Amazon surprised developers today with the launch of a device dubbed as Snowball. Snowball is a new physical appliance that will allow Amazon Web Service users to ship huge amounts of data for import by shipping the device back and forth between their offices and the AWS data centers.
The appliance is a bit larger than an old-school desktop case and it can hold up to 50 terabytes of data. It has a Kindle on the side, which functions as an automatic shipping label. Amazon says the case can withstand a 6 G jolt and is entirely self-contained, with a 110-volt power supply and 10 GB network connection built-in.
Amazon have a set price for using this service. It will cost you $200 for 10 days of usage, each extra date on site will cost you an additional $15 per day. Amazon are not going to charge for importing the data from snowball back into your S3 appliance on their servers.
After you set up a “snowball” on their website, Amazon will ship the storage appliance. You then import your data and ship it back to amazon, using the embedded kindle as a shipping label. At the moment, all of the data will be imported into the companies Oregon data center; they say additional data centers are coming soon.