AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam Prep – Amazon Storage Gateway

Chapter 1 – AWS Overview
Chapter 2 – IAM
Chapter 3 – S3
Chapter 4 – S3 Versioning
Chapter 5 – S3 Cross Region Replication
Chapter 6 – S3 Life-Cycle Management
Chapter 7 – Amazon Cloud Front


Chapter 8 of this blog post series will be all about Amazon Storage Gateway, a service that connects to an on-premises software appliance with cloud-based storage to provide seamless and secure integration between an organizations on-premises IT environment and AWS’s storage infrastructure. This service enables you to securely store data to the AWS cloud for scalable and cost-effective storage.

Amazon Storage Gateway

AWS Storage Gateway’s software appliance is available for download as a virtual machine (VM) image that you install on a host in your datacenter. Storage Gateway supports vSphere ESXi and Hyper-V. Once you have installed your gateway and associated it with your AWS account through the activation process, you can use the AWS Management Console to create the storage gateway option that’s right for you.

There are four types of Storage Gateways:
  • File Gateway (NFS)
    • Flat files that are stored in Amazon S3
    • PDF, Word Documents, Pictures and / or Video files
  • Volumes Gateway (iSCSI)
    • Block Based
    • OS
    • VMDK, VHD(x)
    • SQL Virtual Hard Disk
  • Stored Volumes
  • Cached Volumes
  • Tape Gateway (VTL)
    • Use Virtual Tapes
    • Life cycle Manager to send off to Glacier

File Gateway files are stored as objects in your S3 buckets, accessed through a Network File System (NFS) mount point. Ownership, permissions and time stamps are durably stored in S2 in the user-metadata of the object associated with the file. Once objects are transferred to S3, they can be managed as native S3 objects, and bucket policies such as versioning, life cycle management and cross-region replication apply directly to objects stored in your bucket.

Volume Gateway The volume interface presents your applications with disk volumes using the iSCSI block protocol. This of this as a virtual hard disk.

  • Data written to these volumes can be asynchronously backed up as point-in-time snapshots of your volumes, and stored in the cloud as Amazon EBS (Elastic Block Store) snapshots. EBS are attached to EC2 instances
  • Snapshots are incremental backups that capture only changed blocks. All snapshot storage is also compressed to minimize your storage charges.

Volume Gateway – Stored Volumes

  • Let you store your primary data locally, while asynchronously backing up that data to AWS. Stored volumes provide your on-premises applications with low-latency access to their entire datasets, while providing durable, off-site backups. You can create storage volumes and mount them as iSCSI devices from your on-premises application servers. Data written to your stored volumes is stored on your on-premises storage hardware. This data is asynchronously backed up to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) in the form of Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) snapshots. 1GB – 16TB in size for Stored Volumes.
  • 100% you keep a complete copy of your files etc. on-premises – backed up incrementally to S3

Volume Gateway – Cached Volumes

  • Cached volumes let you use Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) as your primary data storage while retaining frequently accessed data locally in your storage gateway. Cached volumes minimize the need to scale your on-premises storage infrastructure, while still providing your applications with low-latency access to their frequently accessed data. You can create storage volumes up to 32TiB in size and attache them as iSCSI devices from your on-premises application servers. Your gateway stores data that you write to these volumes in S3 and retains recently read data in your on-premises storage gateway’s cache and uplocad buffer storage. 1GB – 32TB in size for Cached Volumes

Tape Gateway

  • Offers a durable, cost-effective solution to archive your data in the AWS Cloud. The VTL interface it provides lets you leverage your existing tape-based backup application infrastructure to store data on virtual tape cartridges that you create on your tape gateway. Each tape gateway is pre-configured with a media changer and tape drives, which are available to your existing client backup applications as iSCSI devices. You add tape cartridges as you need to archive your data. Supported by NetBackup, Backup exec, Veeam etc.

Exam Tips

  • File Gateway – Flat files, stored directly on S3
  • Volume Gateway – Block iSCSI
    • Stored Volume – Entire data set onsite and backed up to the cloud
    • Cached Volumes – Entire data set in S3 and the most frequently accessed data is cached on site
  • Gateway VTL
    • Used for backup purposes.


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