Amazon Launches Snowball – Storage Appliance For Importing Data To AWS

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.

The Event Horizon Telescope Will Use Helium Filled HGST Drives

We, as the human race, have accomplished quite a few impressive scientific things so far. We have been to the moon, we have vehicles driving around mars, and a probe that has left the solar system. We shouldn’t forget about the large hadron collider either, which discovered, or rather confirmed, the Higgs boson particle.

Another impressive project is the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, a project with the goal to create the first image of a black hole boundary, also known as the event horizon, and it is the point at which the force of gravity is so great that even light cannot escape.

The Event Horizon Telescope isn’t one large one placed at a strategic location, or in space like Hubble, but rather a collaboration between 34 observatories and universities around the world. By using telescopes in 10 geographic locations around the world that record data at a rate of 64 Gbps. The petabytes of data will then be processed at a central location that effectively creates the largest radio dish possible from the Earth’s surface and it can resolve objects 2000 times finer than the Hubble Space Telescope.

As mentioned, such a project will create enormous amounts of data and that data has to be stored somehow. We are talking about petabytes of data here and that requires a special kind of storage. HGST announced that they will be responsible for that part, as the EHT project will be using their Helium filled HGST Ultrastar HelioSeal hard disk drives.

The hermetically sealed Ultrastar HDDs bring higher storage capacity along with lower power consumptions, which is a win-win in this situation. The helium-filled drives also work at a much higher altitude where normal air-filled drives would fail.

By bringing black holes into focus, the EHT will enable astronomers to study space-time in the most extreme environment in the universe.

HPs “The Machine” Capable of Calculating 640TBs In 250ns

How do you feel about having a new type of computer that can churn its way through a staggering 160 petabytes of data in one billionth of a second, while only using 1/8th of the power of a comparable performance server? Because that is exactly what HP’s new “The Machine” is capable of doing, and it could truly revolutionise the computer world in a big way.

Using a cluster of specialized cores that are connected via silicon photonics, rather than a group of generalized cores on a copper PCB, The Machine is an incredibly powerful and high-performance device. The best trick at its disposal is the use of memristors, a special type of resistor that are capable of storing information, even in the event of power loss.

The whole thing is still a prototype, but HP are really hyped about this thing. Samples will appear some time next year, but the hardware isn’t expected to be deployed until 2018. HP hope The Machine will revolutionise “the internet of things”, but also say their technology could be scaled down, offering mobile devices likes smartphones somewhere in the region of 100 Terabytes of memory, yikes!

Thank you IFLS for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of IFLS.

A strand DNA can store upto 2.2 petabytes of data

Researchers from the European Bioinformatics institute were able to encode 154 Shakespeare sonnets and Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech in a single strand of DNA. This came to a total of 739KB but the researchers are confident that it can hold 2.2 petabytes of information.

It is also noted in a report that DNA has a capacity for high-density storage for information, as well as encoding and the ability to preserve data for a very long time.

The procedure however is expensive. A DNA manipulation method to hold per GB of data costs around $12,400 per MB. We’ll have to wait till this becomes feasible. They’ve also noted that embedding information on a strand of DNA takes a lot more time than it needs to be calculated in months rather than seconds.

Via: Gizmodo