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Amazon Web Services, which last week moved its new AWS Storage Gateway into production, quietly added a new local caching feature for primary storage that could upset vendors that already tie local storage to the AWS cloud.
Unlike the original AWS Storage Gateway, which was announced in January as a service to seamlessly back local data to cloud-based storage for seamless backups, the new gateway-cached volumes feature stores frequently-accessed primary data locally with the bulk stored on the cloud for low-cost and scalability.
The AWS Storage Gateway provides scalable and cost-effective cloud-based storage capacity with encryption for security while supporting industry-standard storage protocols compatible with customers' existing applications.
As the technology last week went into production, it included a new gateway-cached storage volume feature which brings AWS into play as an alternative to local storage arrays for storing customers' primary data.
Amazon's AWS Gateway Storage team, in an on-line blog posting, wrote that the gateway-cached volumes let customers store primary data in Amazon S3 via the standard iSCSI interface, minimizing the need to expand their local storage hardware infrastructure to handle future data growth.
Users can mount the gateway-cached volume as an iSCSI device to an on-premises file server. As an example, the team said that a 10-TB copy of the company's primary data can be sent to the volume where the AWS Storage Gateway will upload and store it in Amazon S3.
In that same example, the users could also provision 2 TB of on-premises storage capacity that can be used as a local cache to store the most frequently-accessed data of that 10 TB of primary data.
That 2 TB of on-premises cache would then provide high-speed access to the primary data while keeping the bulk of that data on the cloud, thereby cutting back on the amount of storage capacity customers need to directly manage, the AWS Gateway Storage team said.
Tying local storage to public cloud storage has become a major goal of a number of vendors, particularly startups, which see this as a way to compete against larger, more established storage vendors such as EMC or NetApp, which sell arrays designed to keep all of a business' data stored locally.