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The AWS Snowmobile, capable of moving 100 petabyes of data from a data center into Amazon’s cloud, debuted to applause at re:Invent 2016 in Las Vegas on Nov. 30, 2016. (GeekWire Photos / Dan Richman)

LAS VEGAS — Snowball, a physical device introduced by Amazon last year to quickly move 50 TB of data out of a data center into AWS’s cloud, has proved extremely popular.

A look into the back end of Snowmobile , which is parked on the show floor today, reveals a fire-suppression system and power equipment.
A look into the back end of Snowmobile,, which is parked on the show floor today, reveals a fire-suppression system and power equipment. The other end has an emergency power shut-off and two large water inlets, apparently for cooling.

But now, organizations are seeking a way to move more data. Much more data.

In response, Amazon today unveiled AWS Snowmobile, a semi-trailer that will come to your facility and literally pick up an exabyte of data (1 million terabytes).

At AWS re:invent in Las Vegas, Amazon actually drove a semi-trailer on stage to introduce the service. Snowmobile is a 100 petabyte container. It comes affixed to a 45-foot long container truck.

Amazon will drive the truck up to a data center, hook up fiber to the data center and ingest the data. The truck then returns to AWS.

“Moving an exabyte of data would take 26 years with a 10-GB-per-second connection,” AWS CEO Andy Jassy said on stage today at re:Invent. “With the Snowmobile, it would take six months. And you wouldn’t believe how many companies have that much data.”

On a more modest level, the new Snowball Edge holds 100 TB. It can be clustered and automatically shares data among multiple units. It can upload and download data, and it has the new Greengrass Internet-of-Things framework and the Lamba code snippet-processing engine inside, giving it considerable computing power.

AWS Greengrass embeds the Lambda compute service and others into connected devices, Jassy said. It’s a software capability that can be embedded into devices, giving them local compute power, secure communications, manageability from the AWS console, and local communication and orchestration. Lambda functions lets the devices communicate with each other. Chip makers Intel and QualComm  will embed it into their next chips. Philips and other IoT makers are also on board.

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