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AWS re:Invent 2015: Throwing a Snowball at the hardware market

Chris Player | Oct. 13, 2015
Hardware vendors are constantly moving into software and Cloud offerings but it is not often that a Cloud vendor will launch a hardware offering and that is exactly what AWS has done with Snowball.

“It's not too bad though, you can put other solutions in place. Sometimes it is frustrating because you know that an offering exists and you have Australian customers that want to use it and you can’t help them, you have to wait until it gets here, but AWS is working on that and the gap is shrinking.

“The other big thing is keeping track of all the changes and all the new offerings, it’s almost a full time job now.”

The release of Snowball is one of the key announcements for Ferlito, who said it will solve a lot of customer pain points now and many more in the future.

“Moving backup data around is a big problem. If you think of a massive law firm that has to keep documents for seven years or organisations that have to hold a lot of video like the airports,that could be petabytes of data.You can’t ship that across the network. It just takes too long. So that makes Snowball pretty interesting.

“It is actually really key, we have the odd customer that has bucket loads of data they need to move around, but it is the huge pain point for many companies.

“Sometimes you hear the odd story of a company running hybrid where the workload is running locally and they decide to burst it into the Cloud when they run out of local resources and then pull it back. That’s great if you don’t have a lot of data to move around, but if you have a couple of terabytes of data, that just takes forever to move.

“Customers with backup workloads that they want to get off of tape and off of local storage and into [AWS’] S3, having Snowball units delivered and being able to put it in a box and ship it back and have it automatically online is great.

“They would ship one to Australia, but the issue for us is the shipping would be pricey and at the moment it would be imported into US East or US West. You could do an S3 replication to copy it back to Sydney if you needed to, so there are options there. I would be pretty surprised if the service didn’t move to Australia as well. I’m sure it is just a matter of setting up a lad somewhere where they put them in, plug them in and magic happens.”


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