by Lyle Smith

Amazon Snowball 50TB Storage Server Unveiled

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has demonstrated their Amazon Snowball at the 2015 AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. Specced at a hefty 45 pounds, this piece of hardware can store upwards of 50TB of data that can be physically shipped to AWS in order to be stored in the cloud. This is an important announcement for AWS due to its unique functionality as well as being their first hardware offering. Launched all the way back in 2009, AWS previously only offered cloud infrastructure and services. There has been a lot of movement towards the Amazon service as of late, as Avere, CTERA and Veritas have all announced support for AWS this week.

The Snowball is specifically designed for customers and businesses that need to move large amounts of data to AWS on a one-time or recurring basis. As such, Amazon’s Snowball aims to get customer data into the cloud as fast as possible and thus has designed it so multiple Snowballs can be connected together as a daisy-chain. There are huge benefits to this type of physical data transfer service; even though fast Internet connections are available around the globe, transferring terabytes or petabytes of data from an existing data center to the cloud still can be incredibly challenging for organizations. To order a Snowball, users can simply request one from the AWS Management Console. It will then arrive a few days later at your workplace or company site.

The Snowball has been built to be extremely durable, providing organizations and businesses with a peace of mind that their data will be safe when they drop it off to be mailed; it is completely weather-resistant and acts as its own shipping container. In addition, the Amazon device can withstand jolts up to 6G, and is light enough for one person to carry. It is also entirely self-contained with its 110 Volt power and 10GB network connection on the back pane. It has an E Ink display/control panel on the front to ensure the appliance is automatically sent to the correct AWS facility and can be tracked using Amazon SNS, text messages, and the AWS Console.

Pricing and availability

The Amazon Snowball is now available with the following pricing plan:

  • Service Fee per Job: $200
  • Extra Day Charge: First 10 days of onsite usage are free and each extra onsite day is $15
  • Data Transfer:
    • Data transfer IN to Amazon S3 is $0.00 per GB
    • Data transfer OUT of Amazon S3 is $0.03 per GB

Amazon Snowball

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