AWS Snowball: Moving Data to the Cloud with Ease


ERP Suites guest blog inset_briteskiesSo, you’ve decided to make the move to AWS public cloud. Maybe you’re looking for a safe off-site location to keep business-critical system backups. The problem is you don’t exactly know how to get all of that business data there. Amazon offers several transfer methods, but most rely on extremely high-speed internet. How many of us have gigabit internet speeds? If you transferred 100TB of data to AWS on a 200Mbps internet link, it would take 53 days, 9 hours and 35 minutes! Now, that’s not exactly moving at the speed of business.

Moving big data at your own pace

If you’re staring at hundreds of terabytes of data—or more—look to Amazon’s Snowball service. AWS Snowball is a “petabyte scale data transport solution that uses secure appliances to transfer large amounts of data into and out of AWS.” In other words, it’s a physical device shipped directly to you. Snowball makes it possible to transfer large amounts of data quickly using your existing high-speed local area network.

The AWS Snowball appliance is hardened, encrypted, and safe to use for transporting sensitive data to the public cloud. Supporting multiple connectivity types, it is nearly guaranteed to be compatible with your local area network. Choose from 42TB (usable) or 72TB (usable). All of these features combine to make the Snowball service something to consider.

How does AWS Snowball work?

Amazon provides the Snowball client to transfer large quantities of data into the Snowball appliance. Once you return the appliance to Amazon, they’ll import your data into a private S3 bucket. And just like that your data is ready to be securely accessed from anywhere in the world.

ERP Suites snowball process

There are a number of ways to take advantage of this flexibility:

  • Cloud migration — Copy large quantities of data to the AWS cloud then use that to bring up a new public cloud or virtual private cloud hosted environment.
  • Disaster recovery — Safely back up your critical data for quick recovery in the event of an on-premise disaster.
  • Datacenter decommissioning — Store valuable data from a data center that is being closed.
  • Content distribution — Collect and share large amounts of data with partners and customers.

AWS Snowball appliances are a fantastic way to move data to the public cloud. In fact, as I’m writing this, I have four loaded Snowball appliances ready to ship. At ERP Suites, we use Snowball to onboard new customers. We ship the appliance directly to the customer, walk them through the transfer process, and then pull their current JD Edwards data from the cloud for hosting.

Head over to AWS for more in-depth examples of what is offered. Or, visit for AWS support and help selecting the right cloud solution for you.

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