Welcome to the Netflix Partner Help Center. Have a question or need help with an issue? Send us a ticket and we'll help you to a resolution.

Snowball Edge - Quick Start User Guide


This quick start user guide aims to provide an overview of how to utilize an AWS Snowball Edge device for delivery of assets into Content Hub.


Before you can utilize AWS Snowball Edge for delivering assets to Content Hub you will to ensure you have the following:

  • An active Backlot Account
    • The account needs to be added to the Content Hub project and given a role that allows the user to upload content
  • A Vendor Specific API Key
  • Familiarity with Content Hub Asset Requirements
  • Configure your firewall to permit outbound traffic on port 443 to the following IP addresses/URLs:
    • https://all.baggins.prod.netflix.net

Network / Storage / Hardware Recommendations:

  • Network - 10Gb Ethernet RJ45 /SFP+ or 40Gb Ethernet /QSFP+
  • User must provide all required network cables AND OPTICS/TRANSCEIVERS
  • Storage speed - Read speed > 500MBs/s
  • Mac with 12~16 core CPU and 32G RAM
  • 10G network card or Thunderbolt 2 /3 to 10G adapter, e.g. SanLink2/3
  • 50 GB or more available disk space on workstation
  • TB2 and ethernet Cat6 cable
  • TWIN10G-TB2 Dual Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Thunderbolt 2 Adapter

Examples of some common setups can be found in the Snowball Edge - Hardware Configuration Examples.

NOTE: Each AWS Snowball Edge appliance might or might not ship country-specific power cables. NO OTHER CABLES OR OPTICS ARE PROVIDED.

Transferring Assets To Snowball Edge:

Step 1: Connect Snowball to Infrastructure

  • Open the front and back doors, sliding them inside the appliance door slots. Doing this gives you access to the touch screen on the LCD display embedded in the front of the appliance, and the power and network ports in the back.
  • Open the top door and remove the provided power cable from the cable nook, and plug the appliance into power.
  • Connect the Snowball Edge device as shown above using the appropriate cabling.
  • Power up the Snowball Edge device using the power button located above of the LCD display.
  • When the appliance is ready, the LCD display shows a short video while the appliance is getting ready to start.

Please note that it can take between 10-15 minutes for the Snowball Edge device to be boot up and be ready for use. For more information, please refer to this guide provided by AWS.

Step 2a: Download and install Netflix Snowball Client

The Netflix Snowball Client is a terminal application you can use to unlock Snowball Edge devices, enabling them to be used for data transfer. In addition, you may use it to calculate checksum, generate report and create Content Hub workspace snapshot of your local files and folders structures.

Download and extract the Netflix Snowball Client to your local workstation.

Expand the archive file and save to any folder. Once expanded, the executable "snowballedge" can be found under "${installationDirectory}/bin/"

e.g. snowballedge-1.29/bin.

Please Note: Do not use the “snowballEdge” executable under the “aws-snowball-client” folder. This is the default Amazon client and will not work with Content Hub.

Step 2b: Reset Snowball Edge

This step is recommended if the workstation has been used for a different job or the current job needs to be corrected with a different set of source files. 

This step removes temporary files in workstation and delete all files on snowball as well as Content Hub workspace snowball folder that is associated with the job. It should only be used to prepare the workstation for the next job, or reset to initial state for the current job.

Reset command:

./snowballedge -action clean -email [your email/username] -clientId [Your backlot clientId] -clientSecret [secret] -snowballIp [IP Address]


./snowballedge -action clean

(You will be prompted for required information)

Step 3: Fast checksum using the Snowball Client

By specifying a top level directory, checksum.txt file will be generated on files on each sub-directory, recursively.

Fast checksum command:

./snowballedge -action checksum -dir [Path/to/SourceFolder]

Step 4: Transferring Data

The snowballedge copy command copies files and folders from your data source to the Snowball. When copying data, prepare a source path and IP address of the Snowball appliance, as well as security credentials mentioned above. Enter the copy command as the following:

./snowballedge -action copy -sourceDirectory [Path/to/SourceFolder] -email [your email/username] -clientId [Your backlot clientId] -clientSecret [secret] -snowballIp [IP Address]


./snowballedge -action copy -dir [source]

(You will be prompted for required information)

When you have entered the above command line the following will occur:

  • You will be prompted to enter a password matching your email | username
  • You will be prompted to select project (number), for which the Snowball job is created, as well as the job name, e.g. NFLX-QXPW9599, that you receive from the Snowball Status Update email.

Once you have selected the project the Snowball Client will automatically:

  • Scan and index your source folder
  • Create a Content Hub Workspace based on your source folder structure
  • Calculate a checksum for every file in the provided source folder and optionally look for checksum.txt (See Step 3) to match checksum values.
  • Initiate the data transfer to the Snowball Edge device.

Step 5: Verify Transferred File

The snowballedge finalize command validates all the transfer statuses for the objects on the Snowball Edge by verifying the checksums computed before and after the file is transferred (See Steps 3 + 4). If mismatches are found, a report will be displayed. Upon receiving success response, the Snowball device is ready to be shut down and prepared for shipping back to AWS datacenter.

Finalize Command:

./snowballedge -action finalize -sourceDirectory [Path/to/SourceFolder] -email [your email/username] -clientId [Your backlot clientId] -clientSecret [secret] -snowballIp [IP Address]


./snowballedge -action finalize -dir [path/to/source folder]

(You will be prompted for required information)

Step 6: Ship the Snowball to AWS

Congratulations! Now you can ship the snowball back to AWS:

  • Make sure that you've finished transferring all the data for this job to or from the AWS Snowball Edge appliance.
  • Press the power button above the LCD display. It takes about 20 seconds for the appliance to power off.
    • Note: A shipping label should appear after about a minute on the E Ink display on top of the appliance.
  • Disconnect and stow the power cable the AWS Snowball Edge appliance was sent with in the cable nook on top of the appliance.
  • Close the three doors on the back, the top, and the front of the AWS Snowball Edge appliance, pressing in on each one at a time until you hear and feel them click.

Step 7: Submit Assets to Content Hub Request Buckets

Once you’ve received email notification that the assets have been uploaded to your Workspace, please submit the assets to the Content Hub Request Buckets.  This is the final step and will make the assets visible to your Netflix Post Manager.

Appendix: Command Line Options

A full list of options available within the command line tool can be found within Snowball Edge - Command Line Options.

Was this article helpful?
1 out of 2 found this helpful