Amazon Web Services launches miniature edge computing and data transfer device
Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), has unveiled Snowcone, a new small, ultra-portable, rugged, and secure edge computing and data transfer device.
At under 5 lbs and able to fit in a standard mailbox or a small backpack, AWS Snowcone is the smallest member of the AWS Snow Family of devices, enabling customers to collect data, process it locally, and move it to AWS either offline, by shipping the device to AWS, or online, by using AWS DataSync to send the data to AWS over the network.
The Snowcone is built to withstand harsh conditions and is designed for a variety of use cases in environments outside of the traditional data center that lack consistent network connectivity and/or require portability, including healthcare, industrial IoT, drones, tactical edge computing, content distribution, data migration, video content creation, and transportation.
Millions of customers have applications that rely on AWS for data processing, analytics, storage, IoT, and machine learning capabilities. Increasingly, edge computing use cases, like machine learning inference, industrial IoT, and autonomous machines, drive customers’ need to move data capture, processing, and analysis closer to end users and devices.
Running applications in disconnected environments or connected edge locations can be challenging because often these locations lack the space, power, and cooling common in data centers.
Today, customers use the AWS Snow Family, a collection of physical devices designed to run outside the data center and ranging in size from the suitcase-sized AWS Snowball to the 45-foot long ruggedized shipping container AWS Snowmobile, to collect and process data, run local computing applications, and move large volumes of data from log files, digital media, genomic data, and sensor data from connected devices to AWS.
As customers seek to extend the reach of their cloud infrastructure into more edge locations, new use cases are emerging for edge computing in more situations like vehicles (land, sea, and air), industrial operations, and remote and austere sites that require a rugged and secure device with even greater portability and a smaller form factor than the AWS Snow Family of devices has traditionally provided.
AWS Snowcone provides maximum flexibility for edge computing environments, offering a small, ultra-portable, rugged, and military grade secure device to run applications and migrate data to AWS. AWS Snowcone measures 9 inches x 6 inches x 3 inches (23 cm x 15 cm x 8 cm) and weighs 4.5 lbs (2.1 kg). The device can easily fit in a backpack or messenger bag, standard mailbox, or any type of vehicle, and is light enough to be carried by drone.
AWS Snowcone can move data to AWS offline by shipping the device (using its E Ink shipping label) and online using Ethernet or Wi-Fi with AWS DataSync, which are integrated into the device. AWS Snowcone features 2 CPUs, 4 GB of memory, 8 TB of storage, and USB-C power (or optional battery).
AWS Snowcone is designed to operate in extreme environments or disconnected remote sites (including oil rigs, first responder vehicles, military operations, factory floors, remote offices, hospitals, or movie theaters) for long periods of time without traditional data center conditions. With support for AWS IoT Greengrass, the ability to run Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances, and ample local storage, AWS Snowcone can be used as an IoT hub, data aggregation point, application monitor, or lightweight analytics engine.
Bill Vass, VP of Storage, Automation and Management Services, Amazon Web Services: “Thousands of our customers have found AWS Snowball devices to be ideal for collecting data and running applications in remote and harsh environments. Since 2015, customer use of Snowball devices has greatly increased, as has their need for an even smaller device with even greater portability. With more applications running at the edge for an expanding range of use cases, like analyzing IoT sensor data and machine learning inference, AWS Snowcone makes it easier to collect, store, pre-process, and transfer data from harsh environments with limited space to AWS for more intensive processing.”
Like other AWS Snow Family devices, all data on AWS Snowcone is encrypted using military grade 256-bit keys that customers can manage using the AWS Key Management Service.
Additionally, the Snowcone contains anti-tamper and tamper-evident features to help ensure data on the device stays secure during transit. AWS Snowcone meets stringent ruggedization standards (it meets ISTA-3A, ASTM D4169, and MIL-STD-810G standards) for free-fall shock and operational vibration. The device is dust-tight and water resistant (it meets the IP65 International Protection Marking IEC standard). AWS Snowcone has a wide operating temperature range from freezing (0 degrees C/32 degrees F) to desert-like conditions (38 degrees C/100 degrees F), and withstands even harsher temperatures when in storage or being shipped (-32 degrees C/-25.6 degrees F to 63 degrees C/145.4 degrees F).
Setting up the Snowcone takes only 3 clicks, and once set-up, the device is easily used and managed through a simple-to-use graphical interface. AWS Snowcone is available in the US East (Northern Virginia) and US West (Oregon) AWS Regions, with availability planned in additional AWS Regions in the coming months.
Deluxe Entertainment Services is the world’s leading video creation-to-distribution company offering global, end-to-end services and technology.
Andy Shenkler, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Deluxe:“Our work with AWS is a fundamental part of Deluxe’s strategy. One VZN, our new cloud-based IP delivery solution, is a leap in innovation for digital cinema distribution which has been stagnant over the past decade, fundamentally changing not only the economics of film distribution for exhibitors and studios around the globe, but enabling new theatrical experiences for viewers as well. The combination of AWS Snowcone, AWS DataSync, and Amazon S3 are essential to One VZN – the collective services distinguish themselves from any other cloud offerings today. The secure, compact AWS Snowcone device, in conjunction with Deluxe’s powerful cloud-based solutions create a truly differentiated solution of the industry.”