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Transfer Your Business Data — In an Amazon “Snowball”



amazon snowball

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The migration to the cloud by businesses is moving full speed ahead, but transferring their data is proving a bit labor intensive at times.

This is especially the case for companies that have large amounts of information stored in their legacy systems on premises. And these days, you don’t have to be a large enterprise to have tens or even hundreds of terabytes stored on computers, servers and storage devices.

The new data transfer model introduced by Amazon, called Amazon Snowball, looks to simplify the process by transferring up to 1 petabyte per week. Just in case you are wondering, there are 1,000 terabytes or 1,000,000 gigabytes in a single petabyte.

If you are further wondering how long it will take for you to transfer, say 100TB with a 100MBS Internet connection, it comes out to 120 days. And that is at 80 percent network utilization. That’s inefficient all around. If the speed is lower, you can add more days to that total.

Amazon introduced the first data transfer model in 2009, and six years later the company has taken a more efficient approach to migrating the data organizations have to the cloud. The company owns the Snowball appliance, so you don’t have to buy your own storage device.

Amazon Snowball is an all-in-one tamper resistant rugged unit with 50 terabytes of storage, 110 Volt power, a 10 GB network connection on the back and an E Ink display/control panel on the front. Once you get the device, all you have to do is connect it to your network, configure the IP address and install the Snowball client.



The data you transfer is protected with 256-bit encryption on the host and stored on the device in encrypted form. When all the data is transferred, you ship it to Amazon.

So how much is all this going to cost you? Using the same 100 terabytes example, Amazon claims it will be as little as one-fifth the cost of transferring the same information  via the Internet.

As a small business, you might be asking yourself why put your data in the cloud? Two reasons are accessibility and data analytics. First, if it is in the cloud, your data becomes more accessible to all of your employees, customers, vendors, partners or anyone else you want to share it with. Second, having your data in the cloud is much easier to use analytic services to make sense of all the information you currently have.

According to Deloitte,  “Many analysts and researchers are insisting that data not only should be managed as an asset but should be valued as one. They see a future where companies can routinely monetize their own data for financial gain.”



The sooner businesses, big or small, realize the potential value of the data they have, the sooner they will be able to compete and thrive moving forward.


Snowballs Photo via Shutterstock

, Snowball Device Image via Amazon 1 Comment ▼



Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

One Reaction
  1. Wow. It is amazing to see that we are now in petabytes. Back then, a gigabyte is already too big for us. Truly, information technology has evolving.

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