Page 20 - FCW, November/December 2020
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Beyond the data
center and the cloud
The latest edge devices are rugged, portable and adapted to environments with intermittent connectivity
Lorraine Bassett
Principal Technical Business Development Leader for IoT, AWS Worldwide Public Sector
storage and large-scale data transfer.
In addition, Snowball Edge Compute Optimized devices provide 52 vCPUs, block and object storage, and an optional GPU for use cases such as advanced machine learning and full-motion video analysis in disconnected environments.
Agencies can execute compute applications at the edge and ship the device to AWS for offline data transfer, or they can transfer data from edge locations using AWS DataSync. The devices can also be clustered together to build larger temporary installations.
WE EXPECT THE NUMBER of connected devices to reach nearly 45 billion by 2025, gathering close to 80 zettabytes. Unfortunately, sending that growing amount of data to the cloud for processing is not always the best option due to bandwidth limitations and cost concerns. Many government systems are also not connected to the cloud and need to process data locally.
Edge technology evolved to meet those challenges by bringing the advantages
of cloud closer to the edge. Business applications enabled by edge computing include autonomous delivery, machine control, environmental monitoring, fleet vehicle diagnostics, vision-based analytics and defect detection.
Flexible, purpose-built edge solutions
Edge computing is particularly beneficial in two situations: when a great deal of data needs to be migrated to the cloud for storage but there is little or no bandwidth and when data needs to be collected
and acted on quickly at the edge (e.g., autonomous vehicles and drones).
Amazon Web Services (AWS) developed the devices in the Snow Family to work
in nontraditional, disconnected or intermittently connected environments, such as remote or austere locations and
all manner of commercial, industrial, transportation and military use cases. You don’t need any data center space, and any control plane action, such as provisioning, logging or monitoring, can be performed from the AWS Management Console.
AWS Snowcone is ruggedized, secure and purpose-built for use outside a traditional data center. It has eight terabytes of usable storage and weighs just four and a half pounds. Its small form factor makes it the right fit for tight spaces or situations where portability is a necessity — for example, in backpacks for first responders or on drones.
AWS Snowball comes in two options. Snowball Edge Storage Optimized devices provide both block storage and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) compatible object storage along with 40 vCPUs. They are well-suited for local
Shutterstock/FCW Staff

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