AWS Snow Family

Physical devices to migrate data into and out of AWS

Fireside Chat: Evolving at the Edge with the AWS Snow Family

Take a closer look into the recent Snow Family announcements

AWS News Blog

AWS Snowball Edge Update – Faster Hardware, OpsHub GUI, IAM, and AWS Systems Manager.

View Jeff Barr's launch blog »

AWS OpsHub: A graphical user interface to manage AWS Snowball devices and their computing resources

CNBC profile: How the AWS Snow Family helps customers move massive amounts of data to the cloud

AWS Snow Family overview

Applications are moving to the cloud faster today than ever. However, a new category of applications requires increased capabilities and performance at the edge of the cloud, or even beyond the edge of the network.

AWS provides edge infrastructure and software that moves data processing and analysis as close as necessary to where data is created in order to deliver intelligent, real-time responsiveness and streamline the amount of data transferred. This includes deploying AWS managed hardware and software to locations outside AWS Regions and even beyond AWS Outposts.

We built the AWS Snow Family for customers that need to run operations in austere, non-data center environments, and in locations where there's lack of consistent network connectivity. The Snow Family offers a number of physical devices and capacity points, most with built-in computing capabilities. These services help physically transport up to exabytes of data into and out of AWS. Snow Family devices are owned and managed by AWS and integrate with AWS security, monitoring, storage management, and computing capabilities.

AWS Snow Family members

AWS Snowball

AWS Snowball is a data migration and edge computing device that comes in two device options: Compute Optimized and Storage Optimized. Snowball Edge Storage Optimized devices provide 40 vCPUs of compute capacity coupled with 80 terabytes of usable block or Amazon S3-compatible object storage. It is well-suited for local storage and large-scale data transfer. Snowball Edge Compute Optimized devices provide 52 vCPUs, 42 terabytes of usable block or object storage, and an optional GPU for use cases such as advanced machine learning and full motion video analysis in disconnected environments. Customers can use these two options for data collection, machine learning and processing, and storage in environments with intermittent connectivity (such as manufacturing, industrial, and transportation) or in extremely remote locations (such as military or maritime operations) before shipping it back to AWS. These devices may also be rack mounted and clustered together to build larger, temporary installations.


AWS Snowmobile

AWS Snowmobile moves up to 100 PB of data in a 45-foot long ruggedized shipping container and is ideal for multi-petabyte or Exabyte-scale digital media migrations and data center shutdowns. A Snowmobile arrives at the customer site and appears as a network-attached data store for more secure, high-speed data transfer. After data is transferred to Snowmobile, it is driven back to an AWS Region where the data is loaded into Amazon S3. Snowmobile is tamper-resistant, waterproof, and temperature controlled with multiple layers of logical and physical security -- including encryption, fire suppression, dedicated security personnel, GPS tracking, alarm monitoring, 24/7 video surveillance, and an escort security vehicle during transit.


Feature comparison

AWS Snowball Edge Storage Optimized
AWS Snowball Edge Compute OptimizedAWS Snowmobile
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Data Migration,
content distribution,
content aggregation
data analytics,
machine learning inference,
tactical edge computing, industrial IoT
Data Migration
Storage Capacity
80 TB usable
42 TB usable100 PB
Onboard Computing OptionsAWS IoT Greengrass
Amazon EC2 AMIs
AWS IoT Greengrass
Amazon EC2 AMIs
Yes, 256-bit
Yes, 256-bitYes, 256-bit
Transfers via NFS
Transfers via S3 APIYesYesNo
Yes, up to 15 nodes
Yes, up to 15 nodesN/A
Usable vCPU#40 vCPUs52 vCPUsN/A
Available Memory80 GB208 GBN/A
Network Interfaces2x 10 Gbit – RJ45
1x 25 Gbit – SFP+
1x 100 Gbit – QSFP28
2x 10 Gbit – RJ45
1x 25 Gbit – SFP+
1x 100Gbit – QSFP28
6x 40 Gbit
DataSync Agent Pre-installedNoNoNo
HIPAA CompliantYes, eligibleYes, eligibleNo
Typical Job Lifetime
Offline Data Transfer:
Edge Compute:
Data Migration:
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On-going Data Transfer:
up to 1,095 Days
Edge Compute:
up to 1,095 Days
120 to 360 Days

Pricing and availability

Snow Family devices and vehicles are owned and managed by AWS, so customers do not need to invest in new hardware. Customers pay varying startup fees plus shipping per device. Multiple devices can be requested in parallel if more capacity is needed. AWS monitors the health and utilization of Snowballs and provides replacement devices when needed. For region availability, view theRegional Service Availabilitypage for more information.

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Learn more about each member of the AWS Snow Family