AWS Snow Family – AWS Snowcone Snowball & Snowmobile

In recent years, more applications have moved to the cloud. A new type of application requires enhanced performance and capability at or beyond the edge the cloud. AWS Snow Family is a new set of offerings that allows you to operate in non-datacenter environments, austere and other locations without network connectivity.
Edge computing refers to computing that takes place near the data source, rather than relying on the cloud for all operations. Many applications that use the cloud need to be able to access data quickly and perform real-time computations. This has led to a need for storage and computing resources that are moved closer to the network edge. This is where content is created and consumed.
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AWS has created an edge infrastructure to allow applications to process and analyze data as close as possible to users. Applications can therefore deliver intelligent and real-time responsiveness.
The AWS edge infrastructure allows you to deploy software and hardware outside of the AWS outposts. Customers can run applications in non data environments or locations without reliable network connectivity using the AWS snow family. We will be discussing the differences between the various AWS snow families.
The AWS Snow Family
AWS Snowcone is AWS Snowball and AWS Snowmobile are all part of the AWS snow family. The family includes capacity points and physical devices with built-in computing power. They facilitate data transport into and out of AWS. AWS customers can use Snow family members to migrate data to AWS securely, and inexpensively.
Image Source: AWS The amount of data you need to migrate will determine which Snow family member you choose. AWS manages and owns the Snow family and they integrate with AWS security protocols and computing capabilities.
What is AWS Snowcone?
AWS Snowcone, a ruggedized, secure edge computing device, integrates easily with AWS storage and compute services. Snowcone, weighing in at 4.5lbs, is the smallest member of the AWS snow family. Its ruggedized casing makes the snowcone suitable for harsh environments. Image Source: AWS
It has two vCPUs and 8TB HDD. It also has 4GB RAM, which allows it to run workloads at edge. It has a USB port, WiFi and two Gigabit Ethernet ports that allow data transfer. It can be used to collect, process, and move data via AWS DataSync (online transfer), or by shipping your device directly to AWS (offline transfer).
Snowcone is a great option when you need to run applications on harsh edge environments. Cloud computing applications can be limited by a lack or consistent network support. However, Snowcone can be used to run edge computing through Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) if you deploy it.
Snowcone is unique in that it can be powered using a standard 45W powerbank. AWS Snowcone can be carried around in a small, lightweight and portable way. Snowcone supports NFS file system and data transfer from Linux, macOS and Windows servers.
Snowcone Use Cases
Edge computing – Data collection and processing for real-time insights, and then data transfer to AWS via online or offline methods
Data transfer in factories – data generated by machine sensors can also be transferred to AWS
Information dissemination – media and other content can be distributed from your AWS storage to the relevant stakeholders
Content aggregation: Transfer of media or other scientific data from an edge location to your AWS.
One-time data migration – A simple, quick, and affordable transfer of up to 8TB data into AWS. To do this, ship the Snowcone device directly to AWS
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What is AWS Snowball?
The AWS Snowball is an edge computing device and data migration device that speeds up the migration of terabytes and petabytes data into and out AWS. Snowball can help you overcome the challenges of large-scale data migration. Snowball makes it faster to transfer data and is more secure and cost-effective.

Image Source: AWS
Snowball can be either storage-optimized or compute-optimized. Snowball devices that are storage optimized have S3-compatible objects as well as block storage capabilities and 40 vCPUs. These snowball devices are ideal for data transfer and local storage. The compute optimized snowball devices have block and object storage capabilities, but they also come with 52 vCPUs as well as an optional GPU. Examples