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AWS Offers Storage and Management Perks for Snowball Edge Devices

Amazon Web Services announced this week multiple enhancements to its Snowball data transfer devices, including the Snowball Edge.
Snowball Edge devices were first introduced at the 2016 re-Invent conference. They have built-in storage and compute capabilities, making them ideal for environments with poor or no connectivity (for example, remote work sites or ships). Snowball Edge comes in two flavors: Snowball Edge Compute Optimized to handle data-intensive tasks like machine learning and video analysis and Snowball Edge Store Optimized to handle large-volume data transfers or migrations.
AWS announced Thursday that the Snowball Edge Storage Optimized devices can now transfer data 25 percent more quickly. Their capacity has increased from 24 vCPUs with 48GB of memory, to 40 vCPUs with 80GB of memory. The new devices run at 3.2 GHz and have 1TB of SATA SSD storage. They also support 100 Gigabit network.
Thursday’s announcement also included support for AWS Identity and Access Management in Snowball Edge. Administrators will have greater control over the permissions that users have to use Snowball Edge applications.
Jeff Barr, AWS chief evangelist, stated in a blog post that you can now use user-based IAM policy to control access to resources and services running on Snowball Edge devices. IAM policies can be used to ensure that multiple users have access to the same device.
AWS OpsHub is a graphical management platform that Snowball devices uses called AWS OpsHub Snow Family. Snowball users used to manage their devices via a command line interface or REST APIs. The new OpsHub app allows users to create, configure, and launch multiple Snowball devices from one dashboard.
Barr says OpsHub is able to run without an Internet connection. This makes it ideal for “mobile and disengaged modes” and “high security environments.”
AWS Systems Manager now allows users to automate common Snowball Edge tasks. This feature taps into the OpsHub console and allows users to write PowerShell or Python scripts. These scripts can be used to automate common Snowball Edge tasks, according to AWS.
“AWS OpsHub will execute the specified operations when these scripts have been executed.” These scripts can also appear as actions in drop-down menus that can be customized.
You can find more information about Snowball Edge here.

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