Amazon's New Snowmobile: An Exabyte-Scale Data Transfer Service

No this isn't your average hard-drive backup.

Assuming your company has a (really) large amount of data which needs to be shifted to the cloud, Amazon's new Snowmobile service will now deliver a truck to your premises.

Not just any truck mind. AWS Snowmobile sends a 45-foot long ruggedized shipping container, (pulled by a semi-trailer truck) with 100 petabytes (that's 100 million gigabytes!) of storage that Amazon will use to directly transfer and move digital data from a customer, to one of their data storage facilities.

The new service from Amazon comes as data sets become ever greater, to the point that uploading such vast amounts of data via the internet can potentially take weeks, months or even years in extreme cases.

After an initial assessment, a Snowmobile will be transported to the customer's datacentre and AWS personnel will configure it so it can be accessed as a network storage target.

When the Snowmobile is on site, AWS personnel will work with customers' IT departments to connect a removable, high-speed network switch from the Snowmobile to the local network, upon which customers can begin their high-speed data transfer from any number of sources within the data center, to the Snowmobile.

After customer data is loaded, the Snowmobile is driven back to AWS, where the data is imported into Amazon S3 or Amazon Glacier.

Naturally AWS takes preservation and protection of the data very seriously.

The Snowmobile is tamper-resistant, water-resistant and temperature controlled, whilst on the security side of things, all data is encrypted with 256-bit encryption. Amazon ramps it up a notch too by including dedicated security personnel, GPS tracking, alarm monitoring, 24/7 video surveillance, and an optional escort security vehicle while in transit.


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