Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Snowball Edge and Microsoft Azure Stack both aim to bring a subset of the public cloud to the private data center. While both have the same high-level objective, they are very different approaches.
On the surface, the two solutions only have faint similarities. However, both solutions are strategic to the two cloud providers’ on-premises public cloud expansion.
Public cloud at the edge
One of the largest stumbling blocks to public cloud remains system locality. There are still several use cases where organizations require micro-data centers at the edge of the network. The Internet of Things (IoT) proves a popular argument for having local compute, as the amount of data generated by IoT devices favors on-premises data processes. Another use case is integration with legacy systems—network latency to public cloud may prove too great an obstacle to place dependent workloads in the public cloud.