Snowmobile, Amazon’s white truck to transport data

The company now allows a storage service for large amounts of data directly on its servers, but in the future it also aims at public transport

Those who have attended a specific course or have taken a degree in Economics have often heard the question: what is Marketing? Finding a single answer is impossible. Now the new question to ask is: what is Amazon? To call it an e-commerce is reductive. From today it is also a company of "exceptional" transports. It transports data, in fact.

To see it from the outside there is nothing innovative. It's a simple cargo truck. Only it doesn't transport objects or products but data. It's designed for large companies and allows you to transport an incredible amount of data to the Seattle-based company's cloud servers. It's called Snowmobile. And it allows you to transfer data in weeks. Operations that would otherwise take years, depending on the amount of information to be stored. It can store up to 100 petabytes of data at a cost of $0.005 per GB per month. It's designed primarily for scientific companies and the media.

How Amazon's Snowmobile Works

The truck-based data transport service designed by Amazon is pretty basic. The truck arrives in the vicinity of your business. It sets up in one of the parking lots and begins its transfer. It takes about 10 days to reach full charge. The container is air conditioned and consumes about 350KW of power just for the cooling system. The trailer has GPS tracking and is waterproof. Amazon thinks of everything also provides an electric generator for emergencies and a cyber and physical security system, with guards watching the truck during data capture. Once the process is finished, the truck leaves to take the data to Amazon's servers.

Amazon and transportation

Defining Amazon as a transportation company is a joke that's not even too funny. The company is seriously thinking about investing in transportation in a number of ways. It is known to be working on delivering its products using drones. To also avoid relying on third parties to deliver its products. In addition, the company is focusing on mapping and car sharing services. The idea is to organize an Uber-style service but with more users in the same vehicle. The car will take advantage of smart mappings to adjust the route according to the requests of the people who book. For now, however, Amazon carries data, in the future perhaps people as well.

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