AWS Snowcone: Providing Portable Edge Computing and Data Transfer — Summary
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This course explores how the AWS Snowcone service can be used to provide portable edge computing and data transfer. We'll cover the basics of the service, what it's used for, how to request one, and how to transfer data in and out of it. For any feedback relating to this course, please contact us at

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the basics of AWS Snowcone, its features, and its typical use cases
  • Learn how to request a Snowcone and transfer data with it

Intended Audience

  • Anyone looking to understand more about the AWS Snowcone and how it can be used to run operations at the edge in addition to providing data transfer capabilities both into and out of AWS.


To get the most out of this course, you should have an understanding and awareness of the Amazon S3 storage service in addition to a basic understanding of edge computing.


In this final lecture, I want to summarize some of the key points from each of the previous lectures of this course.

I started off by looking at what the snowcone was exactly and some of its key features, during this lecture I covered the following points: 

  • The AWS Snowcone is a part of the AWS snow family of devices
  • It’s used to transfer data into and out of AWS
  • Allow you to run operations and workloads at the edge 
  • It’s relatively small in size, easy enough for someone to put into a backpack
  • It comes with 2 vCPUs, 4GB of memory, and 8 Terabytes of usable HDD storage
  • It can run EC2 instances and also support AWS IoT Greengrass.  
  • Power is supplied via USB-C connection with optional battery support
  • It supports Windows, Linux, MAC-OS, and NFS File Systems 
  • It comes equipped with the AWS DataSync agent for on-line data transfer
  • It has a tough and rugged enclosure
  • It can operate under extreme conditions and temperatures
  • It comes fitted with tamper-resistant mechanisms 
  • Data is encrypted using keys backed by KMS
  • Data is erased from the snowcone meeting NIST standards

I then gave a few examples of use cases that the snowcone has been designed to fulfill, and these included:

  • Portable Edge Computing
  • Edge Data Transfer
  • and Storage aggregation

And finally, I gave a run-through of the typical lifecycle of your AWS snowcone, from the initial request to data deletion.  These steps can be summarized as follows:

  1. Select the type of job you required
  2. Enter the job details specifying S3 buckets, address, roles, etc
  3. The snowcone is then delivered to the address specified 
  4. Unlock and configure the snowcone and perform your edge computing needs or data transfer requirements
  5. Prepare the snowcone for its return to AWS to transfer data, or use AWS DataSync to copy data on-line
  6. When AWS receives the snowcone any requested data transfers will be carried out
  7. The data will then be deleted from the snowcone 

That now brings me to the end of this lecture and to the end of this course, and so you should now have a greater understanding of the AWS Snowcone how can be used to provide portable edge computing and data transfer, in addition to some of its general use cases.

Feedback on our courses here at Cloud Academy is valuable to both us as trainers and any students looking to take the same course in the future. If you have any feedback, positive or negative, it would be greatly appreciated if you could contact

Thank you for your time and good luck with your continued learning of cloud computing. Thank you.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.