Introduction and how it works

In the wireless world, cloud infrastructure and services, Amazon Web Services ( AWS) just threw a curve ball. Or rather, Snowball. 50TB hard drive weighing 20 kg, which can be quickly filled with data and made available on AWS for uploading to the cloud, Snowball, is said to be “new”, but one that will spread the concept of the cloud for companies with petabytes of archived data that they perceived as not-cloudable, as it were.

But can a $ 200 (about £ 130, or $ 280 AU) – is of course the cost of renting – plate equipment such as Snowball really cloud the future?

Each Snowball can store 50TB

Why cloud need Snowball

snowball concept was launched in October AWS Re: Invent 2015 event in Las Vegas before initially confused developers and that, at first glance at odds with the concept of cloud data. Why cloud and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) company as AWS suddenly interested in producing custom equipment? Because he wants the business data in their cloud as quickly as possible, so – and, of course, faster than the Internet allows, in most parts of the world.

“It is actually very difficult to obtain large amounts of data from point A to point B,” said Andy Jassy, ​​senior vice president of AWS, when you start to Snowball. “Even for companies with regard gigabits per second, it is unlikely you will want to saturate the connection to move data if they use 10% of that, which is pretty generous, it will take 100 days to download 100 TB in a cloud. – It really is for a long time. “

Each Snowball can withstand forces up to 8.5G

How quickly snowball?

Jassy says that instead of 100 days to move 100TB, with a couple of snowballs you can do it within a week. “This is a very different model to obtain data on the cloud,” he said.

AWS already has a physical Import / Export service, which enables its customers to send a hard disk, but says Snowball cheaper than the company having to buy each drive separately – usually 1TB – the load on the encrypted data and then sort logistics. “There’s a lot of room for human error,” said Jassy.

What Snowball?

, and that 50TB hard drive Snowball for an ultra-strong, because it is supposed to be placed.

This can be completely in the service of the AMC “basic accommodation cloud storage, but Snow is not just one piece of hardware. That’s two. On the side of each Snowball is Kindle – electronic version of the ink as the Paperwhite, instead of pills as fire – which serves as the address mark and a tracking device. Snowballs can be daisy-chained, too, so that together they can carry huge amounts of data.

A Kindle-hosted address label on each Snowball

as snow job?

Snow is not only about keeping. “Snowball high security in any part of the device storage is much easier than the drive to download data – and encrypts your data from end to end,” said Jassy. “This is control the proof safety housing, the container is easy to close and the ship, and it is attached to the Kindle that allows you to automatically have a return label, which you can track your progress – both of it being shipped, and then downloaded to the workstation. ”

Snow and dust, drop-proof and can withstand up to 8,5 G-forces. Although the initial Snowballs will 50TB, the size is expected to grow. However, even though they cost $ 200 (about £ 130, or $ 280 Australian) for the use, Snowballs remain the property of Amazon, and sent back into the system after they are transferred to a large data set.

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Large data

Snow and big data

C. Snowball, transmission petabytes of data takes about 15 hours and costs about one-fifth as well as using the Internet in accordance with AWS. We are talking about big data – and how to move it. “One of our customers told us that they wanted to move 250 petabytes in the cloud, but to work, it would take eight years,” said Bill Vass, VP technology, AWS, when you start to Snowball.

Annex to the AWS Management Console should be directed to the data set you want to move, and then he finds out how much you need Snowballs. Ignites snowballs, then automatically changes to show the address, and then they send.

All data uploaded to a Snowball is encrypted

Who is going to use Snowball?

This piece of hardware is not only designed to make it easier and faster for those with large data sets to move into the cloud. It is a cloud of distributing companies, which have to take it.

“I expect Snowball is to open most of the market, especially the market in the archive – the company that the contract did not have any choice but to keep the data for a number of years,” says Shane Owenby, Dr. medical sciences for the Asia-Pacific region in the AWS, which suggests that Snowball is aimed primarily at financial companies, call centers, government, media entertainment companies that collect movies (especially those currently in the transition to 4K films), and any other organizations with petabytes of data, but not years, to get him probation.

“They do not want to blow the pipeline network, and we can save this information much more cheaply than they can,” adds Owenby.

Andy Jassy, Senior Vice President at AWS

Will we see more hardware like Snowball?

“We have no current plans to do so,” said Jassy. “The only reason we built this unit is to help customers get more of their data in the workstation quickly – we had enough to talk with customers who have large amounts of data and can not digest the idea of ​​trying to put it on the cloud via the Internet on their current connection. ”

AWS rather sit under the equipment, said Jassy, ​​the name of the test socket, Dropcam Echo Amazon and independently as devices IoT, who already use its cloud. “It was a bit of a novelty for us.” New or not, snow can be great news for companies that sit on top of large chunks of data.

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