AWS Snowball Edge

AWS Snowball Edge is a 100TB data transfer device with on-board storage and compute capabilities. You can use Snowball Edge to move large amounts of data into and out of AWS, as a temporary storage tier for large local datasets, or to support local workloads in remote or offline locations.

Snowball Edge connects to your existing applications and infrastructure using standard storage interfaces, streamlining the data transfer process and minimizing setup and integration. Snowball Edge can cluster together to form a local storage tier and process your data on-premises, helping ensure your applications continue to run even when they are not able to access the cloud.

AWS Snowball Edge Benefits

Easy Data Movement

Many organizations are concerned that once they have moved all their data to the cloud it will be both expensive and time-consuming to retrieve the data if needed. Snowball Edge offers all customers a fast and inexpensive way to transfer large amounts of data both into and out of AWS.

Simple to Use

Jobs are created right from the AWS Management Console. Once a job is created, AWS automatically ships a Snowball Edge device to you. When you receive the device, simply attach it to your local network and then connect your applications. Once the device is ready to be returned, the E Ink shipping label will automatically update to the correct AWS facility, and the job status can be tracked via Amazon SNS generated text or email messages, or directly in the Console.

Process Data Locally

You can deploy AWS Lambda code on Snowball Edge to perform tasks such as analyzing data streams or processing data locally. Data is collected, stored, and processed using the Snowball Edge independent from any other storage or compute resource.

Stand-Alone Storage

You can use Snowball Edge as stand-alone storage. You can point existing applications to Snowball Edge devices as a file or object storage destination without changing application logic.You can also cluster Snowball Edge devices together into a single, larger, storage tier with increased durability. When a Snowball Edge is full, it can be removed from the cluster, returned to AWS, and replaced with a new Snowball Edge.


Snowball Edge devices use tamper-resistant enclosures, 256-bit encryption, and industry-standard Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) designed to ensure both security and full chain-of-custody for your data. Encryption keys are managed with the AWS Key Management Service (KMS) and they are never stored on the device.


Snowball Edge devices can transport multiple terabytes of data and multiple devices can be used in parallel to transfer petabytes of data into or out of AWS. Snowball Edge is currently available in select regions and your location will be verified once you create a job in the AWS Management Console.

How it Works

You can order Snowball Edge with just a few clicks in the AWS Management Console. It arrives with your S3 buckets, Lambda code, and clustering configuration pre-installed. Once the appliance arrives, connect it to your local network and set the IP address either manually or with DHCP. Finally, you verify the integrity of the Snowball Edge device and unlock it for use. Once the appliance is ready to be returned, the E Ink shipping label automatically updates and you can track the job status via Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), generated text or email messages, or directly in the Console.

AWS Snowball Edge Use Cases

  • Embedded Applications
  • You could use a Snowball Edge to support medical imaging or optical scanning MRI machines. It could store the image files as they are captured, giving users and administration systems immediate access, and also helping protect from WAN connection problems. Using a cluster of Snowball Edge devices, you could stage imaging data for transfers into Amazon S3 without disrupting systems on site.

  • Remote Locations with Simple Data
  • You can put a Snowball Edge onsite in remote locations for data collection and analysis. Oregon State University sends research ships out to collect oceanographic data. They’ve been collecting this data on disk drives aboard the ship, then manually loading each disk drive on to their servers back in their University lab datacenter once the ship returned. This was a struggle to manage and required hours and hours or manual labor on both ends. Snowball Edge gives them a portable, high-capacity device aboard the ship that can capture and pre-process the collected data. The onboard compute and storage of Snowball Edge helps accelerate their analysis for every coastal exploration. Aircraft engine manufacturers install a Snowball Edge on their planes to collect data while in flight, processing that data to give immediate results on performance and potential maintenance needs. Upon landing, the Snowball Edge is removed from the aircraft, where actionable results are implemented immediately. Then the Snowball Edge device is sent back to AWS where the expanded data analysis further enhances their designs and performance models.

  • Internet of Things
  • Snowball Edge can ingest data from IoT sensors, perform analysis on the raw data to turn results around quickly and add them to a big data analysis pool in the cloud.

  • Manufacturing
  • You can put a Snowball Edge on-site in factory locations for data collection and analysis that can tune the manufacturing processes to improve safety, efficiency and productivity.

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