Using Amazon EC2 Compute Instances - Amazon Snowcone User Guide
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Using Amazon EC2 Compute Instances

In this topic, you can find an overview of using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) compute instances on an Amazon Snowcone device. The topic includes conceptual information, procedures, and examples.


These features are not supported in the Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Amazon Web Services Region.


You can run Amazon EC2 compute instances hosted on a Snowcone using the supported EC2 instance types. Like their cloud-based counterparts, these instances require Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) to launch. You choose the AMI to be that base image for an instance in the cloud before you create your Snowcone job. For information about supported instance types, see Using Amazon EC2 on Snowcone .

If the job type is local compute, you might create a total of 8 TiB local EBS volumes and attach them to Amazon EC2 instances. This allows local EC2 instances to access more local capacity than the root volume alone. This is local storage only, so data written to the EBS volumes is lost when the device is returned to Amazon because it can't be imported into Amazon S3.


The NFS server is not available for compute jobs. If you need to import or export data to or from the Amazon Web Services Cloud, don't choose the local compute job type when you place your order.

To use a compute instance on a Snowcone, create a job and specify your AMIs. You can do this from the Amazon Snow Family Management Console, with the Amazon CLI, or with one of the Amazon SDKs. Typically, you must perform some housekeeping prerequisites before creating your job to use your instances.

After your device arrives, you can start managing your AMIs and instances. You can manage your compute instances on a Snowcone through an Amazon EC2–compatible endpoint. This type of endpoint supports many of the Amazon EC2 CLI commands and actions for the Amazon SDKs. You use the Amazon OpsHub for Snow Family tool to manage your AMIs, compute instances, and Amazon services. For more information, see Using Amazon OpsHub for Snow Family to Manage Devices.

When you're done with your device, return it to Amazon. If the device was used in an import job, the data transferred through the NFS file interface is imported into Amazon S3. Otherwise, we perform a complete erasure of the device when it is returned to Amazon. This erasure follows the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-88 standards.

  • Using encrypted AMIs on Snowcone devices is not supported.

  • Data in compute instances running on a Snowcone isn't imported into Amazon.

Pricing for Compute Instances on Snowcone

There are additional costs associated with using compute instances. For more information, see Amazon Snowcone pricing.


Before creating your job, keep the following information in mind:

  • Note

    Ubuntu 16.04 LTS - Xenial (HVM) images are no longer supported in the Amazon Web Services Marketplace, but still supported for use on Snowball Edge devices through Amazon EC2 VM Import/Export and running locally in AMIs.

  • All AMIs must be based on Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), with a single volume.

  • If you are planning connecting to a compute instance running on a Snowcone, you must use Secure Shell (SSH). To do so, you first add the key pair.