AWS Snowball refers to a comprehensive data transmission solution for securely and physically transferring large amounts of data to and from the Amazon cloud. This service utilises robust storage devices to transfer data from the current customer data centres to AWS data locations. These physical appliances are sent back and forth between the two data centres using package delivery firms such as UPS and FedEx.
AWS designed Snowball to assist companies to overcome typical challenges associated with large data transfers to the cloud which include costly network upgrades, long transfer periods and security breaches. With snowball, transferring large data is fast, secure and quite cheaper, at times it may cost as low as £155 for every transfer task, exclusive of the shipping costs.
How does AWS Snowball work
AWS Snowball was developed to offer simplicity and security in a difficult situation. You don't need any hardware or program code purchases to have a successful process of import and export of data. The steps below illustrate a summary of Snowball workflow from beginning to the end:
• The customer develops a data transfer task on her/his account
• Amazon sends the Snowball equipment to the customer. However, the number of devices depends on the size of the data.
• Once the customer receives the Snowball appliances, the customer links it to his/her computer and later sets the IP address correctly. The Snowball client is then downloaded and installed automatically on the host computer to help in the process of exporting data.
• The Snowball client encodes and then copies the data to the snowball appliance at superfast speeds. Once it finishes, the E Ink sticker automatically changes its state.
• When done, Amazon will send the appliance back to its data locations and transfer all the data files to your S3. At this point, you can check the task as a whole using management console, Amazon SNS, or SMS.
When the job gets done, you can now view your files remotely using various gadgets. The Snowball gadget is then wiped out in preparation for the next assignment.
Benefits of using AWS Snowball
The service offered by Snowball is appropriate for entities that handle vast amounts of data. Moving such sets of data to the Amazon cloud doesn't have to be expensive and complicated. Through a Snowball, the transfer process is unified, secure and cost-effective. The following are some reasons why you should consider using a Snowball device for your data transfer projects in the future.
• Time-saving: Even with an internet connection of as little as 100Mbps, it will still take you months to move the same size of data than one Snowball device can transfer in one day.
• Scalable: You can use multiple Snowball gadgets to transfer data simultaneously in tens of petabytes.
• Cost-effective: Using a Snowball will cost you only a fraction of what you would incur to transfer the same amount of data using high-speed internet.
• Easy retrieval of data: With a Snowball, you can move your data in and out of the cloud inexpensively as often as your company operations may demand.
• Security: The Snowball device gets protection from a tamper-proof covering and data encoding standards. Moreover, the user manages the encryption keys in the Amazon cloud.
*Image source: aws.amazon.com