What is AWS Snowball Edge? - AWS Snowball Edge Developer Guide

What is AWS Snowball Edge?

AWS Snowball Edge is a type of Snowball device with on-board storage and compute power for select AWS capabilities. Snowball Edge can process data locally and run edge-computing workloads in addition to transferring data between your local environment and the AWS Cloud or the AWS Cloud and your local environment.

Each Snowball Edge device can transport data at speeds faster than the internet. This transport is done by shipping the data in the devices through a regional carrier. The appliances are rugged, complete with E Ink shipping labels.

Snowball Edge devices have three options for device configurations—Storage Optimized, Compute Optimized, and Compute Optimized with GPU. When this guide refers to Snowball Edge devices, it's referring to all options of the device. When specific information applies only to one or more optional configurations of devices (such as how the Snowball Edge with GPU has an on-board GPU), it is called out specifically. For more information, see Snowball Edge device configurations.

AWS Snowball Edge features

Snowball Edge devices have the following features:

  • Large amounts of storage capacity or compute functionality for devices. This depends on the options you choose when you create your job.

  • Network adapters with transfer speeds of up to 100 Gbit/second.

  • Encryption is enforced, protecting your data at rest and in physical transit.

  • You can import or export data between your local environments and Amazon S3, and physically transport the data with one or more devices without using the internet.

  • Snowball Edge devices are their own rugged box. The built-in E Ink display changes to show your shipping label when the device is ready to ship.

  • Snowball Edge devices come with an on-board LCD display that can be used to manage network connections and get service status information.

  • You can cluster Snowball Edge devices for local storage and compute jobs to achieve data durability across 3 to 16 devices and locally grow or shrink storage on demand.

  • You can use Amazon EKS Anywhere on Snowball Edge devices for Kubernetes workloads.

  • Snowball Edge devices have Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2 compatible endpoints available, enabling programmatic use cases.

  • Snowball Edge devices support the new sbe1, sbe-c, and sbe-g instance types, which you can use to run compute instances on the device using Amazon Machine Images (AMIs).

  • Snowball Edge supports these data transfer protocols for data migration:

    • NFSv3

    • NFSv4

    • NFSv4.1

    • Amazon S3 over HTTP or HTTPS (via API compatible with AWS CLI version 1.16.14 and earlier)

You can use an AWS Snowball Edge device with the following related AWS services:

  • Amazon S3 adapter — Use for programmatic data transfer in to and out of AWS using the Amazon S3 API for Snowball Edge, which supports a subset of Amazon S3 API operations. In this role, data is transferred to the Snow device by AWS on your behalf and the device is shipped to you (for an export job), or AWS ships an empty Snow device to you and you transfer data from your on-premises sources to the device and ship it back to AWS (for an import job)"

  • Amazon S3 compatible storage on Snow Family devices — Use to support the data needs of compute services such as Amazon EC2, Amazon EKS Anywhere on Snow, and others. This feature is available on Snowball Edge devices and provides an expanded Amazon S3 API set and features such as increased resiliency with flexible cluster setup for 3 to 16 nodes, local bucket management, and local notifications.

  • Amazon EC2 – Run compute instances on a Snowball Edge device using the Amazon EC2 compatible endpoint, which supports a subset of the Amazon EC2 API operations. For more information about using Amazon EC2 in AWS, see Getting started with Amazon EC2 Linux instances.

  • Amazon EKS Anywhere on Snow – Create and operate Kubernetes clusters on Snow Family devices. See Using Amazon EKS Anywhere on AWS Snow.

  • AWS Lambda powered by AWS IoT Greengrass – Invoke Lambda functions based on Amazon S3 compatible storage on Snow Family devices storage actions made on an AWS Snowball Edge device. For more information about using Lambda, see Using AWS Lambda with an AWS Snowball Edge and the AWS Lambda Developer Guide.

  • Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) – Provide block-level storage volumes for use with EC2-compatible instances. For more information, see Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS).

  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) – Use this service to securely control access to AWS resources. For more information, see What is IAM?

  • AWS Security Token Service (AWS STS) – Request temporary, limited-privilege credentials for IAM users or for users that you authenticate (federated users). For more information, see Temporary security credentials in IAM.

  • Amazon EC2 Systems Manager – Use this service to view and control your infrastructure on AWS. For more information, see What is AWS Systems Manager?

Accessing the Snow Family service

You can use the AWS Snow Family Management Console or the job management API to create and manage jobs. For more information about using the AWS Snow Family Management Console, see Getting Started. For information about the job management API, see Job Management API Reference for AWS Snowball.

Accessing an AWS Snowball Edge device

After your Snowball Edge device is onsite, you can configure it with an IP address using the LCD screen then you can unlock the device using the Snowball Edge client or AWS OpsHub for Snow Family. Then, you run can perform data transfer or edge compute tasks. For more information, see Using an AWS Snowball Edge Device.

Pricing for the AWS Snowball Edge

For information about the pricing and fees associated with the service and its devices, see AWS Snowball Edge Pricing.

Device monitoring

AWS will monitor the Snow device and may collect metrics and usage information when the Snow device is connected to an AWS Region. If the Snow device is not connected to the AWS Region, then AWS will not monitor the Snow device.

If AWS detects an irreparable issue, and there is a need to replace physical equipment, AWS will notify you. You can then place a replacement job that we will ship to your site. There is no additional charge for this, as Snow device monitoring is included as part of the Snow device service fee.

Resources for first-time AWS Snowball users

If you are a first-time user of the AWS Snow Family service, we recommend that you read the following sections in order:

  1. For information about device types and options, see AWS Snowball Edge device hardware information.

  2. To learn more about the types of jobs, see Understanding AWS Snowball Edge Jobs.

  3. For an end-to-end overview of how to use an AWS Snowball Edge device, see How AWS Snowball Edge works.

  4. When you're ready to get started, see Getting Started.

  5. For information about using compute instances on a device, see Using Amazon EC2-compatible compute instances.