Tech

How Amazon uses 18-wheelers to transfer heavy data loads to the cloud

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How Amazon Web Services transfers massive amounts of data to the cloud

Moving petabytes of data to a cloud like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure just by sending it out over the internet can take years. Some companies would rather not wait that long. So the cloud providers have come up with special-purpose hardware that can be filled up with data and then mailed to the cloud vendors for much faster migration. Using this equipment can save money, too, because moving data over a network in the usual way can get expensive.

One business with big data, DigitalGlobe — a subsidiary of Maxar Technologies, came up with a more radical idea. It had AWS send over a truck over for faster delivery. AWS wound up announcing its Snowmobile 18-wheel truck for this exact purpose in 2016. None of AWS' cloud competitors have followed suit — yet.

AWS recently showed CNBC one of its Snowmobile trucks, along with its ruggedized Snowmobile data-storage boxes. AWS executive Bill Vass told CNBC that the Snowmobile is seeing adoption from cybersecurity, government and media customers. Watch the video to learn more.