AWS Snow Family is a suite of physical devices designed to help organizations migrate large amounts of data from on-premises environments to the cloud. These devices are rugged, secure, and portable, making them ideal for organizations that need to move data quickly and securely.

The AWS Snow Family consists of three devices: Snowcone, Snowball, and Snowmobile. Each device is designed to handle different amounts of data, with Snowcone being the smallest and Snowmobile being the largest.

The process of using AWS Snow Family for data migration typically involves the following steps:

  1. Request a Snow device: You can request a Snow device from the AWS Management Console, API, or AWS CLI.
  2. Prepare the device: Once the device is delivered, you’ll need to connect it to your network and configure it to meet your organization’s needs.
  3. Transfer data: After the device is prepared, you can transfer data from your on-premises environment to the device. This can be done using a variety of methods, including a network transfer, physical shipment of the device, or a combination of both.
  4. Return the device: Once the data transfer is complete, you’ll need to return the device to AWS. This can be done using a variety of methods, including shipping the device back to AWS or using an AWS partner to pick up the device.
  5. Import data to the cloud: Once the device is returned to AWS, the data is imported into the cloud. You can use a variety of AWS services to process and analyze the data once it’s in the cloud.

Using the AWS Snow Family for data migration can be a highly effective way to move large amounts of data to the cloud quickly and securely. However, it’s important to carefully plan and prepare for the migration process to ensure that it goes smoothly and meets your organization’s needs.

Use Cases

The AWS Snow Family devices can be used for a variety of use cases, depending on the specific device and the organization’s needs. Here are some examples of common use cases for each device:

AWS Snowcone:

  • Edge computing: Deploying applications and compute resources in remote locations or rugged environments, such as oil rigs, mines, or disaster zones.
  • Data collection: Collecting data in the field, such as IoT sensor data or video footage, and transporting it back to the cloud for analysis.
  • Data migration: Migrating small amounts of data from on-premises environments to the cloud, especially in remote locations with limited connectivity.

AWS Snowball:

  • Data migration: Moving large amounts of data from on-premises environments to the cloud, such as data center migrations, data backups, or data archives.
  • Disaster recovery: Creating a physical copy of data for disaster recovery purposes, such as in case of a natural disaster or cyber attack.
  • Data transport: Transporting data between different regions or availability zones in the cloud, or between different cloud providers.

AWS Snowmobile:

  • Large-scale data migration: Moving massive amounts of data from on-premises environments to the cloud, such as data center consolidations or large-scale data warehousing projects.
  • Data center relocation: Moving an entire data center to the cloud, including all of its applications, data, and infrastructure.
  • High-performance computing: Using the device’s massive storage capacity and high-speed networking to perform large-scale data analytics or other high-performance computing tasks.

AWS Snow Family devices are designed to meet the needs of organizations that need to move large amounts of data to the cloud, whether that’s in a rugged environment, a remote location, or a massive data center.


Following table that outlines the key differences between AWS Snowcone, Snowball, and Snowmobile:

CapacityUp to 8 TBUp to 80 TBUp to 100 PB
Networking2 Ethernet ports1 Gigabit Ethernet port and 10 Gigabit SFP+ portMultiple 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports
Storage1 TB NVMe SSDMultiple disks in a RAID configurationMultiple disks in a RAID configuration
Use CasesEdge computing, rugged environments, remote locationsSmall to medium-sized data migration, data transport, backup and restoreLarge-scale data migration, data center relocation, disaster recovery
DeploymentHand-carried or shipped via standard carriersHand-carried or shipped via standard carriersShipped via a custom truck
SecurityEncrypted with tamper-resistant enclosure and secure erasureEncrypted with tamper-resistant enclosure and secure erasureEncrypted with tamper-resistant enclosure and secure erasure

AWS Migration Hub Service

AWS Migration Hub is a service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allows users to monitor and track the migration of applications and infrastructure from on-premises data centers to the AWS cloud.

The service provides a central location to manage migrations, allowing users to track progress, monitor resource utilization, and troubleshoot any issues that arise during the migration process. It can also provide insights into the cost of the migration and help users plan their migration strategy.

AWS Migration Hub is integrated with a number of other AWS services, including AWS Application Discovery Service, AWS Database Migration Service, and AWS Server Migration Service, which allows users to easily migrate their applications, databases, and servers to the cloud.

Some key features of AWS Migration Hub include:

  1. Centralized tracking of migration progress and status across multiple AWS and partner solutions.
  2. Integration with other AWS migration services for seamless migration of applications and data.
  3. Automated discovery of on-premises resources to simplify the migration process.
  4. Detailed reporting and analytics to help users optimize their migration strategy and manage costs.

Overall, AWS Migration Hub is a valuable tool for organizations looking to move their applications and infrastructure to the cloud, providing a centralized platform for planning, executing, and tracking migrations.

Step-by-step instructions on ordering a snow device

Here are the general steps to order an AWS Snow Family device:

  1. Determine which AWS Snow device is right for your use case. The AWS Snow Family includes the Snowcone, Snowball, and Snowmobile. Consider factors such as the amount of data you need to transport, the location where you’ll be using the device, and your security requirements.
  2. Log in to your AWS account and navigate to the AWS Snow Family page. You can do this by searching for “AWS Snow Family” in the AWS Management Console, or by visiting the AWS Snow Family product page.
  3. Click the “Order now” button for the device you want to order. This will take you to the ordering page for that device.
  4. Provide the necessary information for your order. This may include the number of devices you need, the region where you’ll be using the device, and the duration of your rental period.
  5. Review and confirm your order details. Make sure all the information you’ve provided is accurate, and that you’re comfortable with the pricing and rental terms.
  6. Provide payment information. You can pay for your order using a credit card or by setting up a purchase order with AWS.
  7. Submit your order. Once you’ve completed all the necessary steps, click the “Submit” button to place your order.
  8. Await confirmation and delivery of your device. AWS will typically confirm your order within 24 hours, and will provide you with shipping information and instructions for receiving and returning your device.
  9. Configure and use your device. Follow the instructions provided by AWS to configure and use your Snow device for your data migration or edge computing needs.

Note that the specific steps and requirements for ordering an AWS Snow device may vary depending on your location, the device you’re ordering, and other factors. Be sure to carefully review the instructions and requirements provided by AWS to ensure a successful order and deployment of your Snow device.


If it is going to take several weeks for you to transfer your data to or from AWS, then Snow is a good option. The choice of device depends on your specific use case.