AWS pushes Snowball Edge to the limit — by testing its resilience using underwater explosives

Dive Brief:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) is pushing it's technology to the limits, testing the ability of its data transportation technology to withstand shock. In a video posted over the weekend, AWS researchers bombard its 100TB Snowball Edge with underwater explosives, testing the storage devices ability to operate after being jarred. 
  • The test is meant to see the Snowball Edge systems meet the MIL-S-901D military standard, according to VentureBeat. For the test, AWS wanted "to demonstrate the physical rugged nature of the device," according to the company. Hi-Test Laboratories performed the test in Virginia.
  • AWS’ Snowball Edge box is used to transfer data from data centers to the AWS cloud, 100 terabytes at a time. For the migration of larger workloads, AWS has a long-haul truck that can move up to 100 petabytes of data at a time. 

Dive Insight:

AWS wants both customers and potential new customers to know it’s ready for anything. The video shows how hitting the box with a shock, or concussion, created with underwater explosives will not interrupt the service or destroy data.

Though it’s best known for its cloud services, AWS got into the hardware business as a way to help companies physically move data to the cloud. For larger data sets, such as found in financial services or research organizations, the amount of data stored is too large to upload virtually.

Instead, some companies turn to a physical storage solution to transport data to AWS' servers. However, with such sensitive data in transport, AWS needs a way to guarantee data will remain safe. So, the company is creating quite the splash with its resilience tests. Literally. 

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Filed Under: Cloud Computing Security Infrastructure