AWS Storage

What is AWS Storage

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a service called AWS Storage Gateway. This is a hybrid storage service the enables your on-premise applications to use AWS cloud solutions seamlessly. You are able to use the service as backup, archiving, disaster recovery, cloud data processing, storage tiering and migration to name a few options.

Your business applications via integration will connect to this service through a virtual machine or hardware gateway appliance. Standard storage protocols used are NFS, SMB, iSCSI. This gateway connects to AWS storage services such as Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier and Amazon EBS. These services provide storage for files, volumes, and virtual tapes in AWS. Because of its large-scale use, the service includes data transfer optimization, bandwidth management, automated network resilience and local cache for low-latency on-premise access to your most active data.

What is the Benefit

Integration

Your data can be used as a hybrid solution, both on-premises and stored in the AWS cloud service. Once your data is migrated to AWS, you can apply the suite of AWS tools to compute, apply machine learning and big data analysis. You will be able to leverage the full AWS portfolio of security and management services:

  • AWS KMS
  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • SNS workflows
  • Amazon Cloudwatch
  • AWS Cloudtrail

Simple

AWS storage gateway is disruption free. Simply download and install the virtual machine or deploy the dedicated hardware appliance. The advantage of this setup is that the advanced networking a protocol support is included, meaning no clients to install and no network settings to tune (including firewall settings). Additionally, the virtual appliance also runs both an on-premise and AmazonEC2 to serve the cloud applications.

Performance

Low-latency disk and network performance for your most active data is optimized as AWS Gateway caches data on the local VM or hardware gateway appliance. This creates a seamless experience for your users and applications as they will continue to operate using a local storage model while optimized data transfers occur in the background as you take advantage of the cloud back-end.

Durability, Security and Scalability

AWS Storage Gateway benefits from Amazons embedded durability and security of its AWS cloud storage services. All data is encrypted in transit and at rest in AWS. Management tools such as versioning, cross-region replication and life-cycle policies lower the cost of archiving long-term, audit and compliance requirements and safeguarding all data (not just the parts kept on-premises). Additionally, cloud storage is delivered and billed according to what is consumed. Flexibility to demand cycles means you will only be charged for what extra was used only with billing returning to nominal levels post demand. There are no charges for any extra hardware provisions in your storage capacity usage.

Examples of Use Cases

Hybrid Cloud

Complex architectures such as big data analytics, machine learning or cloud data migration workloads are handled easily with on-premises applications or data sources connected to a central cloud object storage repository (Amazon S3). This File Gateway assists in managing hybrid file and object workloads.

DR on AWS

Regarding Disaster Recovery, using a Volume Gateway configuration, snapshots are taken of local volumes and stored in Amazon EBS. These snapshots can be the starting point for the Amazon EBS volume, which can then be attached to an Amazon EC2 instance. If the local site has a disaster, simply setup your applications in a different datacenter or in the cloud and restore your snapshot to keep running.

Backing up and Restoring

A cloud based virtual tape library (VTL) is used in this Tape Gateway configuration. This serves as a drop-in replacement for tape backup systems which easily integrates with leading industry backup software tools.

Files and volumes Tiered Storage

Time, capital and expense are the major challenges when expanding your on-premises NAS and San storage arrays. When AWS Storage Gateway is configured as a File Gateway service or a Volume service, you have a flexible buffer for application file data or block volume storage that can grow as needed, extending the life of your investments and make managing capacity fluctuations easier.

Summary

AWS Storage Gateway is a critical component of cloud computing. Big data, data warehouses, Internet of Things (IoT), databases, and backup/archive applications all relay on some sort of cloud data storage infrastructure.

Cloud storage is simply more reliable, scalable, and secure than traditional on-premises stand-alone storage systems.