Amazon’s Cloud Service Truck Called Snowmobile for Data Transfer is No Longer A Service

At Amazon’s 2016 annual cloud conference, a notable highlight was the revelation of an 18-wheeler truck dubbed the Snowmobile.

Andy Jassy, who now serves as Amazon’s CEO, introduced it as a solution to swiftly transfer data to Amazon Web Services facilities. However, less than eight years later, the Snowmobile is no longer in service.

As of March, AWS has removed the Snowmobile from its website, and the service is no longer available, confirmed by CNBC.

Amazon Web Service Truck (Credits: AWS)

The dedicated webpage for AWS’ “Snow family” of products now redirects users to other data transport options, including the Snowball Edge and Snowcone devices.

An AWS spokesperson explained that the decision to discontinue Snowmobile was driven by the introduction of more cost-effective data transfer alternatives.

The spokesperson highlighted the challenges clients faced with Snowmobile, such as managing power, cooling, networking, parking, and security.

“Since we introduced Snowmobile in 2016, we’ve released many other new services and features which have made migrating data to AWS even faster and easier for our customers,” the spokesperson stated.

Amazon Web Service Truck (Credits: Paul Mah)

The Snowmobile service was priced at $0.005 per gigabyte per month, excluding additional costs, making it a substantial investment for companies with significant data transfer needs.

Amazon’s move to retire Snowmobile aligns with CEO Andy Jassy’s efforts to implement cost-saving measures amid sluggish sales growth. The company has undergone significant workforce reductions and discontinued various projects across its divisions, including AWS.

While the discontinuation of products and services is common in the cloud computing industry, Snowmobile’s elimination stands out due to its grand introduction at the Reinvent conference in 2016.

The sight of the massive truck on stage alongside Jassy garnered significant attention and excitement from attendees.

AWS Cloud (Credits: Amazon)

Despite the fanfare surrounding Snowmobile’s debut, the product failed to gain traction in the market. Maxar, a satellite operator, used Snowmobile once in 2017 to transfer over 100 petabytes to AWS. However, since then, they have opted to upload data directly to the cloud.

AWS remains a leader in the cloud infrastructure market, with significant revenue contributions to Amazon’s total sales.

The spokesperson emphasized the popularity of newer, more efficient data transfer technologies like Snowball Edge and AWS DataSync among customers.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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