[SoftNAS KB]: AWS Snowball and SoftNAS® Quick Guide

AWS Snowball is a petabyte-scale data transport solution that uses secure appliances to transfer large amounts of data into and out of the AWS cloud. Using Snowball addresses common challenges with large-scale data transfers including high network costs, long transfer times, and security concerns. 

How to connect Snowball to your SoftNAS® On-Premise VM

  1. In order to establish a connection between our SoftNAS instance on VMware, we need to install the Snowball Adapter software. To do this, we will open an SSH session to our SoftNAS VM. 

    For guidance on how to connect to your Linux instance, click here.For guidance on how to connect to your Windows Instance, click here.

    Once logged into your SoftNAS command line interface, type the following command:

    wget http://snowball-adapter.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/aws-snowball-adapter-linux.zip

  2. Next, unzip the file with the following command:

    unzip snowball-adapter-linux-161027-003727.zip

  3. Change the directory:

    cd snowball-adapter-linux/bin/

  4. Create a new directory named according to your Snowball bucket name (the name you created for the S3 bucket when the SnowBall was ordered).

    mkdir -p /mnt/<SNOWBALL_BUCKET_NAME>

  5. Enter the command below, replacing the IP address with the IP of your Snowball appliance, and replacing the manifest file and secret key with your own. 

    /snowball-adapter -i -m JIDb632e74b-77d1-4aeb-894a-da0f341e8e9d_manifest.bin -u 73345-595d0-b1de0-1b145-28237 -s CYVajxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  6. Begin a new SSH session, and execute the below command, replacing only your access key ,secret key and snowball bucket name.

    /usr/bin/s3backer --directIO --authVersion=aws2 --insecure --baseURL=http://localhost:8080/ --blockSize=1M --size=Snowball-SizeOnGBg --timeout=15  --blockCacheThreads=10 --blockCacheSize=10 --accessId=AKIxxxxxxxxx xxxx   --accessKey=CYVajxxxxxxxxxx   SNOWBALL_BUCKET_NAME  /mnt/SnowBall_BUCKET_NAME

  7. Use the following command to link with your disk device:

    ln -s /mnt/SNOWBALL_BUCKET_NAME/file      /dev/s3-0

  8. Next, create the ZFS Pool and the volume with the following commands:

    zpool create -o ashift=12   POOLNAME  /dev/s3-0

    zfs create POOLNAME/volume

  9. Copy the files and folders you have on your local pools to the newly created Snowball pool. For example:

    cp local_zfs_pool/volume /*   snowball_zfs_pool/volume

How to connect your SoftNAS ® AWS instance to your SnowBall Bucket


Launch a SoftNAS Instance with an IAM role providing full administrative access to the account from which you ordered the Snowball device. Connect to this SoftNAS instance via SSH using this account.

Next, create a mount point directory, and execute the following command to mount the bucket on the SoftNAS Instance.

mkdir –p /mnt/SnowBall_BUCKET_NAME

Run the following command to begin the process, substituting your access ID, key, bucket name, and the size.

/usr/bin/s3backer --directIO --authVersion=aws2 --insecure --baseURL=https://s3.amazonaws.com/ --blockSize=1M --size=Snowball-SizeOnGBg --timeout=15  --blockCacheThreads=10 --blockCacheSize=10 --accessId=AKIxxxxxxxxx xxxx   --accessKey=CYVajxxxxxxxxxx   SNOWBALL_BUCKET _NAME  /mnt/SnowBall_BUCKET_NAME

Use the following command to link with your disk device:

ln -s /mnt/SnowBall_BUCKET_NAME/file /dev/s3-0

Finally, import your pool.

zpool  -f  -a