Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

Last Updated : 12-Oct-2020
  • AWS SnowCone – portable – 8TB
  • AWS Snowball – luggable – 40- 100TB
  • AWS Snowmobile – need a truck, wait! it is a truck – 100PB

AWS SnowCone

AWS Snowcone is the smallest member of the AWS Snow Family of edge computing and data transfer devices. Snowcone is portable, rugged, and secure. You can use Snowcone to collect, process, and move data to AWS, either offline by shipping the device, or online with AWS DataSync.

How AWS Snowcone Works

Running applications in disconnected environments and connected edge locations can be challenging because these locations often lack the space, power, and cooling needed for data center IT equipment. AWS Snowcone stores data securely in edge locations, and can run edge computing workloads that use AWS IoT Greengrass or Amazon EC2 instances. Snowcone devices are small and weigh 4.5 lbs. (2.1 kg), so you can carry one in a backpack or fit it in tight spaces for IoT, vehicular, or even drone use cases.

AWS Snowball

AWS Snowball is a data migration and edge computing device that comes in two device options: Compute Optimized and Storage Optimized.

Snowball Edge Storage Optimized devices provide 40 vCPUs of compute capacity coupled with 80 terabytes of usable block or Amazon S3-compatible object storage. It is well-suited for local storage and large-scale data transfer.

How it works

In the AWS Snow Family console, select your preferred device, either Snowball Edge Compute Optimized or Snowball Edge Storage Optimized. Create a job with an Amazon S3 bucket, select Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) for tracking, and configure options like Amazon EC2 AMIs and a GPU. AWS prepares and ships the device to you, and you receive it in approximately 4-6 days. Once the device arrives, power it up and use AWS OpsHub to unlock it. Connect to your LAN. Use AWS OpsHub to manage the device, transfer data, or launch EC2 instances. When done, shut down and return the device to AWS. The shipping label automatically appears on the E Ink screen. When the device arrives at the AWS Region, any data stored in your on-board bucket(s) is moved to your S3 bucket and verified in about the same time it took you to load the device. All data is then securely erased from the device, and it is sanitized of any customer information.


Creating jobs in AWS Snowball:

  • For security purposes, data transfers must be completed within 90 days of the Snowball being prepared.
  • Currently, AWS Snowball Edge device doesn’t support server-side encryption with customer-provided keys (SSE-C). AWS Snowball Edge device does support server-side encryption with Amazon S3–managed encryption keys (SSE-S3) and server-side encryption with AWS Key Management Service–managed keys (SSE-KMS).
  • In the US regions, Snowballs come in two sizes: 50 TB and 80 TB. All other regions have the 80 TB Snowballs only. If you’re using Snowball to import data, and you need to transfer more data than will fit on a single Snowball, create additional jobs. Each export job can use multiple Snowballs.
  • The default service limit for the number of Snowballs you can have at one time is 1. If you want to increase your service limit, contact AWS Support.
  • All objects transferred to the Snowball have their metadata changed. The only metadata that remains the same is filename and filesize. All other metadata is set as in the following example: -rw-rw-r-- 1 root root [filesize] Dec 31 1969 [path/filename]

Limitations on Transferring On-Premises Data with a Snowball

The following limitations exist for transferring data to or from a Snowball device on-premises:

  • Files must be in a static state while being copied. Files that are modified while they are being transferred will not be imported into Amazon S3.
  • Jumbo frames are not supported—that is, Ethernet frames with more than 1500 bytes of payload.
  • When selecting what data to export, keep in mind that objects with trailing slashes in their names (/ or \) will not be transferred. Before exporting any objects with trailing slashes, update their names to remove the slash.
  • When using the Amazon S3 Adapter for Snowball with the AWS CLI to transfer data, note that the --recursive option for the cp command is only supported for uploading data to a Snowball, not for transferring data from a Snowball.
  • When using multipart data transfer, the maximum part size is 512 megabytes (MB).

Limitations on Processing Your Returned Snowball for Import

To connect your returned Snowball to one of our Snowball stations for import, the device must meet the following requirements:

  • The Snowball device must not be compromised. Except for the two access panels in the front and the back, don’t open the Snowball for any reason.
  • The device must not be physically damaged. You can prevent damage by closing the two panels on the Snowball until the latches make an audible clicking sound.
  • The Snowball’s E Ink display must be visible, and must show the return label that was automatically generated when you finished transferring your data onto the Snowball.

AWS Snowmobile

AWS Snowmobile is an Exabyte-scale data transfer service used to move extremely large amounts of data to AWS. You can transfer up to 100PB per Snowmobile, a 45-foot long ruggedized shipping container, pulled by a semi-trailer truck. Snowmobile makes it easy to move massive volumes of data to the cloud, including video libraries, image repositories, or even a complete data center migration. Transferring data with Snowmobile is more secure, fast and cost effective.

Strong encryption

Your data is encrypted with keys that you provide before it is written to Snowmobile. All data is encrypted with 256-bit encryption and you can manage your encryption keys with AWS Key Management Service (KMS). Encryption keys used by encrypting servers on the Snowmobile are never written to disk. Should power be removed for any reason, the keys are securely erased.

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