Making it even simpler to create and manage your AWS Snow Family jobs
Customers use AWS Snow Family devices to run storage, compute, and data-processing operations in austere environments with inconsistent (or no) network connectivity. The AWS Snow Family, comprised of AWS Snowcone and AWS Snowball, offers a number of physical devices and capacity points, most with built-in computing capabilities. These devices help physically transport up to exabytes of data into and out of AWS and also enable customers to process data at the edge. You can use the AWS Snow Family console to order your Snow devices, download your Snow device unlock credentials (once you receive your device), download AWS OpsHub for easy device management, and monitor the status of your Snow jobs.
Today, we launched a significant update to the AWS Snow Family console, making it even easier to create and monitor your data transfer and compute jobs on AWS Snow Family devices. The new and improved AWS Snow Family console features a streamlined user experience, enabling you to easily understand which AWS Snow Family device is most suitable for your needs, and helps you get started on your jobs. With less time spent on selecting the right device, and a simplified interface for monitoring jobs, customers using the updated AWS Snow Family console save more time than ever and increase the efficiency and tracking of their data processing operations at the edge.
In this post, we talk about some of the updated console’s capabilities, and we explore how the console can facilitate creating and monitoring your AWS Snow Family jobs.
AWS Snow Family console overview
Starting today, when you navigate to the AWS Snow Family console you will see the refreshed design and job-ordering experience. You will also find the new AWS Snow Family console homepage; a one-stop shop for Snow Family pricing, useful resources on getting started, service updates, and case studies. You can also now order an AWS Snow Family device directly from the homepage. The following screenshot is a first look at the updated AWS Snow Family console.
To get started, click on the Order an AWS Snow Family device orange button on the AWS Snow Family home page; from there you will see the redesigned job creation wizard. Using the new wizard, you can easily navigate between the steps involved in ordering an AWS Snow Family device, making your job-ordering experience both flexible and efficient.
The AWS Snow Family console gives you the option to choose from the following job types, depending on your use case:
- Import into Amazon S3 – AWS ships an AWS Snow Family device of your choice to you. You connect the device to your local network and copy data onto the device, ship it back to AWS, and your data is uploaded to AWS.
- Export from Amazon S3 – Export data from your Amazon S3 bucket to your AWS Snow Family device. AWS loads your data on the device and ships it to you. You connect the device to your local network and copy data from your device to your servers. When you are done, ship the device to AWS, and your data is erased from the device.
- Local compute and storage only – Perform compute and storage workloads on the device without transferring any data. To increase storage capacity and durability, you can order multiple devices in a cluster.
For example, today I want to create an Import job using AWS Snowcone, so I select Import into Amazon S3 and click Next.
Receiving and returning an AWS Snow Family device involves shipping the device back and forth, so I enter my address on the Choose your shipping preferences screen and click Next (not shown).
AWS Snow Family device selection
The AWS Snow Family team has simplified the device selection experience to clearly show the available AWS Snow Family devices. Clearly listed are the device specifications (like storage and compute), to help you choose the right device for your workloads. To select an AWS Snow Family device, I give my job a name (demo-test) and pick Snowcone from the list of AWS Snow Family devices. I also acknowledge that I will provide my own power supply.
With the flexibility to create an S3 bucket directly from the AWS Snow Family console, I also create an S3 bucket (demo-test), into which I will import my data.
Next, I choose the default AWS Key Management Service (KMS) key to encrypt my data and specify permissions using an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) role by clicking Create service role. We have significantly simplified the IAM role creation; the console now creates a default role automatically and manages the required permissions on your behalf.
After you click Create service role, details of the default IAM role created are presented for you to view. If you want to make any changes to this IAM role, you can do so using the IAM console.
I click Next, set up an SNS topic for job notifications, review my job details, and create my AWS Snowcone job (not shown).
AWS Snow Family job dashboard
If you’ve created an AWS Snow Family job before, you may be used to a horizontal job tracker view. With the new AWS Snow Family console, we have cleaned up this dashboard to show you an overview of all your AWS Snow Family jobs in a tabular view, in addition to adding a search bar that lets you filter your jobs based on specific criteria (like Job name, Status, and job Created date).
To view more details about an AWS Snow Family job, you can drill in by clicking View details or by clicking on the job name directly. Here, I have drilled into the AWS Snowcone job, demo-test, which I just created.
The panels on the job details page are organized to give you quick and meaningful information related to your job.
- Job status: The top-most panel provides you a job tracker to monitor your job’s status at a glance. This panel also gives you contextual information based on the current job status. For example, when the status of a job is Delivered to you, you will see information related to how you can unlock your device, connect it to your network and initiate data transfer, or get support should you encounter any issues. When you return your device and the job status changes to In transit to AWS, you will see information related to the tracking number so you can track the device’s return to AWS. And once your job’s status is Completed, you will see the job import logs available for download.
- Details: The middle panel shows the details you selected while creating your job, like the AWS Snow Family job name, ID, and the device type.
- Credentials: The bottom-most panel activates only after AWS has delivered the AWS Snow Family device to you. It contains information like the unlock code and manifest file, both of which are required to unlock your AWS Snow Family device once you receive it (shown in the following screenshot).
We are excited to bring these AWS Snow Family console enhancements to you! The improved console enables you to create AWS Snow Family jobs with fewer clicks, navigate easily between different workflows to review them and make quick edits, and provides you with a uniform user experience across AWS service consoles. With these updates, customers are empowered to make simplified decisions even more quickly on the AWS Snow Family console, and they can comfortably manage their jobs through a simple interface that saves them time and helps ensure they make the device selection optimal for edge processing needs.
We hope this overview provides a useful primer of things you can do using the new console. To get started, log into the new AWS Snow Family console and let us know what you think!