AWS Data Transfer

Chloe McAree
2 min readFeb 22, 2021

This is part of a blog series giving a high level overview of the different services examined on the AWS Solution Architect Associate exam, to view the whole series click here.

Data Sync

  • Data transfer service for moving large amounts of data into AWS.
  • Typically use it at an on-premise data center but can also be used to move data between AWS storage services.
  • Automates, simplifies and accelerates the movement of data
  • Has built in security capabilities e.g. encryption in transit
  • You would install AWS Data Sync Agent on a server that connects you to a file system — it then copies data and writes to AWS.
  • Can connect with S3, EFS or FSX


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  • Physical device used for petabyte-scale data transport that can securely transfer large amounts of data in and out of AWS
  • Addresses a lot of the common challenges that typically comes with with large-scale data transfers, including high network costs, long transfer times, and security concerns.
  • Is very secure — has multiple layers of security, is tamper resistant and once the transfer is complete everything is completely wiped from the snowball device.
  • Comes in two sizes; 50TB & 80TB

Snowball Edge

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  • Is a 100TB data transfer device.
  • Snowball Edge has both storage and compute capabilities.
  • It supports specific Amazon EC2 instance types and AWS Lambda functions.
  • Secure as data is encrypted at rest and in transit.
  • Can be used as a temporary storage tier for large local datasets or support local workloads in remote offline locations.


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  • Is a 45 foot long container pulled by a truck that is an exabyte-scale data transfer service for moving extremely large amounts of data to AWS
  • Can transfer 100PB per snowmobile
  • Can be used for complete datacenter migrations and can import to S3
  • Fast, secure and cost effective