AWS Hybrid Cloud: Bridging On-Premises and the Cloud with Storage Gateway

In the ever-evolving landscape of cloud computing, AWS is pushing for hybrid cloud solutions. But what exactly does that mean? Hybrid cloud entails maintaining part of your infrastructure in the AWS cloud and keeping another portion on-premises. There are numerous reasons for adopting a hybrid approach, including gradual cloud migration, security and compliance requirements, or a strategy focused on leveraging the cloud for elastic workloads while retaining on-premises resources. In this article, we’ll explore AWS’s hybrid cloud solution, particularly the role of AWS Storage Gateway in bridging the gap between on-premises and cloud-based data storage.

Understanding AWS Storage Gateway

AWS Storage Gateway is the linchpin of hybrid cloud architecture, acting as a bridge between your on-premises data and cloud-based data storage. This seemingly simple concept serves various use cases and can provide essential functionalities for your hybrid cloud setup. The primary use cases for AWS Storage Gateway include disaster recovery, backup and restore, cloud migration, and extending storage from on-premises to the cloud.

Now, let’s delve into the specifics of AWS Storage Gateway and the different types available:

1. S3 File Gateway

The S3 File Gateway is designed to facilitate access to Amazon S3, AWS’s proprietary storage technology, from on-premises application servers. It does so by offering standard network file system (NFS) or Server Message Block (SMB) protocols, enabling on-premises applications to interact with S3 objects. Behind the scenes, the S3 File Gateway translates these protocol requests into HTTPS requests for your Amazon S3 buckets, making it appear as if you’re accessing a regular file share. Additionally, the gateway caches the most recently used data for rapid access.

2. FSx File Gateway

The FSx File Gateway provides native access to Amazon FSx for Windows File Server from SMB clients on your corporate data center. While Amazon FSx for Windows File Server is already accessible from on-premises systems, the FSx File Gateway offers a valuable feature—a local cache for frequently accessed data. This cache ensures low-latency access to essential files, enhancing the user experience for on-premises clients.

3. Volume Gateway

The Volume Gateway delivers block storage capabilities using the iSCSI protocol, backed by Amazon S3. It offers two modes: Cached volumes and Stored volumes. Cached volumes keep the most recently used data locally for low-latency access, while Stored volumes maintain the entire data set on-premises with scheduled backups to Amazon S3. This gateway is particularly useful for backing up on-premises servers and applications, ensuring data resilience.

4. Tape Gateway

The Tape Gateway is ideal for companies with tape backup systems that rely on physical tapes. This gateway connects your existing tape-based backup server to the cloud, specifically Amazon S3 and Glacier. By doing so, it creates a virtual tape library (VTL) backed by cloud storage. Data backed up using tape-based processes and the iSCSI interface can be archived in Amazon S3 and Glacier, offering a more cost-effective and scalable solution than traditional physical tapes.

Storage Gateway Hardware Appliance

For organizations lacking virtualization capabilities on-premises, AWS offers the Storage Gateway Hardware Appliance. This physical appliance can be ordered from and is designed to run within your corporate data center. It provides the necessary CPU, memory, network, and SSD cache resources to function correctly as a File Gateway, Volume Gateway, or Tape Gateway.


AWS Storage Gateway is the linchpin for bridging on-premises and cloud-based data storage in a hybrid cloud setup. It supports various use cases, including disaster recovery, backup and restore, cloud migration, and extending storage. The gateway types—S3 File Gateway, FSx File Gateway, Volume Gateway, and Tape Gateway—serve distinct purposes, allowing organizations to tailor their hybrid cloud solutions to their specific needs.

In conclusion, AWS Storage Gateway plays a pivotal role in enabling hybrid cloud architectures, ensuring seamless access to cloud resources from on-premises environments. As organizations continue to adopt hybrid cloud strategies, understanding and effectively implementing these gateway solutions become essential for leveraging the full potential of cloud computing while retaining control over on-premises infrastructure

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