Australia watches as Snowmobile is unveiled in US

By: Rob McKay

Truck-borne data migration powerhouse in country and little brother Snowball is here too

Australia watches as Snowmobile is unveiled in US
Snowmobile takes the stage in Las Vegas


One of the world’s most advanced IT companies has brought a trucking solution to bear on its newest cloud computing service.

Amazon Web Services’ Snowmobile is a data collection device housed in a 40-foot high cube shipping container and borne by a semi-trailer.

At the company’s re:Invent launch in Las Vegas this week, a Snowmobile unit was driven on stage behind a Kenworth T370 prime mover.

Given sheer depth of information many companies have collected, the device aims to transfer mind-boggling amounts of data directly into a cloud repository.

This avoids the traditional web route which is too slow to handle multiple petabytes of data.

A petabyte is described as one thousand million million, or 10 to the power of 15, bytes of digital information.

"You can transfer up to 100PB per Snowmobile, a 45-foot long ruggedized shipping container, pulled by a semi-trailer truck," AWS explains.

"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 secure, fast and cost effective."

An AWS spokesman says Snowmobile has arrived on these shores.

"Snowmobile is available in all AWS regions, including Australia," he tells ATN.

However, while Snowmobile is fit for handling 10PB or above, large amounts less than that can be handled by a smaller, portable device called Snowball, which is in operation in Australia.

One Australian report on the re:Invent launch quotes AWS CEO Andy Jassy noting huge audience surprise at the truck's appearance, with many intially thinking it may have been some sort of joke.

Jassy says it was nothing of the sort, rather it was what his customers demanded.


Note: this erport was originally headlined: Australia watches as Snowmobile is unveiled in US


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