One of the challenges of cloud is moving large amounts of data into the cloud. WAN bandwidth is not sufficient. For example, 100 terabytes of data will take more than 100 days to transfer over a dedicated 100 Mbps connection. Amazon AWS solved this by making available the AWS Snowbal, a portable appliance which is basically a large harddisk with an e-paper display attached to it.
Microsoft answer to Snowball was made public at Microsoft Ignite IN September 2017 and is called ‘Azure Data Box’.
Just as AWS Snowball, Azure Data Box is a portable appliance. It has a capacity of 100 TB and is able to use CIFS/SMB. Data is encrypted while stored on the appliance.
Various backup vendors support the Azure Data Box so it is very easy to move backup data to Azure for archiving.
The Azure Data Box is currently available in preview in the US only.