AWS Snowball
User Guide

This guide is for the Snowball (50 TB or 80 TB of storage space). If you are looking for documentation for the Snowball Edge, see the AWS Snowball Edge Developer Guide.

AWS Snowball Device Differences

The Snowball and the Snowball Edge are two different devices. This guide is for the Snowball. If you are looking for documentation for the Snowball Edge, see the AWS Snowball Edge Developer Guide. Both devices allow you to move huge amounts of data into and out of Amazon S3, they both have the same job management API, and they both use the same console. However, the two devices differ in hardware specifications, some features, what transfer tools are used, and price.

AWS Snowball Use Case Differences

Following is a table that shows the different use cases for the different AWS Snowball devices:

Use case Snowball Snowball Edge
Import data into Amazon S3
Export from Amazon S3
Durable local storage
Local compute with AWS Lambda
Amazon EC2 compute instances
Use in a cluster of devices
Use with AWS Greengrass (IoT)
Transfer files through NFS with a GUI

AWS Snowball Hardware Differences

Following is a table that shows how the devices differ from each other, physically. For information on specifications for the Snowball, see AWS Snowball Specifications. For information on specifications for the Snowball Edge, see AWS Snowball Edge Specifications.

Snowball Snowball Edge

                  The Snowball is a large briefcase-sized device that weighs less than 50
                    pounds and is used to transfer data.

                  The Snowball Edge is a large briefcase-sized device that weighs less
                    than 50 pounds and is used to transfer, store, or compute data.

Each device has different storage capacities, as follows:

Storage capacity (usable capacity) Snowball Snowball Edge
50 TB (42 TB) - US regions only
80 TB (72 TB)
100 TB (83 TB)
100 TB Clustered (45 TB per node)

Each device has the following physical interfaces for management purposes:

Physical interface Snowball Snowball Edge
E Ink display – used to track shipping information and configure your IP address.
LCD display – used to manage connections and provide some administrative functions.

AWS Snowball Tool Differences

The following outlines the different tools used with the AWS Snowball devices, and how they are used:

Snowball Tools

Snowball client with Snowball

  • The Snowball client must be downloaded from the AWS Snowball Resources page and installed on a powerful workstation that you own.

  • Can transfer data to or from the Snowball. For more information, see Using the Snowball Client.

  • Encrypts data on your powerful workstation before the data is transferred to the Snowball.

Amazon S3 Adapter for Snowball with Snowball

Snowball Edge Tools

Snowball client with Snowball Edge

  • The Snowball client must be downloaded from the AWS Snowball Edge Resources page and installed on a powerful workstation that you own.

  • Must be used to unlock the Snowball Edge or the cluster of Snowball Edge devices. For more information, see Using the Snowball Client.

  • Can't be used to transfer data.

Amazon S3 Adapter for Snowball with Snowball Edge

  • Is already installed on the Snowball Edge by default. It does not need to be downloaded or installed.

  • Can transfer data to or from the Snowball Edge. For more information, see Using the Amazon S3 Adapter.

  • Encrypts data on the Snowball Edge while the data is transferred to the device.

File interface with Snowball Edge

  • Is already installed on the Snowball Edge by default. It does not need to be downloaded or installed.

  • Can transfer data by dragging and dropping files up to 150 GB in size from your computer to the buckets on the Snowball Edge through an easy-to-configure NFS mount point. For more information, see Using the File Interface for the AWS Snowball Edge.

  • Encrypts data on the Snowball Edge while the data is transferred to the device.

AWS Greengrass console with Snowball Edge

  • With a Snowball Edge, you can use the AWS Greengrass console to update your AWS Greengrass group and the core running on the Snowball Edge.

Differences Between Items Provided for the Snowball and Snowball Edge

The following outlines the differences between the network adapters, cables used, and cables provided for the Snowball and Snowball Edge.

Network Interface Snowball Support Snowball Edge Support Cables Provided with Device
RJ45 Only provided with Snowball
SFP+ Only provided with Snowball
SFP+ (with optic connector) No cables provided for either device. No optic connector provided for Snowball Edge devices. An optic connector is provided with each Snowball
QSFP   No cables or optics provided

For more information on the network interfaces, cables, and connectors that work with the different device types, see the following topics:

AWS Snowball Other Differences

For other differences, including FAQs and pricing information, see: