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Another day, another new offering from Amazon Web Services. Today, the company rolled out Amazon Glacier, described as a low-cost storage, data archiving and backup service.

“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,” the company writes on its Web site.

The company said that Glacier is ideal for data that must be archived, but not frequently accessed. Examples include: digital media archives, financial documents,  healthcare records and raw genomic sequence.

Amazon said that companies typically overpay for data archiving, in part because they have to guess how much capacity they need. With Glacier, companies don’t pay any costs upfront, and pay for only the amount of storage they use.

In a press release, Complete Genomics Keith Raffel said that the company is producing terabytes of data each day that must be stored. “As our company moves into the clinical space, we face a legal requirement to archive patient data for years that would drastically raise the cost of storage,” Raffel said. “Thanks to Amazon Glacier’s secure and scalable solution, we will be able to provide cost-effective, long-term storage and thereby eliminate a barrier to providing whole genome sequencing for medical treatment of cancer and other genetic diseases.”

“Today, most businesses rely on expensive, brittle, and inflexible tape for their archiving solution,” said Alyssa Henry, Vice President of AWS Storage Services. “This approach requires expensive upfront payments, is difficult to operate and maintain, and leads to wasted capacity and money.”

Other players in the cloud storage arena include Symform, a Seattle startup that raised $11 million in funding earlier this year.

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