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.

Receive the AWS Snowball device

When you receive the Snowball appliance, you'll notice that it doesn't come in a box. The Snowball is its own physically rugged shipping container. When the Snowball first arrives, inspect it for damage or obvious tampering. If you notice anything that looks suspicious about the Snowball, don't connect it to your internal network. Instead, contact AWS Support and inform them of the issue so that a new Snowball can be shipped to you.


The Snowball is the property of AWS. Tampering with a Snowball is a violation of the AWS Acceptable Use Policy. For more information, see

Before you connect the Snowball to your network and begin transferring data, it's important to cover a few basic elements of your data transfer.

  • The Snowball – The following is what the Snowball will look like.

              This is what a Snowball looks like.
  • Data source – This device holds the data that you want to transfer from your on-premises data center into Amazon S3. It can be a single device, such as a hard drive or USB stick, or it can be separate sources of data within your data center. The data source or sources must be mounted onto your workstation in order to transfer data from them.

  • Workstation – This computer hosts your mounted data source. You'll use this workstation to transfer data to the Snowball. We highly recommend that your workstation be a powerful computer, able to meet high demands in terms of processing, memory, and networking. For more information, see Workstation Specifications.

Next: Connect the AWS Snowball device to Your Local Network