Monday 23 July 2018

Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute now in a portable data storage AWS Snowball Edge

snowball edge

Amazon Web Services announced that the customers can now run Amazon EC2 instances on AWS Snowball Edge which is portable data storage for bulk data storage in the cloud. Snowball Edge is data storage and data transport solution that transfer bulk amount of data to the AWS Cloud. Snowball is highly secure and you can also save cost and the transfer times. You can migrate image repositories, video libraries, genomics data, analytics data, backups, and archive the data center shutdowns, application migration projects or tape replacement. The difference between the Snowball and Snowball Edge depends on the functionality.

With the ability to run Amazon EC2, the Snowball Edge can also run full scaled virtual machines. You can also form a local cluster by connecting multiple Snowball Edge devices that will be centrally managed by the AWS Console.

Snowball Edge can become a hyper endpoint infrastructure appliance. The compute will be available through AWS Lambda or Amazon EC2 where the storage layer will be exposed via an S3 compatible API. Snowball Edge supports 10GBase-T network connection, 40Gb QSFP + copper and 10/25Gb SFP28 and an optical networking for lightning-fast data transfer. The device comes at 100 TB storage size in a strong container. It has local compute power that is equal to EC2 m4.4x large instance with support for AWS Lambda functions.
This machine delivers a strong data storage and compute power that can run enterprise workloads. Generally, it is been treated as an IoT device the Snowball Edge also comes with AWS Greengrass.

AWS Snowball Edge can be transferred from one place to another via Aircraft, ships and trucks to run Edge workloads that can be run in an offline mode. The device doesn’t require to be connected to the internet and it has its own essential software to function. This means that the processing and the data collection can be taken place anywhere within the isolated operating environments. Deploying Elastic Cloud Compute instance on Snowball Edge devices can be a similar process of creating an Amazon Machine Image and deploying it to the device. Amazon has now created a new EC2 family instance called SBE1 designed for typically for Snowball devices. SBE1 instance has 1.8 GHz Intel Xeon D processors and 32 GB of memory and 16 vCPUs which is designed to support the Edge applications such as image compression, machine learning, and IoT Sensor data collection. The instances work normally in the snowball devices as to how it works in the cloud where the instances that are deployed locally can be stopped.

The pricing of the AWS Snowball Edge pricing is different from the other AWS service where the customers have to pay for the consumption of the EC2 instances, data transfer and the additional charge per day when the usage period exceeds 10 days. Snowball Edge devices can be used as the temporary solution but it is not economical when used as permanent IoT gateway or a local edge device.

But Snowball Edge also has its own limitation where the EC2 instance cannot be run with the existing Elastic Block Storage volumes. Data stored within the EC2 instance can be associated with only one volume at a time. Each snowball edge instances can be only associated with only one volume at a time. Kinesis Endpoint cannot be exposed for storing high-velocity data streams.

With the rise of Machine Learning and IoT, now the adoption of Edge computing demand is been increased. Customers don’t want to store all the data in the public cloud so they analyze, pre-process and aggregate the data streams locally with the help of AWS Snowball Edge before sending into AWS cloud. This helps the customer in reducing the storage cost and bandwidth. Snowball Edge is a device that bridges the gap between the on-premises and the public cloud and with the EC2 support it is now making an on-premise migration to the cloud easier. 

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