AWS Snowball is a petabyte-scale data transport solution that uses secure devices to transfer large amounts of data into and out of AWS services. Using Snowball addresses common challenges with large-scale 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 one-fifth the cost of high-speed Internet.
AWS Snowball is a data transport solution that accelerates moving terabytes to petabytes of data into and out of AWS services using storage devices designed to be secure for physical transport. Using Snowball helps to eliminate challenges that can be encountered with large-scale data transfers including high network costs, long transfer times, and security concerns.
AWS Snowball is a physical device with either 50 or 80TB of storage space that is designed to transfer large amounts of data in and out of the AWS cloud. According to AWS, Snowball can be used to migrate or archive data as part of data center shutdowns, tape replacement, or application migration projects.
Benefits of AWS Snowball:
1. High Speed
2. Extremely scalable
3. Tamper resistent and secure
4. Simple and compatible
5. Low cost
6. Easy Data retrieval
Snowball Client: The Snowball Client is software that you install on a local host computer and use to efficiently identify, compress, encrypt, and transfer data from the directories you specify to a Snowball.
Job manifest file: An encrypted metadata file that is used to uniquely identify your data transfer job.
Job manifest unlock code: A 25-character code to unlock the job manifest file.
How does AWS Snowball work?
AWS Snowball uses secure devices and the Snowball Client to accelerate petabyte-scale data transfers into and out of AWS services. You start by using the AWS Management Console to create one or more jobs to request one or multiple Snowball devices (depending on how much data you need to transfer), and download and install the Snowball Client. Once the device arrives, connect it to your local network, set the IP address either manually or with DHCP, and use the Client to identify the directories you want to copy. The Client will automatically encrypt and copy the data to the device and notify you when the transfer job is complete. When the transfer is complete and the device is ready to be returned, the E Ink shipping label will automatically update to indicate the correct AWS partner location to ship to, and you can track the job status by using Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), text messages, or directly in the console.
Who should use Snowball?
Snowball is the right data transfer choice if you need to securely and quickly transfer terabytes to many petabytes of data to AWS services. Snowball can also be the right choice if you don’t want to make expensive upgrades to your network infrastructure, if you frequently experience large backlogs of data, if you’re located in a physically isolated environment, or if you’re in an area where high-bandwidth Internet connections are not available or cost-prohibitive.
Is AWS Snowball secure?
AWS Snowball uses tamper-resistant enclosures, 256-bit encryption, and an industry-standard Trusted Platform Module (TPM) which makes it tamper resistant and secure. For additional protection, encryption keys are managed using AWS Key Management Service (KMS) and are never sent to or stored on the device. For companies transferring sensitive data, Snowball is part of multiple AWS compliance programs, such as SOC, PCI, and FedRAMP. Amazon Snowball is also a HIPAA eligible service under their BAA. You can see the full list of services in scope by compliance program in AWS Artifact.