AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam Prep – Amazon Snowball

Chapter 1 – AWS Overview
Chapter 2 – IAM
Chapter 3 – S3
Chapter 4 – S3 Versioning
Chapter 5 – S3 Cross Region Replication
Chapter 6 – S3 Life-Cycle Management
Chapter 7 – Amazon Cloud Front
Chapter 9 – AWS Snowball


Chapter 9 of this blog post series will be all about Amazon Snowball device. The Snowball device provides an efficient way for customers to get large amounts of data into the AWS Cloud, granted this involves requesting the device from Amazon, waiting for it to arrive and then shipping back and waiting for AWS to import the data. In some cases, this would be the only way for customers to get large, large datasets into the AWS Cloud.

AWS Snowball

AWS Snowball allows one to Import / Export Disks into AWS. AWS Snowball accelerates moving large amounts of data into and out of the AWS cloud using portable storage devices for transport. AWS Import / Export transfers your data directly onto and off of storage devicees using Amazon’s high-speed internal network and bypassing the internet.

  • Snowball (re:Invent 2015)
    • Heavy / bigger than a briefcase – Can order one
    • Petabyte-scale data transport solution that uses secure appliances to transfer large amounts of data into and out of AWS. Using Snowball addresses common challenges with large-scal data transfers including high network costs, long transfer times, and security concerns. Transferring data with Snowball is simple, fast, secure and can be as little as 1/5th the cost of high-speed internet.
    • 80TB Snowball in all regions (50TB in US). Snowball uses multiple layers of security designed to protect yoru data including tamper-resistanc enclosures, 2560-bit encryption, and an industry standard Trusted Platform Module (TPM) designed to ensure both security and full chain-of-custody of your data. Once the data transfer job as been processed and verified, AWS performs a software erasure of the Snowball appliance.
AWS Snowball
AWS Snowball
  • Snowball Edge (re:Invent 2016)
    • A 100TB data transfer device with on-board storage and compute capabilities. You can use Snowball Edge to move large amounts of data into and out of AWS, as a temporary storage tier for large local datasets, or to support local workloads in remote or offline locations.
    • Snowball Edge connects to your existing applications and infrastructure using standard storage interfaces, streamlining the data transfer process and minimizing setup and integration. Snowball Edge can cluster together to form a local storage tier and process your data on-premises, helping ensure your applications continue to run even when they are not able to access the cloud.
    • Can be clustered as well
  • Snowmobile  (re:Invent 2016)
    • Massive sea-container on the back of a truck
    • PB or EB scale
    • Exabyte-scale data transfer service, used to move extremely large amounts of data into AWS. Snowmobile makes it easy to move dmassive volumes of data to the cloud, including video libraries, image repositories, or even a complete data center migration. Transferring data with Snowmobile is fast, secure and easy.
    • 100PB capacity, order 10 to get Exabyte

Exam TIps

  • Snowball is?
  • Understand Import / Export – still available – old way.
  • Snowball can do
    • Import to S3
    • Export from S3
    • Glacier, restore from glacier to S3 then move off to Snowball appliance.


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