Microsoft has opened the door for testers to preview its Azure Data Box service program. If you are unfamiliar with the Azure Data Box, it is a data-transfer appliance that weighs 45 points and is created to be rugged and tamper-proof.
In its announcement, Microsoft says the box is designed to help customers move and manage data into Azure cloud more quickly and easily.
Azure Data Box supports 256-bit AES encryption on data. One of the benefits of the box is that it does not require an external packaging for packaging. It is able to plug directly into customers networks and store 100 TB of data.
Microsoft says the following benefits come from the box:
- Secure – Tamper-resistant appliance which supports 256-bit AES encryption on your data
- Tough – Built using the toughest materials to handle the inevitable bumps and bruises during transport, without requiring external packaging
- Easy to use –Plugs right into your network, can store approximately 100 TB, and uses NAS protocols (SMB/CIFS)
- Simple – Order it, fill it up and return it – all tracked in the Azure Portal
- Partner Supported – Integrated with a global array of industry-leading Azure partners
The company has now opened a preview program for the box, which allows users to test the box and provide feedback. Microsoft has not said how much it will charge for customers to use the data box.
Microsoft has already been running Azure Data Box for several months. The company has been collaborating with partners to improve the service.
In a video to demonstrate the box, Microsoft worked with Oceaneering International. The company has been working with the data box, using it to manage data from the deep ocean expeditions.
This is a further step towards Microsoft competing directly with Amazon Web Services. AWS has been offering its similar Snowball service since 2009. It was updated in 2015 to manage 100 TB data-transfer.