If you find yourself needing to transfer a large amount of data, especially to another location, the quick and obvious choice is to upload or download the files over the Internet. This may not be the fastest way, though.
As we store more and more data, even with a fast Internet connection it may still take days, weeks, or even months to move data over that connection. The alternative seems low-tech, but is actually quite advanced: ship the data. In these cases, data is written to a rugged device and then shipped via a service like UPS or FedEx.
Jokingly, this method is called “sneakernet” (a play on ethernet), and has been in use for some time. With it comes certain challenges:
- Data Integrity - You’re now shipping the data in the hands of workers you don’t know or trust, so protecting your data from access by encryption is mandatory.
- Ruggedness - Hard drives on their own are quite sensitive, so shipping one that’s full of data poses a challenge. Vendors like AWS have created devices especially for this.
- Volume - Shipping a single hard drive is easy, but what if you need to move a few hundred terabytes (one thousand of gigabytes each) or petabytes (one thousand terabytes each)? AWS has larger devices the size of suitcases or specialized semi trucks for these cases.
AWS isn’t the only provider using this, other providers like Backblaze have systems like this that work in similar ways. Assuming you have a few hundred terabytes in a box, 2-day shipping translates into an extraordinarily fast method of transport.
How Gateway Systems Helps
Data transfer, especially large transfers, are complicated and require painstaking planing and execution. Ensuring the data arrives complete and without error is important and is paramount. Gateway systems is able to offer planning and execution of these transfers and coordinate with cloud providers to ensure a smooth transfer.