Amazon upgrades Storage Gateway and moves it out of beta phase

Amazon Web Services has upgraded its Storage Gateway so it can cache data locally, and has also made it generally available.

The Storage Gateway is a software appliance that integrates local and cloud storage and can be used for file sharing, backup and disaster recovery.

When the beta was announced in January, the primary storage was on-premises and the cloud storage was used for backup.

That setup is still available, but Amazon has now also added what it calls Gateway-Cached volumes. In this case, recently accessed data is cached on-premises for low-latency local access. But the full volumes are stored in Amazon's cloud using its Simple Storage Service (S3), and remain visible on the enterprise's network via an iSCSI interface.

Backup application data and email archives are often a good fit for the cached volumes, according to Amazon. They allow enterprises to store more without having to scale the on-premises infrastructure, it said yesterday.

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The volumes are created and managed through the Management Console, and monitored using CloudWatch. For example, CacheHitPercent ensures the local storage capacity is large enough to store recently accessed data.

The Storage Gateway is only compatible with VMware's hypervisors.

To keep the data secure, it is encrypted in-transit to and from Amazon's cloud using SSL. Volume and snapshot data is also encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard with 256-bit encryption keys.

For enterprises that want to try it out, the AWS Storage Gateway is available for free during a 60-day trial period. After that, there is a charge of $125 per month for each activated gateway.

Pricing for Gateway-Cached storage starts at $0.125 per gigabyte per month.