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Five Benefits of a Storage Gateway in the Cloud

Cloud storage gateways are not just for on-premise deployment

Admittedly, I’ve spent a great deal of time extolling the virtues of cloud storage and the reasons why a cloud storage gateway is the easiest way to add cloud storage into existing on-premise storage environments. But if you thought cloud storage gateways were only for on-premise environments, perhaps you may not realize that there are reasons to use gateways in the cloud as well.

The benefits of using cloud storage gateways to add cloud storage on-premise are numerous, including:

  • Plug-and-play access to cloud storage for existing applications. With supported connectivity such as iSCSI, nearly any application that operates with local storage can operate with cloud storage
  • Faster data access times through caching and greater than 10x faster transfers to the cloud versus raw object interfaces
  • At-rest and in-flight encryption with local key management that encrypts all data in the cloud and stores keys only with the end user
  • Data reduction through compression and deduplication, reducing storage and bandwidth costs

But are there also benefits to using a storage gateway in the cloud? If your needs include disaster recovery or your applications and storage infrastructure are already deployed in the cloud, there are indeed many. Below are five compelling benefits of using gateways in the cloud:

  1. Disaster recovery for on-premise applications. The days of secondary data centers and dedicated hardware requirements for disaster recovery solution are numbered. Consider a more cost-effective approach of recovering business applications in the cloud. Ability to spin up a storage gateway in the cloud means your data is always there when you fail over applications to the cloud.
  2. Multi-region data replication for cloud applications. For servers and applications already in the cloud, locally attached storage typically does not have multi-site or multi-region replication, opening the risk of a region failure causing downtime or even data loss. Perhaps you’ve read about recent regional cloud outages caused by power failures or by a combination of storms and software glitches. Gateways enable cloud storage with built in geo-replication for cloud servers and applications, making your data immune to regional outages.
  3. Access nearly unlimited storage capacity. Often there is a need for very large file storage or data volumes beyond what can be typically attached to a virtual server. Cloud gateways offer nearly unlimited storage on-demand to any server and any size server. This means you can grow or shrink capacity on demand, without upgrading or downgrading your cloud server instances.
  4. Off-cloud replication. Replication from local block to cloud storage or replication to an external secondary cloud provides disaster strategy for in-cloud infrastructure. As I pointed out in a recent post, cloud outages occur and leveraging multiple clouds is an ideal way to protect your investment and guard your data.
  5. Centralized management of cloud storage infrastructure. There are good reasons why storage area networks (SANs) have become ubiquitous in on-premise environments — they consolidate and simplify storage management across servers. Why turn back the clock to a direct-attached storage model in the cloud? A cloud storage gateway can consolidate storage management across multiple servers into a SAN in the cloud.

Ready to consider a gateway in the cloud? If so, make sure to select one that offers both hardware and software form factors and has support for popular cloud environments. Then enjoy the benefits first hand.

More Stories By Nicos Vekiarides

Nicos Vekiarides is the Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of TwinStrata. He has spent over 20 years in enterprise data storage, both as a business manager and as an entrepreneur and founder in startup companies.

Prior to TwinStrata, he served as VP of Product Strategy and Technology at Incipient, Inc., where he helped deliver the industry's first storage virtualization solution embedded in a switch. Prior to Incipient, he was General Manager of the storage virtualization business at Hewlett-Packard. Vekiarides came to HP with the acquisition of StorageApps where he was the founding VP of Engineering. At StorageApps, he built a team that brought to market the industry's first storage virtualization appliance. Prior to StorageApps, he spent a number of years in the data storage industry working at Sun Microsystems and Encore Computer. At Encore, he architected and delivered Encore Computer's SP data replication products that were a key factor in the acquisition of Encore's storage division by Sun Microsystems.

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