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What is Snow Family in AWS?

Last Updated : 17 Mar, 2023
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Pre-requisites: AWS

In order to move massive volumes of data into and out of the cloud without relying on networks, Amazon has created the Snow Family of physical devices. This enables you to utilize your data with the vast array of Amazon analytics, file system, and archive services. Large-scale data transit and local storage are both well suited to it. For use cases like sophisticated machine learning and full motion video analysis in disconnected settings, Snowball Edge Compute Optimized devices offer 52 vCPUs, 42 terabytes of useable block or object storage, and an optional GPU. A tractor-trailer is used to transport an AWS Snowmobile shipping container. These services can help with initiatives including data migration, disaster recovery, shutting down data centers, and remote data collecting.

AWS Snow Family Devices 

  • AWS Snowcone
  • AWS Snowball
  • AWS Snowmobile
AWS snow family


AWS SnowCone 

The smallest device in the Amazon Snow Family of edge computing and data transport equipment is the AWS Snowcone. Snowcone is versatile, reliable, and safe. Snowcone may be used to gather, process, and transport data online via Amazon DataSync or offline by sending the device. Snowcone is a compact, reliable solution for edge computing and data storage. Snowcone may be used to gather, process, and send data online using Amazon DataSync or offline via sending the device to AWS. Because these sites frequently lack the capacity, power, and cooling required for data center IT equipment, running applications in sterile (non-data center) edge settings, where there is a lack of reliable network access, or when bandwidth is limited, can be difficult.

AWS Snowball Device

Faster-than-internet data transfers between Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and your on-site data storage location are possible with the AWS Snowball service using physical storage devices. Physically robust devices called Snowball are secured by the AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS). Your data is secured and safeguarded while in transit. Snowballs are shipped from Amazon S3 to your on-site data storage facility through local shipping companies. See AWS Snowball in the AWS for a list of AWS Regions where the Snowball device is accessible. Using AWS Snowball will help you save both time and money. You can utilize Snowball’s robust interfaces to create jobs, track data, and monitor the progress of your jobs all the way to completion.

AWS Snowball Edge

Amazon Snowball Edge is a device that the AWS Snowball service offers for edge computing and data transport. It offers a few AWS services for usage at edge locations thanks to onboard storage and processing capability. In order to allow local data processing and gathering in remote settings like ships, windmills, and distant industries, Snowball Edge is available in two configurations Storage Optimized and Compute Optimized.

AWS Snowmobile 

Large amounts of data are sent to Amazon Web Services using AWS Snowmobile, an exabyte-scale data transfer service. Up to 100PB of data may be sent with each Snowmobile. It is a semi-trailer truck pulling a 45-foot-long ruggedized shipping container.

Features of Snowball 

AWS Snowball with the snowball device has the following features:-

  • You don’t need to purchase or maintain your own hardware.
  • Your data is secure both while it’s at rest and when it’s being physically moved.
  • You can manage your jobs programmatically using the job management API or through the AWS Snow Family Management Console.
  • The 50 TB model is accessible in all other AWS Regions; 80 TB and 50 TB variants are only available in US Regions.
  • Local data transfers are possible between a Snowball and an on-premises data center. These transfers can be carried out using the standalone, downloadable Snowball client. Or you can use the free Amazon S3 Adapter for Snowball to transfer data programmatically using calls to the Amazon S3 REST API. See Data Transmission with a Snowball for further details.
  • When the Snowball is prepared to ship, the E Ink display on its own shipping container switches to display your shipping label. See Shipping Factors for AWS Snowball for more details.

Features of Snowball Edge

Snowball Edge devices have the following features:-

  • Huge levels of computing power or storage capacity for devices. The settings you select when creating your job will determine this.
  • You may physically transmit the data using one or more devices without utilizing the internet by importing or exporting it between your local environments and Amazon S3.
  • network adapters capable of 100 Gbit/s of data transport.
  • For Kubernetes workloads, Snowball Edge devices support Amazon EKS Anywhere.
  • Your data is protected at rest and while being physically transported using encryption.
  • The Snowball Edge products are a standalone robust box. When the item is prepared for shipping, the built-in E Ink display transforms to show your shipping label.

Tools and Interfaces

For managing and creating jobs, Snowball makes use of the job management API and the Amazon Snow Family Management Portal. Use the Amazon S3 Adapter for Snowball or the Snowball client to carry out local data transfers on the Snowball device.

Transferring Data With A Snowball

Snowball client: A standalone terminal application that you run on your local workstation to do your data transfer. You don’t need any coding knowledge to use the Snowball client. It provides all the functionality you need to transfer data, including handling errors and writing logs to your local workstation for troubleshooting and auditing.

Amazon S3 Adapter for snowball: A programmatic data transfer tool that supports AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) commands and the Amazon S3 SDKs. It uses a subset of the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) REST API.

Features Of The Snow Family

  • Convenient management and monitoring
  • Simpler device tracking
  • Automatic 256-bit encryption is used to protect all the transferred date
  • Snow device act as NFS(Network File System) endpoints for applications
  • Trusted platform Moduled that aids in maintaining data secrecy

Benefits Of AWS Snow Family

  • Simple management and monitoring
  • On-board computing
  • Encryption
  • Anti-tamper & Tamper-evident
  • End-to-end tracking
  • Secure erasure

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