AWS Storage Services Blog

Demystifying AWS Storage Gateway: Bridging On-Premises and Cloud Storage

Businesses around the world are increasingly adopting hybrid cloud strategies to leverage the benefits of both on-premises infrastructure and cloud services. One of the critical challenges in this endeavor is bridging the gap between on-premises storage systems and the cloud. 

AWS Storage Gateway, a powerful service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), is designed to address this very challenge. 

Let us explore the unique features of AWS Storage Gateway and how it seamlessly integrates on-premises and cloud storage, unlocking new possibilities for businesses.

Understanding AWS Storage Gateway

AWS Storage Gateway is a cutting-edge hybrid cloud storage service that seamlessly connects on-premises environments with AWS cloud storage. Serving as a vital bridge between your existing applications and the highly scalable, durable, and cost-effective cloud storage solutions provided by AWS, Storage Gateway empowers you to extend your on-premises storage into the cloud. This enables the creation of a dynamic hybrid architecture that harmoniously combines the strengths of both environments.

Storage Gateway Architectures

AWS Storage Gateway supports three different architectural configurations, each catering to specific use cases:

  • File Gateway (NFS and SMB): The File Gateway offers a convenient file interface for accessing objects stored in Amazon S3. It functions as a Network File System (NFS) mount or a Server Message Block (SMB) share, allowing applications to seamlessly access cloud storage through familiar file-based protocols. This configuration proves particularly advantageous in scenarios such as content distribution, data backup, and disaster recovery.
  • Volume Gateway (iSCSI): The Volume Gateway allows you to effortlessly create iSCSI block volumes that can be easily mounted as devices by your on-premises servers. These volumes can be supported by either Amazon S3 as snapshots, known as Stored Volumes, or by live data in Amazon S3 and Amazon EBS, known as Cached Volumes. The Volume Gateway is specifically designed for various scenarios, including storage tiering, data migration, and cloud-based backups. With the Volume Gateway, you can seamlessly manage your storage needs, ensuring efficient storage tiering to optimize performance and cost. It provides a reliable solution for securely migrating your data to the cloud, eliminating the complexities associated with traditional data migration methods.
  • Tape Gateway (VTL): The Tape Gateway serves as a virtual tape library (VTL) in the cloud, enabling the substitution of physical tape-based backups with virtual tapes stored in Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier. It seamlessly integrates with backup software supporting the iSCSI protocol, offering a cost-effective, scalable, and reliable backup solution.

How AWS Storage Gateway Works?

The working of AWS Storage Gateway can be summarized in the following steps:

  • Deployment: To begin utilizing AWS Storage Gateway, it is necessary to deploy a virtual appliance within your on-premises environment. This virtual appliance serves as the crucial link connecting your applications to cloud storage.
  • Configuration: After deploying the virtual appliance, you can easily configure the gateway through the AWS Management Console or API. This process involves specifying the desired gateway type (File, Volume, or Tape), defining local storage settings, and establishing a secure connection to your AWS account.
  • Data Transfer: With the gateway in place and configured, your applications can now read and write data to the on-premises gateway. Depending on the gateway type, the data is stored either in Amazon S3 or in a combination of Amazon S3 and Amazon EBS or Amazon Glacier.
  • Cloud Integration: The data stored in Amazon Web Services (AWS) can serve multiple purposes, including data backup, archival, data processing, and analytics. AWS offers a range of services, such as Amazon S3, Amazon EBS, and Amazon Glacier, which form the foundation for fulfilling these storage requirements.
  • Data Management: AWS Storage Gateway simplifies data management by automatically handling tasks such as backup, data compression, encryption, and data tiering, all based on the storage class. This enables you to direct your attention towards your core business operations, free from concerns about storage complexities. With AWS Storage Gateway, you can effortlessly manage your data, ensuring its security and efficiency, while dedicating your valuable time and resources to driving your business forward.

Benefits of AWS Storage Gateway

  • Seamless Integration: The AWS Storage Gateway offers a seamless integration between on-premises applications and cloud storage, facilitating a hassle-free transition to the cloud and enabling the adoption of hybrid storage solutions. This powerful tool ensures a smooth migration process while maintaining the utmost professionalism and efficiency.
  • Cost-Effective Storage: By leveraging the scalable and cost-effective AWS cloud storage services, businesses can enhance their storage cost optimization efforts while ensuring optimal performance and durability.
  • Scalability and Elasticity: AWS cloud storage provides virtually unlimited scalability, guaranteeing that your storage infrastructure can expand in tandem with your business requirements. This feature empowers you to effortlessly accommodate the growing demands of your organization.
  • Data Protection and Durability: By leveraging AWS’s robust data redundancy and durability features, your valuable data is shielded from potential hardware failures, guaranteeing its utmost protection. Moreover, AWS empowers you to effortlessly adhere to data retention requirements, ensuring seamless compliance with essential standards.
  • Simplified Management: AWS Storage Gateway automates several storage management tasks, reducing operational overhead and making it easier for IT teams to manage their storage infrastructure.


AWS Storage Gateway is a powerful tool that enables businesses to embrace hybrid cloud storage models without sacrificing performance, security, or scalability. AWS Storage Gateway is a robust solution that effectively bridges the divide between on-premises and cloud storage. This innovative technology paves the way for exciting new opportunities in data backup, disaster recovery, archival, and data processing. As an increasing number of organizations embrace cloud strategies, the remarkable flexibility and cost-effectiveness of AWS Storage Gateway position it as an irresistible choice for fulfilling modern data storage requirements.

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