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AWS Snowball

What is AWS Snowball Edge?

AWS Snowball Edge is a hardware appliance used to migrate petabyte-scale data into and out of Amazon S3, mitigating issues with large-scale data transfers including high network costs, limited connectivity such as in remote locations, long transfer times, and security concerns. Beyond data transfer and cloud data migration use cases, the Snowball Edge device features on-board storage and compute power to enable local processing and analytics at the edge. Once transferred into AWS S3, an organization can move the data into other storage classes as needed.

Snowball appliances are shipped to the customer and deployed on the customer’s network. Data is copied to the Snowball appliance and then return shipped to AWS where the data is copied to the appropriate AWS storage tier and made available for access.

According to Hackernoon, Snowball Edge has been used in oil rigs, with the U.S. Department of Defense, and in an emergency situation for the U.S. Geological Survey needing to quickly export data from its data center during a volcanic eruption.

Considerations for AWS Snowball Edge

Enterprises have two options:

  • Snowball Edge Storage Optimized devices provide both block storage and Amazon S3-compatible object storage, and 40 vCPUs. They are well suited for local storage and large scale-data transfer. It’s possible to combine up to 12 devices together and create a single S3-compatible bucket that can store nearly 1 petabyte of data.
  • Snowball Edge Compute Optimized devices provide 52 vCPUs, block and object storage, and an optional GPU for use cases including machine learning and full motion video analysis.
  • Snowball supports specific Amazon EC2 instance types and AWS Lambda functions, so you can develop and test in the AWS Cloud, then deploy applications on devices in remote locations to collect, pre-process, and ship the data to AWS.
  • Snowball can transport multiple terabytes of data and multiple devices can be used in parallel or clustered together to transfer petabytes of data into or out of AWS.

By using Komprise for cloud tiering to AWS, you can save not only on your on-premises storage but also on your cloud costs. Users get transparent access to the files moved by Komprise from the original location, and with Komprise moving data in native format, you can give users direct, cloud-native access to data in AWS while eliminating egress fees and rehydration hassles.

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