will need JRE on your computer to get this to work. The upside is that since it uses Java, Glacier Uploader will work on Mac, Windows and Linux machines. The name is “Glacier Uploader” but the same tool may also be used for downloading your archives.
3. CloudBerry Backup - If you are looking for a tool to continuously backup your files and folders to Glacier at set intervals, CloudBerry Backup is a good choice (15-day trial, $29.99). In addition to Amazon Glacier, the same tool can also be used for backing up your files to Amazon S3, Google Storage and Microsoft Azure. It offers a wizard based approach making it easier for anyone to create backup jobs.
Amazon Glacier for Backup
A proper backup client for Amazon Glacier that watches your files and folders and automatically uploads them to Glacier.
4. Cloud Migrator- As the name suggests, Cloud Migrator lets you copy files from one cloud to another cloud. You can use the service to transfer files from Amazon S3 to Amazon Glacier directly in the cloud* or even for copying files from your FTP server to Glacier. The service is free in beta phase though you cannot transfer more than 1 GB of files at this time.
[*] Otixo is a similar cloud-based file transfer service that also supports Google Drive and Amazon S3 but they are yet to add support for Glacier.
5. Magora – This is again a Windows-only Glacier client with a GUI but you may also use the tool from the command line. I like the  simple interface but you can only upload files one-by-one and there’s no support for uploading folders.
Glacier Windows Client
A simple Glacier client for Windows that allows file uploads one at a time
6. Cloud Gates – This is not exactly a “client” but with Cloud Gates, you can use Amazon Glacier from any FTP software (like CyberDuck or FileZilla).
Cloud Gates transforms your Glacier (and Amazon S3) storage into an FTP server which you can also mount in your Windows Explorer (or Finder in Mac) as a new drive and upload files with easy drag and drop. The service is free and there are no limits on the file size that you can upload to Glacier via Cloud Gates but eventually, they do plan to charge for the service.
Please do note that once you upload your files to Glacier, they are not immediately available in your AWS console and may take couple of hours to show up. The service is mostly designed for storing files that you don’t need frequently

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