This blog entry walks you through the NOAA CLASS search for data that can be displayed in SIFT.  Similar information is contained within the video below.

The video mentions an email that is generated when you submit a data request.  That happens immediately.  The follow-up email that tells you the data has been found and are available for download typically appears within 10 minutes — but I’ve also had the experience of waiting hours.

How long does it take to download the data?  Well — that depends on what kind of data you request (Full Disk imagery vs. Mesoscale domain imagery, for example).  The Mesoscale data requested in this video was downloaded to my machine, via ftp, in about 1 minute.