Volume Gateway

Hybrid cloud block storage with local caching

Volume Gateway presents cloud-backed iSCSI block storage volumes to your on-premises applications. Volume Gateway stores and manages on-premises data in Amazon S3 on your behalf and operates in either cache mode or stored mode. In the cached Volume Gateway mode, your primary data is stored in Amazon S3, while retaining your frequently accessed data locally in the cache for low latency access. In the stored Volume Gateway mode, your primary data is stored locally and your entire dataset is available for low latency access on premises while also asynchronously getting backed up to Amazon S3. In either mode, you can take point-in-time copies of your volumes using AWS Backup, which are stored in AWS as Amazon EBS snapshots. Using Amazon EBS Snapshots enables you to make space-efficient versioned copies of your volumes for data protection, recovery, migration, and various other copy data needs.

Volume Gateway Overview (8:20)

How it works

How Volume Gateway works


Integrates seamlessly with on-premises applications

Volume Gateway offers cloud-backed storage to your on-premises applications using industry standard iSCSI connectivity. You don't need to rewrite your on-premises applications to use cloud storage. You can deploy Volume Gateway as a virtual machine or on the Storage Gateway Hardware Appliance at your premises.

Provides low latency access to cloud-backed storage

Volume Gateway maintains on premises either a cache of recently accessed data, or a full volume copy, so your applications get the benefit of fast access to data. Concurrently, all of your volume data is compressed and stored durably and cost-effectively in AWS, with petabyte scalability.

Offers flexible data protection and recovery

With Amazon EBS snapshots, Storage Gateway volume clones, and AWS Backup, you have several options to restore the application data stored in your volumes - back to the existing Volume Gateway onsite, to EBS for recovery of your application into EC2, or even to a new Volume Gateway running at another on-premises location.

Use cases

Hybrid cloud file services

Many customers use Volume Gateway in conjunction with Windows and Linux file servers on premises to provide scalable storage for on-premises file applications with cloud recovery options. With a cached volume architecture, you get the benefit of scalable cloud storage and data protection for growing file stores that demand low latency local access for frequently used data. 

Backup and disaster recovery

Customers often choose Volume Gateway for backup of local applications, and for disaster recovery based on EBS snapshots, or cached volume clones. Volume Gateway integration with AWS Backup enables you to use the AWS Backup service to protect on-premises applications. Using AWS Backup with Volume Gateway helps you centralize backup management, and meet compliance requirements with customizable scheduled backup policies, including retention and expiration rules.

Migration of application data

With EBS snapshots of Storage Gateway volumes, you can easily migrate on-premises data to EBS, to use with Amazon EC2-based applications. An initial snapshot captures the full volume, which can be used for migration testing. Then, incremental snaps can be used to migrate changed blocks, and you can complete the final copy when you are ready to pause the application on premises and cut over.


TransferWise is a global financial technology company working to develop better ways to move money around the world. TransferWise began its cloud migration by using a hybrid cloud storage architecture to move its data backup environment to AWS. They quickly realized that using Volume Gateway and Amazon EBS snapshots was an effective way to get their data robustly into AWS. Volume Gateway provided a simple way of doing the migration that worked with their database team’s existing processes and knowledge.
King is a leading interactive entertainment company whose franchises include the famed Candy Crush mobile game. With cached volumes, King has their most used files local, and all of their files are stored safely in AWS. King uses Storage Gateway whenever they need a quick way to have big storage available.
STEMCELL has been an AWS customer for many years, including using AWS Storage Gateway since 2014, and has migrated 85% of their IT operations to the cloud. STEMCELL wanted to stop buying big disk silos, especially as they opened up new global offices, and can now recover in the cloud from a snapshot by using Volume Gateway.
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