Managing the NFS interface - Amazon Snowball Edge Developer Guide
Services or capabilities described in Amazon Web Services documentation might vary by Region. To see the differences applicable to the China Regions, see Getting Started with Amazon Web Services in China (PDF).

Managing the NFS interface

Use the Network File System (NFS) interface to upload files to the Snow Family device as if the device is local storage to your operating system. This allows for a more user-friendly approach to transferring data because you can use features of your operating system, like copying files, dragging and dropping them, or other graphical user interface features. Each S3 bucket on the device is available as an NFS interface endpoint and can be mounted to copy data to. The NFS interface is available for import jobs.

You can use the NFS interface if the Snowball Edge device was configured to include it when the job to order the device was created. If the device is not configured to include the NFS interface, use the S3 adapter or Amazon S3 compatible storage on Snow Family devices to transfer data. For more information about the S3 adapter, see Managing Amazon S3 adapter storage. For more information about Amazon S3 compatible storage on Snow Family devices, see Set up Amazon S3 compatible storage on Snow Family devices.

When started, the NFS interface uses 1 GB of memory and 1 CPU. This may limit the number of other services running on the Snow Family device or the number of EC2-compatible instances that can run.

Data transferred through the NFS interface is not encrypted in transit. When configuring the NFS interface, you can provide CIDR blocks and the Snow Family device will restrict access to the NFS interface from client computers with addresses in those blocks.

Files on the device will be transferred to Amazon S3 when it is returned to Amazon. For more information, see Importing Jobs into Amazon S3.

For more information about using NFS with your computer operating system, see the documentation for your operating system.

Keep the following details in mind when using the NFS interface.

  • File names are object keys in your local S3 bucket on the Snow Family device. The key name is a sequence of Unicode characters whose UTF-8 encoding is at most 1,024 bytes long. We recommend using NFSv4.1 where possible and encode file names with Unicode UTF-8 to ensure a successful data import. File names that are not encoded with UTF-8 might not be uploaded to S3 or might be uploaded to S3 with a different file name depending on the NFS encoding you use.

  • Ensure that the maximum length of your file path is less than 1024 characters. Snow Family devices do not support file paths that are greater that 1024 characters. Exceeding this file path length will result in file import errors.

  • For more information, see Object keys in the Amazon Simple Storage Service User Guide.

  • For NFS based transfers, standard POSIX style meta-data will be added to your objects as they get imported to Amazon S3 from Snow Family devices. In addition, you will see meta-data "x-amz-meta-user-agent aws-datasync" as we currently use Amazon DataSync as part of the internal import mechanism to Amazon S3 for Snow Family device import with NFS option.

  • You can transfer up to 40M files using a single Snowball Edge device. If you require to transfer more than 40M files in a single job, please batch the files in order to reduce the file numbers per each transfer. Individual files can be of any size with a maximum file size of 5 TB for Snowball Edge devices with the enhanced NFS interface or the S3 interface.

You can also configure and manage the NFS interface with Amazon OpsHub, a GUI tool. For more information, see Managing the NFS interface.

NFS configuration for Snow Family devices

The NFS interface is not running on the Snow Family device by default, so you need to start it to enable data transfer to the device. You can configure the NFS interface by providing the IP address of a Virtual Network Interface (VNI) running on the Snow Family device and restricting access to your file share, if required. Before configuring the NFS interface, set up a virtual network interface (VNI) on your Snow Family device. For more information, see Network Configuration for Compute Instances.

Configure Snow Family devices for the NFS interface

  • Use the describe-service command to determine if the NFS interface is active.

    snowballEdge describe-service --service-id nfs

    The command will return the state of the NFS service, ACTIVE or INACTIVE.

    { "ServiceId" : "nfs", "Status" : { "State" : "ACTIVE" } }

    If the value of the State name is ACTIVE, the NFS interface service is active and you can mount the Snow Family device NFS volume. For more information, see . If the value is INACTIVE, you have to start the service.

Starting the NFS service on the Snow Family device

Start a virtual network interface (VNI), if necessary, then start the NFS service on the Snow Family device. If necessary, when starting the NFS service, provide a block of allowed network addresses. If you don't provide any addresses, access to the NFS endpoints will be unrestricted.

  1. Use the describe-virtual-network-interface command to see the VNIs available on the Snow Family device.

    snowballEdge describe-virtual-network-interfaces

    If one or more VNIs are active on the Snow Family device, the command returns the following.

    snowballEdge describe-virtual-network-interfaces [ { "VirtualNetworkInterfaceArn" : "arn:aws:snowball-device:::interface/", "PhysicalNetworkInterfaceId" : "", "IpAddressAssignment" : "DHCP", "IpAddress" : "", "Netmask" : "", "DefaultGateway" : "", "MacAddress" : "EX:AM:PL:E1:23:45" },{ "VirtualNetworkInterfaceArn" : "arn:aws:snowball-device:::interface/", "PhysicalNetworkInterfaceId" : "", "IpAddressAssignment" : "DHCP", "IpAddress" : "", "Netmask" : "", "DefaultGateway" : "", "MacAddress" : "12:34:5E:XA:MP:LE" } ]

    Note the value of the VirtualNetworkInterfaceArn name of the VNI to use with the NFS interface.

  2. If no VNIs are available, use the create-virtual-network-interface command to create a VNI for the NFS interface. For more information, see Setting up a Virtual Network Interface (VNI).

  3. Use the start-service command to start the NFS service and associate it with the VNI. To restrict access to the NFS interface, include the service-configuration and AllowedHosts parameters in the command.

    snowballEdge start-service --virtual-network-interface-arns arn-of-vni --service-id nfs --service-configuration AllowedHosts=CIDR-address-range
  4. Use the describe-service command to check the service status. It is running when the value of the State name is ACTIVE.

    snowballEdge describe-service --service-id nfs

    The command returns the service state, as well as the IP address and port number of the NFS endpoint and the CIDR ranges allowed to access the endpoint.

    { "ServiceId" : "nfs", "Status" : { "State" : "ACTIVE" }, "Endpoints" : [ { "Protocol" : "nfs", "Port" : 2049, "Host" : "" } ], "ServiceConfiguration" : { "AllowedHosts" : [ "", "" ] } }

Mounting NFS endpoints on client computers

After the NFS interface is started, mount the endpoint as local storage on client computers.

The following are the default mount commands for Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems.

  • Windows:

    mount -o nolock rsize=128 wsize=128 mtype=hard nfs-interface-ip-address:/buckets/BucketName *
  • Linux:

    mount -t nfs nfs-interface-ip-address:/buckets/BucketName mount_point
  • macOS:

    mount -t nfs -o vers=3,rsize=131072,wsize=131072,nolocks,hard,retrans=2 nfs-interface-ip-address:/buckets/$bucketname mount_point

Stopping the NFS interface

When you are finished transferring files through the NFS interface and before powering off the Snow Family device, use the stop-service command to stop the NFS service.

snowballEdge stop-service --service-id nfs