Built for edge computing & data migration
AWS Snowball is available in two device types. Snowball Edge Compute Optimized with more computing capabilities, suited for higher performance workloads and Snowball Edge Storage Optimized with more storage, which is suited for large-scale data migrations and capacity-oriented workloads.
Snowball Edge Compute Optimized provides powerful computing resources for use cases such as machine learning, full motion video analysis, analytics, and local computing stacks. These capabilities include 52 vCPUs, 208 GiB of memory, and an optional NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU. For storage, the device provides 42 TB usable HDD capacity for Amazon S3 compatible object storage or EBS-compatible block volumes, as well as 7.68 TB of usable NVMe SSD capacity for EBS-compatible block volumes. Snowball Edge Compute Optimized devices run Amazon EC2 sbe-c and sbe-g instances, which are equivalent to C5, M5a, G3, and P3 instances.
Snowball Edge Storage Optimized devices are well suited for large-scale data migrations and recurring transfer workflows, as well as local computing with higher capacity needs. Snowball Edge Storage Optimized provides 80 TB of HDD capacity for block volumes and Amazon S3-compatible object storage, and 1 TB of SATA SSD for block volumes. For computing resources, the device provides 40 vCPUs, and 80 GiB of memory to support Amazon EC2 sbe1 instances (equivalent to C5).
AWS Snowball Key Features
Snowball Edge devices feature high-speed network connections, supporting 10 Gbps to 100 Gbps links with RJ45, SFP+ and QSFP+ copper, and optical interfaces. All encryption is performed on the device itself, helping enable a higher data throughput rate and shorter data transfer times. For device specific networking specifications, please see Snowball Edge documentation.
Fast data migration
Snowball devices feature high-speed network connections, supporting 10 Gbps to 100 Gbps links with RJ45, SFP+ and QSFP+ copper, and optical interfaces. All encryption is performed on the device itself, helping enable a higher data throughput rate and shorter data migration times. For device specific networking specifications, please see Snowball documentation.
Snowball Edge Compute Optimized provides an optional NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU along with Amazon EC2 instances to accelerate an application’s performance in disconnected environments. Using the GPU option, you can run applications such as advanced machine learning and full motion video analysis in environments with little or no connectivity.
You can cluster multiple Snowball devices when running edge computing jobs to create a local storage tier with increased durability for your on-premises applications. When creating a new job in the Console, select the option to make a cluster. In the event of a device failure, a replacement device can be ordered easily through the Console. This functionality is available for local storage and compute jobs and is not enabled for data migration jobs.
Amazon S3-compatible endpoint for object storage
Applications can work with Snowball object storage through an S3-compatible endpoint accessed through the S3 SDK or CLI. For specific information, see the API documentation.
Tape data migration
You can use a Snowball Edge Storage Optimized device with Tape Gateway to quickly and securely migrate petabyte-scale physical tape data to S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval or S3 Glacier Deep Archive. You retain your tape-based backup workflows and don’t need to use your network connection to AWS for data transfer. After your tape data is migrated to AWS, you can view your virtual tapes through the AWS Storage Gateway console and access data on them through a Tape Gateway that runs on premises as a virtual machine or hardware appliance or on an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance on AWS. Learn more about Tape Gateway.
You can run block storage on both Snowball Edge Compute Optimized and Snowball Edge Storage Optimized devices. You attach block storage volumes to Amazon EC2 instances using a subset of the Amazon EBS API that enable you to configure and manage volumes for EC2 instances on Snowball devices. This makes it easier to develop applications in EC2, and then run them in disconnected and remote locations. Snowball supports both performance optimized and capacity optimized volume types.
HIPPA and FedRAMP Compliant
AWS Snowball devices are compliant for highly regulated industries in both the public and private sectors required to, or highly preferred to choose solutions that meet either HIPPA or FedRamp compliance standards.
AWS Snow Family Key Features
AWS Snow Family devices have a ruggedized case designed for durability and portability. Snowcone is the smallest device weighing 4.5 pounds (2.1 kg) while the Snowball device weights less than 50 pounds (22.3 kg).
AWS OpsHub for simple management and monitoring
AWS OpsHub is an complimentary application for managing the AWS Snow Family devices. The OpsHub graphical user interface (GUI) makes it easy to setup and manage Snow devices so you can rapidly deploy edge computing workloads and migrate data to the cloud – even when you don’t have an internet connection. Download AWS OpsHub here and install it on Windows, Mac, or Linux client machines, such as a laptop. For more information, refer to the AWS OpsHub documentation.
Applications can work with Snow Family devices as an NFS mount point. NFS v3 and v4.1 are supported so you can easily use Snow devices with your existing on-premises servers and file-based applications. The file system metadata is preserved until the files are converted into objects once migrated into an S3 bucket.
Snow Family devices have computing resources to collect and process data with AWS services at the edge. Devices run specific Amazon EC2 instances with processing and storage available to support your applications and AWS IoT Greengrass functions. During the ordering process, you can select your EC2 AMIs that you want to install on the device, including AMIs running IoT Greengrass. AWS will load the AMIs onto the device and ship it to you.
All data moved to AWS Snow Family devices is automatically encrypted with 256-bit encryption keys that are managed by the AWS Key Management Service (KMS). The encryption keys are never stored on the device to help ensure your data stays secure during transit.
Offline data migration
Snow Family devices can efficiently move data by physically shipping the hardware with your data to a specified AWS Region where data will be put into your specified Amazon S3 bucket. S3 buckets should be configured before you order your Snow device. For online data migrations, see AWS Snowcone.
Anti-tamper & Tamper-evident
AWS Snow devices feature a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) that provides a hardware root of trust. The TPM also provides interfaces to the trusted software stack during the measurements and verification of the boot environment integrity after the power is switched on, and before the Snow device is ready to be used. AWS also uses additional tamper-indicating inspection processes after each device is received back to the AWS Region. This helps to ensure the integrity of the device, and with the AWS Snow service’s encryption features, it helps preserve the confidentiality of your data.
AWS Snow devices use an innovative, E-Ink shipping label for easy tracking and automatic label updates so devices are sent to the correct AWS facility. Once you have completed your data migration job, it can be tracked via Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), text messages, and via the AWS Console.
Once the data migration job has been processed and verified, AWS performs a software erasure of the Snow device that follows the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines for media sanitization.
Check this Snowball documentation page for the complete list of hardware specs, including interfaces, thermal and power requirements, decibel output, and dimensions.