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The AWS Storage Gateway is a service connecting an on-premises software appliance with cloud-based storage to provide seamless and secure integration between an organization’s on-premises IT environment and AWS’s storage infrastructure. The service allows you to securely store data in the AWS cloud for scalable and cost-effective storage. The AWS Storage Gateway supports industry-standard storage protocols that work with your existing applications. It provides low-latency performance by maintaining frequently accessed data on-premises while securely storing all of your data encrypted in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) or Amazon Glacier.
The AWS Storage Gateway supports three configurations:
Gateway-Cached Volumes: You can store your primary data in Amazon S3, and retain your frequently accessed data locally. Gateway-Cached volumes provide substantial cost savings on primary storage, minimize the need to scale your storage on-premises, and retain low-latency access to your frequently accessed data.
Gateway-Stored Volumes: In the event you need low-latency access to your entire data set, you can configure your on-premises gateway to store your primary data locally, and asynchronously back up point-in-time snapshots of this data to Amazon S3. Gateway-Stored volumes provide durable and inexpensive off-site backups that you can recover locally or from Amazon EC2 if, for example, you need replacement capacity for disaster recovery.
Gateway-Virtual Tape Library (Gateway-VTL): With Gateway-VTL you can have a limitless collection of virtual tapes. Each virtual tape can be stored in a Virtual Tape Library backed by Amazon S3 or a Virtual Tape Shelf backed by Amazon Glacier. The Virtual Tape Library exposes an industry standard iSCSI interface which provides your backup application with on-line access to the virtual tapes. When you no longer require immediate or frequent access to data contained on a virtual tape, you can use your backup application to move it from its Virtual Tape Library to your Virtual Tape Shelf in order to further reduce your storage costs.
You can begin using the AWS Storage Gateway in just a few steps. To get started, you simply:
Secure The AWS Storage Gateway securely transfers your data to AWS over SSL and stores data encrypted at rest in Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256, a secure symmetric-key encryption standard using 256-bit encryption keys.
Durably backed by Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier The AWS Storage Gateway durably stores your on-premises application data by uploading it to Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier. Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier redundantly store data in multiple facilities and on multiple devices within each facility. Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier also perform regular, systematic data integrity checks and are built to be automatically self-healing.
Compatible There is no need to re-architect your on-premises applications. Gateway-Cached volumes and Gateway-Stored volumes expose a standard iSCSI block disk device interface and Gateway-VTL presents a standard iSCSI virtual tape library interface.
Cost-Effective By making it easy for your on-premises applications to store data on Amazon S3 or Amazon Glacier, AWS Storage Gateway reduces the cost, maintenance, and scaling challenges associated with managing primary, backup and archive storage environments. You pay only for what you use with no long-term commitments.
Designed for use with other Amazon Web Services Gateway-Stored volumes and Gateway-Cached volumes are designed to seamlessly integrate with Amazon S3, Amazon EBS, and Amazon EC2 by enabling you to store point-in-time snapshots of your on-premises application data in Amazon S3 as Amazon EBS snapshots for future recovery on-premises or in Amazon EC2. This integration allows you to easily mirror data from your on-premises applications to applications running on Amazon EC2 in disaster recovery (DR) and on-demand compute capacity cases. Gateway-VTL integrates with Amazon Glacier and allows you to cost effectively and durably store your archive and long-term backup data.
Optimized for Network Efficiency The AWS Storage Gateway efficiently uses your internet bandwidth to speed up the upload of your on-premises application data to AWS. The AWS Storage Gateway only uploads data that has changed, minimizing the amount of data sent over the internet. You can also use AWS Direct Connect to further increase throughput and reduce your network costs by establishing a dedicated network connection between your on-premises gateway and AWS.
The pricing below is based on data transferred “in” and “out” of AWS by the AWS Storage Gateway.
Rate tiers take into account your aggregate Data Transfer Out usage across AWS Storage Gateway, Amazon EC2, Amazon EBS, Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Amazon RDS, Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon SQS, Amazon SNS, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon VPC.
*This is a limited time promotional offer and applies only for the first 60 days after you activate your first virtual gateway appliance. There is a limit of one 60 day free usage period per AWS account. This offer applies solely to the virtual gateway appliance price. Storage pricing and data transfer pricing continue to apply.
**Your usage for the free tier is calculated each month across all regions and automatically applied to your bill – unused monthly usage will not roll over. Restrictions apply; See offer terms for more details.
The AWS Storage Gateway enables your existing on-premises backup applications to store primary backups on Amazon S3’s scalable, reliable, secure, and cost-effective storage service. You can create Gateway-Cached storage volumes and mount them as iSCSI devices to your on-premises backup application servers. All data is securely transferred to AWS over SSL and stored encrypted in Amazon S3 using AES 256-bit encryption. Using Gateway-Cached volumes provides an attractive alternative to the traditional choice of maintaining and scaling costly storage hardware on-premises.
For scenarios where you want to keep your primary data or backups on-premises, you can use Gateway-Stored volumes to keep this data locally, and backup this data off-site to Amazon S3. Gateway-Stored volumes provide an attractive alternative to dealing with the longer recovery times and operational burden of managing off-site tape storage for backups.
The AWS Storage Gateway, together with EC2, can mirror your entire production environment for disaster recovery (DR). Planning for business continuity in the event of a power outage, fire, flood, or other disaster can be challenging. It requires investments in redundant infrastructure and staff across multiple datacenters and costly storage replication solutions. AWS Storage Gateway and Amazon EC2 together provide a simple cloud-hosted DR solution. Using Amazon EC2, you can configure virtual machine images of your DR application servers and only pay for these servers when you need them. In the event your on-premises infrastructure goes down, you simply launch the Amazon EC2 compute instances you need and attach them to copies of your on-premises data. The AWS Storage Gateway addresses the challenges of replicating data for DR by enabling you to create Gateway-Cached volumes that store your data in Amazon S3. By storing your data using the AWS Storage Gateway, you will be prepared for DR if you lose your on-premises application or storage.
Managing on-premises storage for departmental file shares and home directories typically results in high capital and maintenance costs, under-utilized hardware, and restrictive user quotas. The AWS Storage Gateway addresses these on-premises scaling and maintenance issues by enabling you to seamlessly store your corporate file shares on Amazon S3, while keeping a copy of your frequently accessed files on-premises. This minimizes the need to scale your on-premises file storage infrastructure, while still providing low-latency access to your frequently accessed data. Using the AWS Storage Gateway, you can create Gateway-Cached storage volumes up to 32 TB in size and mount them as iSCSI devices from your on-premises file servers. You can then expose these volumes as Common Internet File System (CIFS) shares or Network File System (NFS) mount points to your client machines. The AWS Storage Gateway durably stores files written to these shares or mount points in Amazon S3, while maintaining a cache of recently written and recently read files locally on your on-premises storage hardware for low-latency access. Since you only pay for the storage you actually use, you can scale your storage on-demand and avoid the costs of under-utilized hardware.
If you want to leverage Amazon EC2’s on-demand compute capacity for additional capacity during peak periods, for new projects, or as a more cost-effective way to run your normal workloads, you can use the AWS Storage Gateway to mirror your volume data to Amazon EC2 instances. If you’re running development and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) environments in Amazon EC2 to take advantage of AWS’s on-demand compute capacity, you can use the AWS Storage Gateway to ensure these environments have ongoing access to the latest data from your production systems on-premises.
Using Gateway-VTL, you can store data requiring long term retention and infrequent access without changing your existing backup applications and tape-based processes. Although magnetic tape-based storage can be cost-effective when operated at scale, it can be a drain on resources as one (or more) tape libraries need to be maintained (often in geographically distinct locations) requiring specialized personnel, and taking up valuable space in data centers. In addition, the tapes themselves must be carefully stored and managed, which can include periodically copying data from old tapes onto new ones to ensure that your data can still be read as tape technology standards evolve.
Tape’s low cost potential also requires accurate capacity planning, a process that is usually error-prone, especially when storage growth is unpredictable, as it often is. Over provisioning capacity can result in under utilization and higher costs, while under provisioning can trigger expensive hardware upgrades far earlier than planned. Even when capacity planning is accurate, periodic hardware upgrades are still common as older tape libraries are less efficient and therefore costlier to operate. Archiving valuable data using a tape-based solution also requires costly, multi-site, redundant data centers and offsite vaulting to guarantee durability. This approach also requires manual handling of tape media which increases the risk of data loss.
By using Gateway-VTL, you can eliminate these challenges associated with owning and operating on-premises physical tape infrastructure by storing your archive and long-term backup data on a limitless collection of virtual tapes. Your virtual tapes can be stored in a Virtual Tape Library backed by Amazon S3 or a Virtual Tape Shelf backed by Amazon Glacier. The Virtual Tape Library provides your backup application with on-line access to the virtual tapes. When you no longer require immediate or frequent access to data contained on a virtual tape, you can use your backup application to move it from its Virtual Tape Library to your Virtual Tape Shelf in order to further reduce your storage costs.
Gateway-VTL allows you to eliminate the need for large upfront capital expense and expensive multi-year support commitments. With Gateway-VTL you pay only for the capacity you use and scale as your needs grow. With the Gateway-VTL solution you also don’t need to worry about transporting storage media to offsite facilities and manual handling of tape media. The Gateway-VTL solution reduces your costs and simplifies your data management process while improving the durability of your archive and long-term backup solution.
The AWS Storage Gateway’s virtual machine (VM) must be installed on a host with the following minimum requirements:
The AWS Storage Gateway currently supports mounting of its storage volumes using either the Microsoft Windows or Red Hat iSCSI Software Initiators.
Once you’ve completed the setup process, you’ll have installed the AWS Storage Gateway’s virtual appliance on a host in your datacenter, specified whether you want to use Gateway-Cached Volumes, Gateway Stored Volumes or Gateway-VTL, selected an AWS Region to store your data, and activated your gateway by associating its IP Address with your AWS Account. If you are using Gateway-Stored Volumes or Gateway-Cached Volumes, you can create storage volumes and mount these storage volumes to your on-premises application servers as iSCSI devices. If you are using Gateway-VTL, you can mount the virtual tape drives and virtual media changer to your backup server and allow your backup software to discover the Virtual Tape Library.
The following diagram provides an overview of the AWS Gateway-Cached Volumes and Gateway Stored-Volumes deployment:
Gateway-Cached volumes allow you to utilize Amazon S3 for your primary data, while retaining some portion of it locally in a cache for frequently accessed data. As your applications write data to and read data from a Gateway-Cached volume, this data is initially stored on-premises on Direct Attached Storage (DAS), Network Attached Storage (NAS), or Storage Area Network (SAN) storage. This local storage is used for two purposes. First, this local storage is used to prepare and buffer data for upload to your storage volume in Amazon S3. Second, this local storage is used to cache your application’s recently written and recently read data on-premises for low-latency access. When your application reads data from your Gateway-Cached volume, your on-premises gateway first checks its local cache for this data before checking Amazon S3.
Gateway-Stored volumes store your primary data locally, while asynchronously backing up that data to AWS. Your Gateway-Stored volumes are mapped to on-premises DAS, NAS, or SAN storage. You can start with either new storage or storage already holding data. As your on-premises applications write data to and read data from your storage volume, this data is retrieved locally from or stored locally on the on-premises DAS, NAS, or SAN storage you mapped to your storage volume. Your on-premises gateway also temporarily stores this data on local DAS, NAS, or SAN storage to prepare and buffer it for upload to Amazon S3, where it is stored in the form of Amazon EBS snapshots.
Whether you’re using Gateway-Cached or Gateway-Stored volumes, you can take point-in-time, incremental snapshots of your Storage Gateway volume and store them in Amazon S3 in the form of Amazon EBS snapshots. For Gateway-Stored volumes, where your volume data is stored on-premises, snapshots provide durable, off-site backups in Amazon S3. In the event you need to recover a backup, you can create a new Gateway-Stored volume from a snapshot stored in Amazon S3. Because Gateway-Stored volumes store your primary data locally, when creating a new volume from a snapshot, your on-premises gateway downloads the data contained within the snapshot to your local hardware, where it becomes the primary data for your new volume. You can also use a snapshot as the starting point for a new Amazon EBS volume which you can then attach to an Amazon EC2 instance.
For Gateway-Cached volumes, where your volume data is already stored in Amazon S3, snapshots can be used to preserve versions of your data. You can create a new Gateway-Cached volume from a snapshot stored in Amazon S3 in the event you need to recover a prior version. Because Gateway-Cached volumes store your primary data in Amazon S3, when creating a new volume from a snapshot, your on-premises gateway keeps the snapshot data in Amazon S3 where it becomes the primary data for your new volume.
Snapshots can be initiated on a scheduled or ad-hoc basis. When taking a new snapshot, only the data that has changed since your last snapshot is stored. If you have a volume with 100 GB of data, but only 5 GB of data have changed since your last snapshot, only the 5 additional GB of snapshot data will be stored in Amazon S3. When you delete a snapshot, only the data not needed for any other snapshot is removed.
The following diagram provides an overview of the Gateway-VTL deployment:
Gateway-VTL presents your existing backup application with an industry-standard iSCSI-based Virtual Tape Library (VTL) consisting of a virtual media changer and virtual tape drives. Virtual tapes are created in your Virtual Tape Library using the AWS Management Console and each Virtual Tape Library can hold up to 1,500 virtual tapes with a maximum aggregate capacity of 150 TB. Once created, virtual tapes are discovered by your backup application using its standard media inventory procedure, are available for immediate access and are backed by Amazon S3. Your backup application can read data from or write data to virtual tapes by mounting them to virtual tape drives using the virtual media changer. When you no longer require immediate or frequent access to data contained on a virtual tape, you can use your backup application to move it from its Virtual Tape Library to your Virtual Tape Shelf (VTS) that is backed by Amazon Glacier, further reducing your storage costs. Virtual tapes that need to be accessed frequently should be stored in a Virtual Tape Library and data that does not need to be retrieved frequently can be archived to your Virtual Tape Shelf. Access to virtual tapes in your Virtual Tape Library is immediate while virtual tapes in your Virtual Tape Shelf have to be retrieved and loaded into a Virtual Tape Library before being accessed. Retrieving virtual tapes from your Virtual Tape Shelf can be performed using the AWS Management Console and takes about 24 hours to be available in your Virtual Tape Library.
Watch this video to learn how you can get started today using the AWS Gateway-Cached Volumes configuration.