— Motivated Cognition Lab

Cold storage for data


I’ve recently started using Amazon Glacier as a long-term solution for offsite backup of EEG / MRI data. The appeal comes from two characteristics of the service:

РAmazon claims 99.999999999% annual durability. Data is redundant within a storage site and across more than one  site, so there is some insurance against black swan events. 

– $0.011 / GB / month. So for me, a run-of-the-mill MRI experiment costs about 11 cents per month to archive.

There are drawbacks, here’s the biggest:¬†Retrieving data is potentially expensive, and the billing rate is not easy to understand. Amazon explains reasonably well in the billing portion of this FAQ. An unofficial calculator helps too.

For me, this is disaster insurance to supplement onsite backup. If disaster strikes, the costs associated with retrieval will be bearable. In the meantime it’s very cheap peace-of-mind.