Interfaces - AWS Storage Services Overview


There are two ways to get started with Snowball. You can create an import or export job using the AWS Snowball Management Console or you can use the Snowball Job Management API and integrate AWS Snowball as a part of your data management solution. The primary functions of the API are to create, list, and describe import and export jobs, and it uses a simple standards-based REST web services interface. For more details around using the Snowball Job Management API, see the API Reference documentation.

aws s3 ls --endpoint http://localhost:8080

You also have two ways to locally transfer data between a Snowball appliance and your on-premises data center. The Snowball client, available as a download from the AWS Import/Export Tools page, is a standalone terminal application that you run on your local workstation to do your data transfer. You use simple copy (cp) commands to transfer data, and handling errors and logs are written to your local workstation for troubleshooting and auditing. The second option to locally transfer data between a Snowball appliance and your on-premises data center is the Amazon S3 Adapter for Snowball, which is also available as a download from the AWS Import/Export Tools page. You can programmatically transfer data between your on-premises data center and a Snowball appliance using a subset of the Amazon S3 REST API commands. This allows you to have direct access to a Snowball appliance as if it were an Amazon S3 endpoint. Below is an example of how you would reference a Snowball appliance as an Amazon S3 endpoint when executing an AWS CLI S3 list command. By default, the adapter runs on port 8080, but a different port can be specified by changing the adapter.config file.

The following example steps you through how to implement a Snowball appliance to import your data into AWS using the AWS Snowball Management Console.

  1. To start, sign in to the AWS Snowball Management Console and create a job.

  2. AWS then prepares a Snowball appliance for your job.

  3. The Snowball appliance is shipped to you through a regional shipping carrier (UPS in all AWS regions except India, which uses Amazon Logistics). You can find your tracking number and a link to the tracking website on the AWS Snowball Management Console.

  4. A few days later, the regional shipping carrier delivers the Snowball appliance to the address you provided when you created the job.

  5. Next, get ready to transfer your data by downloading your credentials, your job manifest, and the manifest’s unlock code from the AWS Management Console, and by downloading the Snowball client. The Snowball client is the tool that you’ll use to manage the flow of data from your on-premises data source to the Snowball appliance.

  6. Install the Snowball client on the computer workstation that has your data source mounted on it.

  7. Move the Snowball appliance into your data center, open it, and connect it to power and your local network.

  8. Power on the Snowball appliance and start the Snowball client. You provide the IP address of the Snowball appliance, the path to your manifest, and the unlock code. The Snowball client decrypts the manifest and uses it to authenticate your access to the Snowball appliance.

  9. Use the Snowball client to transfer the data that you want to import into Amazon S3 from your data source into the Snowball appliance.

  10. After your data transfer is complete, power off the Snowball appliance and unplug its cables. The E Ink shipping label automatically updates to show the correct AWS facility to ship to. You can track job status by using Amazon SNS, text messages, or directly in the console.

  11. The regional shipping carrier returns the Snowball appliance to AWS.

  12. AWS gets the Snowball appliance and imports your data into Amazon S3. On average, it takes about a day for AWS to begin importing your data into Amazon S3, and the import can take a few days. If there are any complications or issues, we contact you through email.

Once the data transfer job has been processed and verified, AWS performs a software erasure of the Snowball appliance that follows the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-88 guidelines for media sanitization.