Amazon Web Services has announced a unique solution to migrate data to the company’s cloud: a secure data container that can store up to 100 petabytes. The hardware is 45-feet long, 9.6-feet high and 8-feet wide and the data stored in it can be sent to Amazon’s cloud physically. AWS also introduced Snowball Edge, a smaller version of the Snowmobile.

The Snowmobile was presented at the annual AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. It supports one terabit per second of data transfer spread across multiple 40 gigabytes per second connections to collect corporate data and physically ship it to an AWS data center for uploading it in a matter of weeks.  

Amazon's Snowball
Amazon’s Snowball. Image credit: Amazon.

“Physically, Snowmobile is a ruggedized, tamper-resistant shipping container 45 feet long, 9.6 feet high, and 8 feet wide. It is water-proof, climate-controlled, and can be parked in a covered or uncovered area adjacent to your existing data center. Each Snowmobile consumes about 350 kW of AC power; if you don’t have sufficient capacity on site we can arrange for a generator,” said AWS on its blog.

The new option is perfect for companies that work with massive amounts of data. The Snowmobile reduces the cost to do so locally becoming a viable data transfer option.

The Snowmobile was designed for the science, media and entertainment industries and financial services that handle considerably large amounts of data. The container is directly attached to the company’s network, and it is perceived as a local, network file system storage device. Snowball users can use their backup/archiving tools to transfer their data to the hardware using Amazon Glacier or Amazon Simple Storage Service.

To get the Snowmobile service and its 100 petabyte storage, companies can schedule a meeting with Amazon to find the best option to move the business data to Amazon’s cloud. The AWS Professional service will make all the work and make sure the shipping container is connected to the customer’s network. Once set, data can be transferred to the Snowmobile and then, the container goes back to Amazon to import the information specified by the customer.

Snowball Edge: AWS’s smaller version of the Snowmobile and AWS Greengrass

Snowball Edge is a portable hardware that incorporates computing and storage to let users run data locally. As the Snowmobile, the Edge also collects data and physically ship it to AWS for uploading. The difference with the big container is that it is meant to be placed wherever the customers want and can be used as a local computing and storage node.

Greengrass, on the other hand, is a device powered by Intel chips and software written using Amazon’s Lambda tool. The Greengrass device lets users program an alert to another device or location that is activated when its software detects a particular condition, for example, your home alarm system.

AWS Greenhouse product is a hybrid computing device, meaning it lets local and third-party providers share computing. Matt Wood, the general manager of product strategy at AWS, told Fortune that the notion of hybrid refers to the integration of infrastructure in Amazon’s cloud with infrastructure that it is not in the cloud.

The purpose of both Snowmobile and Snowball Edge is that companies reduce their data centers to store their information in Amazon’s cloud. 

Source: Amazon Web Services