The Snow family services are used to transfer a large amount of data from on-premises to AWS using a physical device.
- Snowcone: smallest – 8 terabytes
- Snowball: Petabyte-scale, cheaper than internet transfer
- Snowmobile: Exabyte-scale, Data securely transferred and loaded to S3
Snowball is a cost-effect and fast data transport service into or out of AWS using secure and rugged devices.
- Snowball supports petabyte-scale data transfer.
- Snowball comes in 2 sizes (50TB and 80 TB) and has multi-layer security features (SW + HW).
- It is useful when you do not want to saturate the office internet connection.
- You cannot transfer data from Snowball to S3 Glacier directly. Move data to S3 and then use lifecycle to Glacier.
Snowball Edge is a data transfer device (80 TB) with compute capabilities.
- Snowball devices are transitioned out of service, and Snowball Edge replaces Snowball as primary devices.
- You can transfer data and use it as temporary storage.
Computing Capabilities and Block Storage
- It can support EC2 instances (SBE1, SBE-C, and SBE-G) and attach block storage volumes (SSD volumes – sbp1, or HDD volumes – sbg1). A block storage volume has a maximum size of 10 TB, and you can attach up to 10 volumes to an instance on Snowball Edge. The volumes will be deleted when the device is returned.
- The lambda functions can be hosted.
- Snowball Edge devices can be clustered together.
Types of Snowball Edge devices
Snowball Edge Storage devices
- Ideal for transferring terabytes to petabytes of data to AWS when high-bandwidth internet connections are not available.
- Compute Power: 40 vCPUs, 1 TB of SATA SSD storage, up to 40 Gb Network
Snowball Edge Compute devices
- More vCPUs and faster networking
- Can be used to run edge computing workloads, such as performing local analysis of data on a Snowball Edge cluster and writing it to the S3-compatible endpoint.
- Compute Power: 52 vCPUs, 7.68 TB of SATA SSD storage, up to 100 Gb Network
- Snowball Edge encrypts all data with 256-bit encryption.
- You manage your encryption keys by using the AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS).
- Keys are never stored on the device, and all memory is erased when it is disconnected and returned to AWS.
- Snowball Edge cannot be used to move data from one region to another. It is intended to move data within a designated AWS Region.
- You cannot attach existing EBS volumes to the devices.
When to use Snowball instead of the public internet
Snowball vs. Direct Connect (DX)
- If you need to transfer large quantities of data to AWS services on an ongoing basis, use DX.
- If you need to transfer data in large batches or as a one-time transfer, potentially from distributed locations, use Snowball.
- Snowball Edge is an exabyte-scale data transfer service.
- It is a giant shipping container pulled by a truck.