Using Amazon EC2-compatible compute instances - AWS Snowball Edge Developer Guide

Using Amazon EC2-compatible compute instances

This section provides an overview of using Amazon EC2-compatible compute instances on an AWS Snowball Edge device, including conceptual information, procedures, and examples.


You can run Amazon EC2-compatible compute instances hosted on a Snowball Edge with the sbe1, sbe-c, and sbe-g instance types. The sbe1 instance type works on devices with the Snowball Edge Storage Optimized option. The sbe-c instance type works on devices with the Snowball Edge Compute Optimized option. Both the sbe-c and sbe-g instance types work on devices with the Snowball Edge Compute Optimized with GPU option. For a list of supported instance types, see Quotas for Compute Instances on a Snowball Edge Device.

All three compute instance types supported for use on Snowball Edge device options are unique to Snowball Edge devices. Like their cloud-based counterparts, these instances require Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) to launch. You choose the AMI to be that base image for an instance in the cloud, before you create your Snowball Edge job.

To use a compute instance on a Snowball Edge, create a job to order a Snow Family device and specify your AMIs. You can do this using the AWS Snow Family Management Console, the AWS CLI, or one of the AWS SDKs. Typically, there are some housekeeping prerequisites that you must perform before creating your job, to use your instances.

After your device arrives, you can start managing your AMIs and instances. You can manage your compute instances on a Snowball Edge through an Amazon EC2-compatible endpoint. This type of endpoint supports many of the Amazon EC2-compatible CLI commands and actions for the AWS SDKs. You can't use the AWS Management Console on the Snowball Edge to manage your AMIs and compute instances.

When you're done with your device, return it to AWS. If the device was used in an import job, the data transferred using the Amazon S3 adapter or the NFS interface is imported into Amazon S3. Otherwise, we perform a complete erasure of the device when it is returned to AWS. This erasure follows the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-88 standards.

  • Using encrypted AMIs on Snowball Edge devices is not supported.

  • Data in compute instances running on a Snowball Edge isn't imported into AWS.

Difference between Amazon EC2 and Amazon EC2-compatible instances on Snow Family devices

AWS Snow Family EC2-compatible instances allow customers to use and manage Amazon EC2-compatible instances using a subset of EC2 APIs and a subset of AMIs.

Pricing for Compute Instances on Snowball Edge

There are additional costs associated with using compute instances. For more information, see AWS Snowball Edge Pricing.

Stopping EC2-compatible Instances

To avoid accidentally deleting the Amazon EC2-compatible instances that you create on your device, don't shut down your instances from the operating system. For example, don't use the shutdown or reboot commands. Shutting down an instance from within the operating system has the same effect as calling the terminate-instances command.

Instead, use the stop-instances command to suspend Amazon EC2-compatible instances that you want to preserve.