Today, applications are migrating to the cloud faster than ever before. Certain new categories of applications require increased capabilities and performance at the edge of cloud, or even beyond the edge of the network.
AWS provides edge infrastructure and software that moves data processing and analysis as close as necessary to the data source in order to deliver intelligent and real-time responsiveness, and streamline the amount of data transferred. This includes deploying AWS managed hardware and software to locations outside AWS Regions and even beyond AWS Outposts. The AWS Snow Family helps customers who need to run operations in remote and non-data centered environments, and in locations where there’s lack of consistent network connectivity.
Why do users need Snow Family services?
Transferring large amounts of data over the wire can take a long time, and some locations just don’t have the required connectivity. Amazon’s Snow Family helps expedite data transfers in a more secure and cost-effective way. Each service has a pre-set capacity level, making it easier choose the right option. Snow and Snowball Edge further help bring computing applications closer to the data source to enhance analysis and deliver real-time results.
What are the use cases for Snow Family?
Users can leverage AWS Snow Family services for data transfer and occasional pre-processing on location. Some large data transfer examples include cloud migration, disaster recovery, data center relocation, and remote data collection projects. These projects typically require users to migrate large amounts of data in the shortest time using highly cost-effective solutions.
Some examples of use cases for Snowcone and Snowball Edge computing capabilities include Internet of Things (IoT) sensor stream capture, on-the-fly media transcoding, image compression, aggregating metrics, and control signaling and alarming.
Snow Family Members
The Snow Family consists of AWS Snowcone, AWS Snowball, and AWS Snowmobile. It offers a number of physical devices and capacity points, most with built-in computing capabilities. These services help in physically transporting up to exabytes of data in and out of AWS. Snow Family devices are owned and managed by AWS and integrate with AWS security, monitoring, storage management, and computing capabilities.
AWS Snowcone is the smallest member of the AWS Snow Family of edge computing and data transfer devices. Snowcone is portable, rugged, and secure. Snowcone can be used to collect, process, and move data to AWS, either offline by shipping the device, or online with AWS DataSync.
Running applications in remote 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 is a data migration and edge computing device that comes in two 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. Snowball Edge Compute Optimized devices provide 52 vCPUs, 42 terabytes of usable block or object storage, and an optional GPU for use cases such as advanced machine learning and full motion video analysis in disconnected environments.
AWS Snowmobile can move up to 100 PB of data in a 45-foot long ruggedized shipping container, and is ideal for multi-petabyte or Exabyte-scale digital media migrations and data center shutdowns. A Snowmobile arrives at the customer site and appears as a network-attached data store for more secure and high-speed data transfer. After the data is transferred to Snowmobile, it is driven back to an AWS Region where the data is loaded into Amazon S3.