AWS Snowball capacity snowballs past 100 vCPUs, 400GB RAM • The Register

Amazon Web Services has doubled the specs of its Snowball edge compute device.

The cloud colossus on Tuesday announced that its Snowball Edge Compute Optimized machine offers up to 104 vCPUs, memory capacity up to 416GB, and 28TB of all-SSD NVMe storage.

The Snowball range started as devices packed full of storage that AWS would rent to make mass movement of data to its cloud easier. Over the years it’s added an Edge Compute Optimized version of the product that packs a decent CPU and can host VMs that behave as if they are running in its elastic compute cloud (EC2). AWS suggests that for scenarios in which a lot of data is made at the edge, but schlepping it all into the cloud would be slow and/or stupidly expensive. By running workloads on a Snowball, AWS thinks you can either pre-process data before upload, or perform operations that would perform badly if the extra latency of a trip to the cloud were required.

Clearly such edgy processing power is in demand. Why else would Amazon have increased the processing power of the Snowball Edge Compute Optimized from the 32-Core AMD Naples at 3.4GHz – which the Wayback Machine tells us was on offer in August 2022 – to the 2GHz, 64-core AMD Rome now detailed on the Snowball product page?

AMD offers three CPUs that match the spec AWS describes. The EPYC 7702, 7702P, and 7662 all include 64 cores and base clock speed of 2.0GHz.

Whatever CPU AWS has packed inside, the machine has become a handy server since it also offers a pair of 10Gbit/sec ports with an RJ45 connector, a sole 25Gbit/sec SFP28 connector, and a 100Gbit/sec QSFP28 slot.

AWS will even pop an Nvidia V100 GPU in if you ask nicely. And pay more.

While the Snowball Edge Compute Optimized box could go toe to toe with plenty of servers, AWS only sells it to those who also operate in its cloud and requires use of its own services – EC2 and S3 – on the boxen. AWS charges daily rates to run the boxes, with prices steepest for on-demand use and declining if you commit to one or three years of use. ®

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