Amazon Web Services (AWS) is making a new play for the enterprise market with AWS Storage Gateway, an offering that replicates customer data to the cloud, from where it can also be used to deliver a failover system for disaster recovery purposes.
Available now, AWS Storage Gateway combines an on-premise software appliance with Amazon's cloud-based Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to offer a scalable, reliable and cost-effective storage platform that operates seamlessly with existing applications, the firm said.
Using the AWS Storage Gateway, organisations can create point-in-time snapshots of on-premise application data on Amazon S3, which can then be used to restore the on-premise tier in the event of a failure.
Furthermore, customers then have the option to hook these snapshots up to virtual machine instances running on Amazon's EC2 cloud compute platform, creating replacement capacity in the event of a disaster that knocks out their on-premise infrastructure.
Alternatively, once the service is up and running, organisations may wish to use AWS infrastructure to provide additional capacity during periods of high demand, or as a more cost-effective way to operate everyday workloads.
"With the AWS Storage Gateway, we're providing businesses yet another way to take advantage of AWS's secure and scalable cloud storage for use with their on-premises applications," said AWS Storage Services general manager Alyssa Henry.
To operate the service, IT departments need to deploy an AWS Storage Gateway virtual machine image to their on-premise infrastructure, and allocate this with some local storage capacity using either SAN or direct attached storage (DAS).
The AWS Storage Gateway then serves as an iSCSI target for applications on the local network, providing an on-premise data storage pool while synchronously uploading the same data to the customer's account on AWS, where it is encrypted and securely stored in the cloud on Amazon S3 using Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes.
However, the AWS Storage Gateway virtual appliance needs to run on VMware infrastructure (ESXi v4.1 or above) and requires four virtual CPUs to be allocated to it.
Storage volumes managed by the virtual appliance can be mounted using either Microsoft or Red Hat iSCSI initiators.
Licensing for the AWS Storage Gateway service is $125 (£80) per month for each installed gateway appliance, with a 60 day free trial available. Storage for snapshots starts at $0.14 (8p) per GB per month.
Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.