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Amazon Stress Tests Snowball Edge Storage Device (with Explosives!)

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) tested its Snowball Edge data storage and transfer device in a unique manner: using explosives.

In a 1:21, no-narration YouTube video, AWS put the device on a floating barge and detonated underwater explosives beneath it. The device survived the test.

Snowball is used to move large volumes of data to Amazon S3 storage. AWS last year supersized the data transfer device with a 45-foot-long truck, calling it the AWS Snowmobile.

According to its site, the Snowball Edge can transfer up to 100TB of data, providing on-board storage and compute capabilities.

"AWS Snowball Edge was introduced at re:Invent 2016, a durable, secure data transport solution that accelerates the migration of terabytes to petabytes of data into and out of AWS," the video description reads. "To demonstrate the physical rugged nature of the device, the Snowball Edge was subjected to a test that follows the MIL-S-901D standard."

According to Wikipedia, "MIL-S-901D is a military specification for High Impact mechanical shock which applies to equipment mounted on ships."

And, yes, the barge test is a perfectly suitable testing mechanism. "Qualification testing is performed on a specified machine or on a barge floating in a pond where an explosive charge is detonated at various distances and depths in the pond to impart shock to the barges."

Here's the test in action:

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for 1105 Media.

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