Introducing AWS Storage Gateway: A Hybrid Cloud Storage Solution

March 29, 2022 | Comments(1) |

The cloud migration movement is currently in full swing, with many firms migrating their entire infrastructure onto the AWS cloud. However, some businesses still rely heavily on traditional on-premises data centers. Whether they are restricted owing to current licenses or have rigorous compliances that need them to continue working with on-site bare metal infrastructure, many enterprises have just one option for leveraging AWS —a hybrid cloud solution.

TABLE OF CONTENT

1. Introducing AWS Storage Gateway
2. AWS Storage Gateway Types
3. Use Cases
4. Host Platforms Supported by Storage Gateway
5. Takeaway
6. About CloudThat
7. FAQs

Today, we are discussing AWS Storage Gateway, one of the AWS services that many hybrid clouds have been known to benefit from. We will look at its working, use cases and leverage it for business growth.

1. Introducing AWS Storage Gateway:

AWS Storage Gateway is a hybrid cloud storage solution that assists businesses in overcoming the problems and bridging the gap between their on-premises and cloud systems. By enabling low-latency data access through standard storage protocols, Storage Gateway enables on-premises applications to leverage cloud storage. On-premises, a local cache saves your most recently used data, while the cloud offers scalability and industry-leading data protection, durability, availability, security, and speed. Storage Gateway is a simple initial step into the cloud that is meant to be simple to deploy, activate, and use for your apps.

An AWS Storage Gateway could be hosted as a virtual machine (VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, or Linux KVM) on-premises, an Amazon EC2 instance, or as a pre-configured standalone hardware appliance in AWS. Moreover, Storage Gateway does not necessitate any specific networking or additional hardware while providing:

  • Standard storage protocols like NFS, SMB, iSCSI, and iSCSI VTL are supported, allowing current applications to access AWS Cloud storage without modification.
  • A local cache for low-latency application access.
  • Data transfers between on-prem and the AWS Cloud are optimized and secure.
  • Integration with other Amazon Web Services cloud storage services such as Amazon S3, Amazon S3 Glacier, Amazon FSx for Windows File Server, Amazon EBS, and AWS Backup.
  • AWS Key Management Service (KMS), AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), AWS CloudTrail, and Amazon CloudWatch are integrated.

2. AWS Storage Gateway Types:

AWS provides four different types of Gateways:

  • Amazon S3 File Gateway
  • Amazon FSx File Gateway
  • Tape Gateway
  • Volume Gateway

Amazon S3 File Gateway provides a file interface that allows users to store files as objects in Amazon S3 using industry-standard NFS and SMB file protocols, and then access those files through NFS and SMB from your datacenter or Amazon EC2, or directly in Amazon S3. Filesystem metadata, such as ownership, permissions, and timestamps, is securely saved in S3 as user metadata in the object associated with the file. Once migrated to S3, items may be handled as native S3 objects, and bucket policies like lifecycle management and Cross-Region Replication (CRR) can be applied directly to objects in your bucket. Audit logs for SMB file share user actions are also published to Amazon CloudWatch by Amazon S3 File Gateway.

Amazon FSx File Gateway uses the industry-standard SMB protocol to deliver quick, low-latency on-premises connectivity to fully managed, highly reliable, and scalable file shares in the cloud. Customers may use Amazon FSx to store and access file data with Windows-native compatibility, including complete NTFS support, shadow copies, and Access Control Lists (ACLs). Amazon FSx File Gateway is ideal for on-premises file-based enterprise applications and workloads such as user or group file sharing, online content management, and media workflows.

Tape Gateway connects your on-prem backup application to an iSCSI-based virtual tape library (VTL) containing virtual tape drives and a virtual media changer. It is compatible with the majority of top backup apps, allowing you to keep utilizing current tape-based backup workflows. Tape Gateway saves your virtual tapes in S3 and automatically produces new ones, easing maintenance and your move to AWS.

Volume Gateway enables your on-premises servers and applications to connect to AWS block storage (EBS volumes) in the cloud through the iSCSI protocol (Internet Small Computer Systems Interface). While SMB and NFS are file-level sharing protocols used by file gateways, iSCSI is a block-level sharing protocol. Volume Gateways are classified into two types: stored volumes and cached volumes.

  • Stored volumes make all of your data available locally upon that gateway and save an asynchronous copy into the S3 bucket.
  • Cached volumes save the whole volume in the S3 bucket, but just the most recently accessed data is kept in the local cache.

3. Use Cases:

Moving backups to the cloud, displaying on-prem file sharing supported by cloud storage, and giving on-premises applications with low latency access to data stored in the cloud are three prominent use cases for Storage Gateway.

Customers may lower the on-premises capacity of their primary storage systems, reduce their physical storage footprint, and, in certain situations, consolidate data centers by using the cloud for these workloads.

A few more examples include storing SQL Server backups on Amazon S3 with AWS Storage Gateway API and utilizing Tape Gateway to replace actual tape-based backups.

4. Host Platforms Supported by Storage Gateway:

Amazon storage gateway is delivered as a virtual appliance (a virtual machine image/template) that may be installed on various systems.

The following host virtualization systems are supported:

  • Hyper-V
  • VMware ESXi (2012 R2 or newer)
  • KVM (Linux Virtual Machine)
  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

However, a hardware appliance can be used if an organization does not have any hypervisors in its infrastructure. The hardware Amazon Storage Gateway device is available for purchase on the Amazon website and will be delivered to you.

5. Takeaway:

AWS Storage Gateway is a solution that connects your on-premises applications to cloud storage services and allows you to utilize them fully. It is a highly adaptable solution with three distinct varieties to select from, each tailored to meet a unique purpose. As a result, it can serve a broad range of use cases, from primary backups and disaster recovery to comprehensive data migrations or cloud resources for various workloads. So, if your firm uses a hybrid cloud solution that includes both an on-prem data center and AWS, Storage Gateway is a service you should explore.

6. About CloudThat

CloudThat is the official AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, Microsoft Gold Partner, and Training partner helping people develop knowledge on cloud and help their businesses aim for higher goals using best in industry cloud computing practices and expertise. We are on a mission to build a robust cloud computing ecosystem by disseminating knowledge on technological intricacies within the cloud space. Our blogs, webinars, case studies, and white papers enable all the stakeholders in the cloud computing sphere.

If you have any queries about amazon storage gateway, hybrid cloud data storage, or anything related to infrastructure migration, feel free to drop in a comment and we will get back to you quickly.

7. FAQs on AWS Storage Gateway Service

  1. What are the benefits of using AWS Storage Gateway?
    AWS Storage Gateway allows you to integrate AWS storage into your existing apps and workflows. It supports a standard set of protocols like iSCSI, SMB, and NFS, allowing you to continue using your existing applications without making any changes. The gateway gives low-latency access to recently utilized data via its local cache. The gateway optimizes data transport to AWS storage by intelligent buffering, upload management to mitigate network variances, and bandwidth management, among other things. Finally, the gateway gives you a simple way to store data in AWS using the storage services that are most appropriate for your needs.
  2. What is the maximum size of the local cache per gateway that can be supported?
    The local cache capacity for a gateway running on a virtual machine is limited to 64 TiB.
  3. Which Amazon S3 storage classes does S3 File Gateway support?
    S3 Standard, S3 Intelligent-Tiering, S3 Standard – Infrequent Access (S3 Standard-IA), and S3 One Zone-IA are all supported by Amazon S3 File Gateway. You may use bucket lifecycle policies to migrate files from Amazon S3 to Amazon S3 Glacier after configuring the initial storage class for objects created by the gateway.

One Response to “Introducing AWS Storage Gateway: A Hybrid Cloud Storage Solution”

  1. Josh

    Be wary, storage gateway is nothing more than a cache device. Utilizing it any way near the use case of a filer will result in a bad experience. There is also no authentication mechanism for NFS and directory services so you will hit a wall with the very well known nfs 16 gid limit – there is no way around this and AWS has nothing in current or future lifecycles to add authentication for NFS.

    Reply

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