AWS Re:Invent 2016 Cloud Computing Enterprise News

Amazon Snowmobile is an 18-wheeler truck that can move your data to the clouds

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Wow. Who knew we would be carting data in trucks one day? At its re:Invent event in LA, Amazon showed off a brand new Snowmobile that is aimed towards enterprise customers who have a lot of data and for whom, sending data even through high speed cables is not an option.

Okay, so last year Amazon had announced snowball boxes, right? The Snowball boxes had a capacity of around 50 TB each and Amazon ramped it up to 80 TB this year. However, considering today’s data driven age when enterprises have data in the exabytes –Terabytes really don’t cut much ice. I mean, I know people who have 10 TB worth of movies on them.

So here comes Amazon’s crown jewel. The company showed off new, Snowball Edge boxes, each of which come with 100TB capacity and a color touchscreen. The are also capable of running the cool new AWS software called AWS Greengrass, which was also introduced by Amazon at its LA re:Invent event. The best thing about these boxes however, is the fact that they can divide up the data and Amazon has put this ability to a really unique use.

The company has introduced a full sized, 18- wheeler truck with a 45-foot container in the back. The container as you can probably guess, is loaded with a lot of these Snowball Edge boxes — making the truck a moving data center in itself.

In order to meet the needs of these customers, we are launching Snowmobile today. This secure data truck stores up to 100 PB of data and can help you to move exabytes to AWS in a matter of weeks (you can get more than one if necessary). Designed to meet the needs of our customers in the financial services, media & entertainment, scientific, and other industries, Snowmobile attaches to your network and appears as a local, NFS-mounted volume. You can use your existing backup and archiving tools to fill it up with data destined for Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) or Amazon Glacier.

Amazon envisions driving these Snowmobiles out to its customers and literally filling it up with data using high speed connections. The truck is capable of data transfer at speeds of upto 1 TB per second on a 40 GB connection. Once the truck is full — or all the data has been loaded — Amazon can then drive these trucks to one of its own data centers and unload all the data.

Companies that have a LOT of data, can take the services of more than one Snowmobile in order to move their data quickly to Amazon’s data centers.

Digital Globe, one of this service’s earliest customers, who is using the Snowmobiles to move around 100 PB of satellite imagery to the clouds, have this to say:

AWS Snowmobile operators are providing an amazing customized service where they manage the configuration, monitoring, and logistics. Using Snowmobile’s data transfer abilities will get our time-lapse imagery archive to the cloud more quickly, allowing our customers and partners to have access to uniquely massive data sets.

A fixed pricing structure hasn’t been outlined yet, but I heard that Amazon will charge customers $300 per job per Snowmobile.

Trucks that cart data? We truly live in an advanced age today.

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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