AWS Snowball

Please note that this article covers data transfer using AWS Snowball. If you need to transfer your data using AWS Snowball Edge, refer to this article.

What is AWS Snowball?

AWS Snowball is a data transfer solution that accelerates moving large volumes of data into and out of AWS using storage appliances designed to be secure for physical transport.

You order the Snowball appliance from Amazon and they ship it directly to you. Data transfer is performed by CloudBerry Backup with a backup plan that uses Snowball as the storage target.

Your computer must be suitable for handling this data transportation task in terms of processing, memory, and networking load. See Workstation Specifications to learn about the workstation requirements.

This following sections explain how to move data from your computer to Amazon S3 using CloudBerry Backup and AWS Snowball.

1. Ordering AWS Snowball

Visit Amazon Web Services, select your region and create a new import or export job.

Next, specify your address and select the preferred shipping speed.

Specify the job details, such as the job name, the required bucket and the Snowball capacity. Click Next to continue.

Configure the security parameters.

Configure the notification preferences.

Examine the order information on the review page and click Create Job.

After receiving the device from Amazon, you can start transferring your data to the Snowball.

2. Backing up data to Snowball using CloudBerry Backup

1. Configure AWS Snowball

When you receive the Snowball, plug it into power. Each Snowball has been engineered to support data transfer over RJ45, SFP+ copper, or SFP+ optical 10 gigabit Ethernet. Choose a networking option, and plug the Snowball into your network. Power on the Snowball by pressing the power button above the E Ink display. After turning it on, the box's E-ink screen displays the following information:

The Snowball automatically fetches the IP address. Click Network to see it displayed. You can customize network settings if required.

2. Create a Backup Plan for the Snowball

Before creating the plan, open your cloud storage settings and ensure that you selected the same bucket you had indicated when creating a job over at Amazon.

Proceed to create a new backup plan. Select the "I’d like to use AWS Snowball feature to make initial backup" check box when specifying the plan name.

Proceed with setting up the plan upon reaching the AWS Snowball Configuration wizard page that describes what to do next. Click the link provided on the step #2 to download an Amazon S3 adapter.

3. Configure the Amazon S3 adapter

Unzip the downloaded adapter it and launch the Command Prompt. Navigate to the folder containing the adapter and execute the following command:

cd snowball-adapter\bin
call snowball-adapter.bat -i <Snowball IP> -m <path to manifest.bin> -u <unlock code>

Ensure that you do not have any other services running on the port 8080 (you can check this using the netstat command).

You can find the manifest file along with the client unlock code in your AWS Console.

If you’ve done everything correctly, you should see the following message: “Server up and running on port 8080”.

Do not close the Command Prompt! It should be running throughout the entire process.

Switch back to CloudBerry Backup and finish configuring the backup plan. Run the plan and wait for it to complete.

3. Shipping Snowball back to Amazon

Once the backup plan execution completes, ship the Snowball back to Amazon. Wait for them to process the data and proceed to the next step.

4. Sync Repository

After receiving a notification that your data has been moved to your S3 bucket, go back to CloudBerry Backup and change the backup storage from the S3-compatible AWS Snowball Edge back to your regular Amazon S3 storage.

At this point, CloudBerry Backup does not recognize what files are in the cloud because the app tracks uploaded files with a local database called repository. This database only contains records about the files that had been uploaded to Amazon S3 with a regular backup plan. Information about the files uploaded using AWS Snowball edge is not in the repository yet and can be retrieved from the cloud by performing a repository sync.

Once the repository is synced, the initial backup with the help of AWS Snowball can be considered complete. All future backups will be performed as usual from your computer to the cloud by means of CloudBerry Backup.