Amazon AWS Snowmobile Transfers Exabyte-Scale Data Using 18-Wheelers

Do you need to move a lot of data? To be clear: we're talking lots of data. Sure, that 64 TB NAS box might seem meaty, but that's paltry compared to the kind of data we're talking about. Think 100,000 TB, aka 100 PB.

It's almost hard to wrap our heads around that kind of storage, but that's the amount Amazon says it can move with ease via its new Snowmobile service. In essence, Snowmobile comes to us in the form of a pure-white 18-wheeler that's used to bring your data from point A to point B.

Amazon Snowmobile Truck

Amazon says that Snowmobile will show up at your door after a quick assessment and then work with you to connect the truck's internal storage to yours, and then begin milking it until everything is transferred. This will be done over super-fast network pipes, but considering the amount of storage that could be moved here, it goes without saying that the transfer process is not going to be quick - think "weeks" if you come anywhere near 100 PB.

Once the data is loaded in a Snowmobile, Amazon drives off with it to a datacenter where the data will be transferred yet again to either Amazon's S3 or Glacier services.

Clearly, moving this amount of data isn't for the feint of heart, and there's always going to be that nagging doubt that something could go wrong. To make sure that nothing goes wrong, Amazon protects the data with GPS tracking, alarm monitoring, 24/7 video surveillance, dedicated security personnel, and even offers the option to include an escort security vehicle in the mix.

Not surprisingly, pricing can only be found out about if you reach out to Amazon with an inquiry. That's probably for the best, as we can better protect our jaws by not knowing.