One of the under-the-radar announcements at Amazon Web Service’s re:Invent cloud conference last year was the announcement of Snowball. It’s a box the size of a small suitcase filled with storage drives. Amazon will ship you one, customers can load it up, then send it back to Amazon and upload data 50 terabytes at a time into the cloud. Check out a video of Amazon executives revealing Snowball here.
Today AWS announced that customers can use Snowball to get data out of the cloud, 50 terabytes at a time, too.
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For all the fears of users being locked into the cloud, Amazon is now giving users an easy exit-ramp from the cloud. Just remember to be careful when you’re exporting data from the cloud, because many times that can be more expensive than importing it. Case in point: It’s free to upload data into Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, but costs $0.03 per GB to get it out.