Built for edge computing & data transfer
AWS Snowball uses secure, rugged devices so you can bring AWS computing and storage capabilities to your edge environments, and transfer data into and out of AWS. The service delivers you Snowball Edge devices with storage and optional Amazon EC2 and AWS IOT Greengrass compute in shippable, hardened, secure cases. With AWS Snowball, you bring cloud capabilities for machine learning, data analytics, processing, and storage to your edge, for migrations, short-term data collection, or even long-term deployments. AWS Snowball devices work with or without the internet, do not require a dedicated IT operator, and are designed to be used in remote environments.
With AWS Snowball, you have the choice of two devices, Snowball Edge Compute Optimized with more computing capabilities, suited for higher performance workloads, or 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 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
Fast data transfer
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.
AWS OpsHub for simple management and monitoring
AWS OpsHub is a graphical user interface that makes it easy to set up and manage AWS Snowball devices enabling you to rapidly deploy edge computing workloads and simplify data migration to the cloud. You can download and install AWS OpsHub on any Windows or Mac client machine, such as a laptop.
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 Edge 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 transfer jobs.
S3-compatible endpoint for object storage
Applications can work with Snowball Edge object storage through an S3-compatible endpoint accessed through the S3 SDK or CLI. For specific information, see the API documentation.
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 Edge devices. This makes it easier to develop applications in EC2, and then run them in disconnected and remote locations. Snowball Edge supports both performance optimized and capacity optimized volume types.
Applications can work with Snowball Edge as a NFS mount point. NFS v3 and v4.1 are supported so you can easily use Snowball Edge with your existing on-premises servers and file-based applications. Using the NFS interface allows simple file transfer to a Snowball Edge device when the S3 adapter is not feasible. The file system metadata is preserved until the files are converted into objects when they are transferred into your S3 bucket.
All data transferred to AWS Snowball 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.
Rugged and portable
AWS Snowball Edge devices have a ruggedized case designed for durability and portability. A device weighs less than 50 pounds and can be moved by a single person.
Snowball Edge 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 Snowball Edge 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 AWS Snowball Edge device, and with the AWS Snowball service’s encryption features, it helps preserve the confidentiality of your data.
AWS Snowball devices use an innovative, E Ink shipping label designed to ensure the device is automatically sent to the correct AWS facility and also aids in tracking. Once you have completed your data transfer job, it can be tracked via Amazon SNS, text messages, and via the AWS Console.
Once the data transfer job has been processed and verified, AWS performs a software erasure of the Snowball Edge device that follows the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines for media sanitization.
Check this Snowball Edge documentation page for the complete list of hardware specs, including interfaces, thermal and power requirements, decibel output, and dimensions.