Amazon recently announced a new feature coming to the Snowball Edge that could make it significantly more interesting: The ability to run local instances of EC2.
If you haven’t heard about the Snowball Edge, Amazon is marketing it as a data migration and edge computing device made for any situation, with or without an Internet connection. You simply rent a Snowball from Amazon, use it to collect and process data and send it back to be implemented into your AWS environment. Some examples can be found here of the Snowball Edge used on a research boat or at a music festival in the desert.
Chris Wahl comments:
In a nutshell, this is Sneakernet on steroids – the ability to ship out a small form factor compute and storage device to the location desired, run workloads against your on-premises data, and then ultimately ship that data back to Amazon to be ingested into your AWS environment.
So the idea behind this part of the Snowball Edge is really nothing new, but the aforementioned implementation of EC2 seems to be attempting to bring the public cloud right into your datacenter.
However, as Chris Wahl points out, the Snowball Edge seems like it could be just the first step for Amazon into creating a more permanent hybrid cloud fabric. Perhaps bringing EC2 is just a test for Amazon to see if this sort of on-premises public cloud functionality is something consumers are actually interested in. After all, AWS has historically been a strictly public cloud provider, and for a company so big, I’m surprised this move towards hybrid cloud is not getting more attention.
Read more at: Extending the Hybrid Cloud with AWS Snowball Edge