Cloud News

4 Big Things You Need To Know About AWS Snowcone

Donna Goodison

‘With more applications running at the edge for an expanding range of use cases, like analyzing IoT sensor data and machine-learning inference, AWS Snowcone makes it easier to collect, store, preprocess and transfer data from harsh environments with limited space to AWS for more intensive processing,’ says Bill Vass, AWS’ vice president of storage, automation and management services.

AWS Partner Reaction

Cloud providers such as AWS continue to consolidate more of the applications that people rely on into centralized hyperscale clouds, but the demands for instantaneous responsiveness—combined with limited bandwidth in some areas—force many applications to be moved to the edge, said Matt Wallace, chief technology officer of Faction, a Denver-based MSP and AWS Advanced Consulting Partner.

“Snowcone evolves Amazon's edge strategy with an extremely portable and affordable option that complements products like Snowball, IoT Greengrass and Wavelength,” Wallace said. “It also showcases Amazon's growing capabilities to build and deploy physical hardware, as also evidenced by their Outposts offering."

A hybrid cloud offering, the fully managed AWS Outposts extends AWS’ cloud infrastructure, services, APIs and tools into customers’ on-premises data centers or colocation sites for the first time with compute and storage server racks outfitted with AWS-designed hardware. AWS CEO Andy Jassy announced the general availability of the native version of AWS Outposts at the AWS re:Invent 2019 conference in December.

AWS Snowcone is another step forward for AWS and its “ability to recognize the need to migrate data in all forms and sizes to the cloud,” said Darin Cook, CEO of Houston-based SynchroNet, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner specializing in end-user computing.

“The new and smaller form factor of Snowcone will allow for the capture of data from many more locations,” Cook said, including remote corporate offices and remote customer sites with little to no connectivity. “Think oil fields or industries who operate in remote areas.”

“[AWS Snowcone’s] hardened packaging will be useful to customers who manage warehouse and distribution facilities in the lighting, electrical component and book publishing industries,” said Larry Gordon, co-founder and CEO of xOps, a DevOps IT services firm and AWS Consulting Partner with headquarters in New York City. “Currently they are looking to upgrade from encased, standard multifunction tablets.”

In recent field exercises conducted by Novetta, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, AWS Snowcone “performed admirably as a sensor hub at the edge to track people and assets in a disaster zone,” according to Rob Sheen, senior vice president of client operations at the analytics solutions company, which focuses on public sector, defense, intelligence and federal law enforcement customers.

“Snowcone gives us a rugged, secure and portable edge computing platform that we can use in disaster zones and austere edge locations,” said Sheen, whose company is based in McLean, Va.


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