AWS Snowmobile

AWS Snowmobile is an Exabyte-scale data transfer service used to move extremely large amounts of data to AWS. You can transfer up to 100PB per Snowmobile, a 45-foot long ruggedized shipping container, pulled by a semi-trailer truck. Snowmobile makes it easy to move massive volumes of data to the cloud, including video libraries, image repositories, or even a complete data center migration. Transferring data with Snowmobile is more secure, fast and cost effective.

After an initial assessment, a Snowmobile will be transported to your data center and AWS personnel will configure it for you so it can be accessed as a network storage target. When your Snowmobile is on site, AWS personnel will work with your team to connect a removable, high-speed network switch from Snowmobile to your local network and you can begin your high-speed data transfer from any number of sources within your data center to the Snowmobile. After your data is loaded, Snowmobile is driven back to AWS where your data is imported into Amazon S3 or Amazon Glacier.

Snowmobile uses multiple layers of security to help protect your data including dedicated security personnel, GPS tracking, alarm monitoring, 24/7 video surveillance, and an optional escort security vehicle while in transit. All data is encrypted with 256-bit encryption keys you manage through the AWS Key Management Service (KMS) and designed for security and full chain-of-custody of your data.



Even with high-speed internet connections, it can take decades to transfer extremely large amounts of data. With Snowmobile, you can move 100 petabytes of data in as little as a few weeks, plus transport time. That same transfer could take more than 20 years to accomplish over a direct connect line with a 1Gbps connection.


Your data is encrypted with keys that you provide before it is written to Snowmobile. All data is encrypted with 256-bit encryption and you can manage your encryption keys with AWS Key Management Service (KMS). Encryption keys used by encrypting servers on the Snowmobile are never written to disk. Should power be removed for any reason, the keys are securely erased.


Snowmobile is tamper-resistant, water-resistant and temperature controlled. The data container is only operated by AWS personnel and physical access is limited via security access hardware controls. Snowmobile is protected by 24/7 video surveillance and alarm monitoring, GPS tracking and may optionally be escorted by a security vehicle while in transit.


As physical sites can have different migration requirements, AWS will work with you to help ensure all your needs are factored in before Snowmobile arrives on site.


One Snowmobile can transport up to one hundred petabytes of data in a single trip, the equivalent of using about 1,250 AWS Snowball devices.


Many organizations are concerned that once they have moved all their data to the cloud that it will be both expensive and time-consuming to retrieve the data if needed. Snowball and Snowmobile offer all customers a fast and inexpensive way to ensure data can be quickly transferred both into and out of AWS.

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