Public cloud infrastructure provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) apparently wants ample proof of the ruggedness of its Snowball Edge box, which can be used to transfer data from data centers to its cloud.
AWS yesterday took to YouTube to post a video of the 100TB box being tied down on a covered barge and then subjected to explosives going off underwater beside it. Hi-Test Laboratories did the work in a “test basin” in the small town of Arvonia, Virginia.
This is not the sort of thing you would expect from a company that provides cloud-based services for hosting websites, sending mobile push notifications, and running video calls. If anything, you might expect it from a company that sells IT equipment to the military. The so-called shock test is meant to see if systems meet the MIL-S-901D military standard.
But now AWS, unlike competitors Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, is in the hardware business, following the introduction of the Snowball storage server in 2015. And a few months ago AWS introduced the Snowball Edge, which has computing power, more storage capacity, and a touchscreen. In addition to its serving as a cloud-bound data vessel, AWS says customers can also use it “as a temporary storage tier for large local datasets, or to support local workloads in remote or offline locations.”
On the same day it launched Snowball Edge, AWS racked up headlines for unveiling the Snowmobile, a truck that can help companies more efficiently get data from on-premises data centers to the cloud. A Snowmobile can handle up to 100PB of data.
Consumer electronics manufacturers typically run a variety of tests to ensure their products are ready for extensive public use. This more rigorous testing suggests that AWS is keen to work with organizations that only use gear after it’s been proven to be military-grade — like the Navy. After all, AWS already has a deal with the CIA.