Snowball is a petabyte-scale data transport solution that uses secure devices to transfer large amounts of data into and out of AWS services. Using Snowball addresses common challenges with large-scale data transfers including high network costs, long transfer times, and security concerns. Transferring data with Snowball is simple, fast, secure, and can be as little as one-fifth the cost of high-speed Internet.

With Snowball, you don’t need to write any code or purchase any hardware to transfer your data. Simply create a job in the AWS Management Console and a Snowball device will be automatically shipped to you. Once it arrives, attach the device to your local network, download and run the Snowball Client to establish a connection, and then use the Client to select the file directories that you want to transfer to the device. The Client will then encrypt and transfer the files to the device at high speed. Once the transfer is complete and the device is ready to be returned, the E Ink shipping label will automatically update and you can track the job status via Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), text messages, or directly in the Console. 


Even with high-speed Internet connections, it can take months to transfer large amounts of data. For example, 100 terabytes of data will take more than 100 days to transfer over a dedicated 100 Mbps connection. That same transfer can be accomplished in less than one day, plus shipping time, using two Snowball devices.

A single Snowball device can transport multiple terabytes of data and multiple devices can be used in parallel to transfer petabytes of data into or out of AWS services.

Snowball devices use tamper-resistant enclosures, encryption, and an industry-standard Trusted Platform Module (TPM) designed to ensure both security and full chain-of-custody for your data. Encryption keys are never sent to, or stored on the device.

Transfer jobs are created right from the AWS Management Console. Once a job is created, a Snowball device will be automatically delivered to you. When you receive the device, simply attach it to your local network, download and run the Snowball Client to establish a connection, and then use the Client to select the data that you want to transfer to the device. The Client will then encrypt and transfer the files to the device at high speed. Once the transfer is complete and the device is ready to be returned, the E Ink shipping label will automatically update to the correct AWS services facility, and the job status can be tracked via Amazon SNS, text messages, or directly in the Console.

It can be very expensive to transfer 100 terabytes of data using high-speed Internet. The same 100 terabytes of data can be transferred using two Snowball devices for as little as one-fifth the cost of using the Internet.

Many organizations are concerned that once they have moved all their data to the cloud that it will be both expensive and time-consuming to retrieve the data if needed. Snowball offers all customers a fast and inexpensive way to ensure data can be quickly transferred both into and out of AWS services.


If you have large quantities of data you need to migrate into AWS services, Snowball is often much faster and more cost-effective than transferring that data over the Internet.

In the event that you need to quickly retrieve a large quantity of data stored in Amazon S3, Snowball devices can help retrieve the data much quicker than high-speed Internet.

There are many steps involved to decommissioning a datacenter to make sure valuable data is not lost. Snowball can help ensure that your data is securely and cost-effectively transferred to AWS during this process.

Use Snowball devices if you regularly receive or need to share large amounts of data with clients, customers, or business associates. Snowball devices can be sent directly to client or customer locations.


Your use of this service is subject to the AWS Customer Agreement.