AWS Snowball Brings technology to the Adroit Edge


‘’We want to move 250 PBs into AWS, but it would take years to do that over the network. You must be thinking as how can we upload our data faster into AWS?’’. Data is growing at a tremendous pace! It seems it would take 2 years for 100TB or 22 years for 1 PB over the internet or so on.

Today’s data-heavy IT environments mean that information often needs to be transferred from one place to another. Snowball is designed to make such transfers easy without incurring astronomical network usage fees. Instead of paying a high-priced developer to write code to push a transfer, admins simply move data using the Snowball appliance, with no limits.

AWS Snowball is a petabyte-scale data transport solution that used to migrate analytics data, genomics data, video libraries, image repositories, backups and secure appliances to transfer large amounts of data into and out of the AWS cloud.

‘’Do you know If AWS Snowball is a hardware or not and if yes!! then how much storage it provides for data transfer or does the snowball support service API access or not’’-- So, let’s dive into the answer of these questions one after the another.

Amazon’s Snowball is a hardware and provides a large amount of space around hundreds of terabytes and petabytes of data. It also supports API access and provides programmatic access to the job creation and management features of a Snowball. It is a simple, standards-based REST web service interface, designed to work with any Internet development environment. Snowball support 10Gbps network interfaces with RJ45, SFP+ copper, and SFP+ optical network ports.

Speeding Up Data Transfer

In general, you can improve the transfer speed from your data source to the Snowball in the following ways, ordered from largest to smallest positive impact on performance:

  • Perform multiple copy operations at one time – If your workstation is powerful enough, you can perform multiple snowball cp commands at one time. You can do this by running each command from a separate terminal window, in separate instances of the Snowball client, all connected to the same Snowball.
  • Copy from multiple workstations – You can connect a single Snowball to multiple workstations. Each workstation can host a separate instance of the Snowball client.
  • Transfer directories, not files – Because there is overhead for each snowball cp command, we don't recommend that you queue a large number of individual copy commands. Queuing many commands has a significant negative impact on your transfer performance.

AWS Database Migration Service

AWS snowball can migrate data from one cloud to another cloud. AWS Data Migration Services can help you with homogenous migration such as Oracle to Oracle, as well as heterogenous migrations between different database platforms like Oracle or Microsoft SQL server to Amazon Aurora.

In homogeneous database migrations, the source and target database engines are the same or are compatible like Oracle to Amazon RDS for Oracle, MySQL to Amazon Aurora, MySQL to Amazon RDS for MySQL, or Microsoft SQL Server to Amazon RDS for SQL Server, whereas Heterogenous migration source and target databases engines are different, like in the case of Oracle to Amazon Aurora, Oracle to PostgreSQL, or Microsoft SQL Server to MySQL migrations.

Let’s quickly parse through some of the features, uses and pros & cons of AWS Snowball and study how it actually Works?

Some of the Key features of AWS Snowball are:
  • You can import and export data between your on-premises data storage locations and Amazon S3.
  • Snowball has an 80 TB model available in all regions, and a 50 TB model only available in the US regions.
  • Encryption is enforced, protecting your data at rest and in physical transit.
  • You can manage your jobs through the AWS Snowball Management Console, or programmatically with the job management API.
  • You can perform local data transfers between your on-premises data center and a Snowball.
  • These transfers can be done through the Snowball client, a standalone downloadable client, or programmatically using Amazon S3 REST API calls with the downloadable Amazon S3 Adapter for Snowball.

Pros of AWS Snowball:
  • Snowball is simple, fast, more secure, and can be as little as one-fifth the cost of transferring data via high-speed Internet.
  • With the help of AWS Snowball, you can easily transfer data within a week, no matter how high-speed your internet connection is, it can still take months to transfer larger amount of data.
  • Amazon Snowball includes a ruggedized case designed to be both durable and portable. AWS Snowball is portable as it weighs less than 50 pounds.

Cons of AWS Snowball:
  • Snowball is not a cure-all
  • AWS Snowball hasn’t solved every data transport problem in the cloud. Often companies struggle with having a data-transfer plan prior to ordering Snowball. Because of this, companies can incur additional and often substantial costs as the appliance remains on-site -- and unused -- for more than 10 days

How Pricing Works for AWS Snowball

  • $200 / job plus shipping
  • Includes 10 days to fill the device at your site
  • $15 /day after the tenth day on site
  • Standard Amazon S3 charges apply
  • $0.03/GB to transfer data out
  • $0.00/GB to transfer data in

Example 1:
  • 40Tb loaded on to 1 Snowball
  • 2 days at your site
  • $200 plus shipping

Example 2:
  • 30 TB loaded on to 1 Snowball
  • 12 days at your site
  • $200 +2*$15/day = $230 plus shipping

Example 3:
  • 140 TB loaded on to 3 Snowball
  • 8 days at your site
  • $200 + 30TB* $0.03/GB = $1,121.60 plus shipping

Follow are some of the Case studies of AWS Snowball:

Case Study: Oregan State University

Example 3:
  • Tools like Azure Migrate and Microsoft Data Migration Assistant help in the migration process.
  • The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) Calculator is a handy tool which saves from overspending by estimating the amount of savings when moving your workloads to Azure.

Reviews on using Azure Cloud Resources:

As per Gartner report, Microsoft Azure was recognized by Gartner as a leader in Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Cloud Storage Services and Application Platform as a Service (PaaS). It is Highly recommended by IT professionals since they believe that Azure is a handy software and once set up, it hardly takes much time for evolution. Survey says, 80% of reputed 500 companies use Azure services since it provides an array of products and services designed to meet all the needs through one convenient platform.

Wrap up…

To conclude, there’s no doubt as why azure is the cloud service providers of choice for many enterprises and are compelling. A multi-cloud strategy is always an option for your business needs which Azure fulfils at every step.

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