Creating a Storage Gateway for AWS, Part 2: How To Set Up a File Gateway

Brien Posey already showed you how to create Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) endpoints that can be used by your storage gateway to provide on-premises workloads with access to your Amazon Web Services storage resources. In this second part of the series he'll show you how to set up the storage gateway.

In the first part of this series, I showed you how to create Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) endpoints that can be used by your storage gateway to provide on-premises workloads with access to your Amazon Web Services (AWS) storage resources. In Part 2, I want to continue the discussion by showing you how to set up the storage gateway.

To get started, select the AWS Storage Gateway option from the list of available services (it's listed in the Storage section). When you arrive at the AWS Storage Gateway page, click the Get Started button. This will take you to an interface that walks you through the gateway creation process.

The first screen that's displayed asks you what type of gateway you want to create. As you probably know, the Amazon cloud supports several different types of storage, which can't usually be used interchangeably. There are different requirements for example, for connecting to Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) storage than for connecting to an Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) storage bucket. This is why you have to tell AWS which type of storage you want to connect to.

You can opt to create a file gateway if you want to connect to S3-based object storage, or a volume gateway if you want to use S3 for block storage. You would normally only choose this option if you're planning on using EBS snapshots. The third option is to create a tape gateway, which allows you to connect to the S3 Glacier service. For the purposes of this blog post, I'll be walking you through the creation of a file gateway (see Figure 1).

[Click on image for larger view.] Figure 1. You must specify the type of gateway that you want to create.

Once you've made your selection, click Next and you'll be taken to a screen that prompts you to select your host platform, as shown in Figure 2. As I mentioned earlier, the storage gateway depends on both a cloud service and an on premises appliance. As such, you will need to tell Amazon how you plan to host the on premises appliance. The preferred options are to use either VMware ESXi or Microsoft Hyper-V (be sure to pay attention to the Hyper-V version when making your choice). You can however, opt to use Amazon EC2 (which is convenient for testing in a lab environment) or a hardware appliance.

[Click on image for larger view.] Figure 2. You'll need to choose your hosting platform.

The next step in the process will vary depending on which hosting platform you've selected. Assuming that you opted to use VMware or Hyper-V, you'll need to download an image file. The image file is used in the creation of the virtual appliance. I'll talk about the virtual appliance creation process later on. For right now, go ahead and click the Next button. This will take you to the Service Endpoint screen.

The Service Endpoint screen asks if you want to use a public endpoint or a VPC endpoint. As you may recall, we created a pair of VPC endpoints in the previous blog post. Therefore, select the VPC option and then provide the storage gateway VPC name in the space provided. You can see what this looks like in Figure 3.

[Click on image for larger view.] Figure 3. Enter your storage gateway VPC's ID in the space provided.

Click Next, and you'll be taken to a screen asking for the virtual appliance's IP address. The virtual appliance's IP address doesn't need to be accessible from the outside world, but you'll need to give the virtual appliance a static IP address. Even though I haven't yet shown you how to deploy the virtual appliance, go ahead and enter the IP address that you plan to use, but don't click the Connect to Gateway button until your gateway appliance is online and ready to use.

In Part 3, I'll conclude this series by showing you how to create the gateway VM. I'll also show you the steps required to connect to and then activate the storage gateway. Keep in mind, however, that the exact steps will vary depending on whether you're hosting the gateway appliance on VMware ESXi or Hyper-V.

About the Author

Brien Posey is a 16-time Microsoft MVP with decades of IT experience. As a freelance writer, Posey has written thousands of articles and contributed to several dozen books on a wide variety of IT topics. Prior to going freelance, Posey was a CIO for a national chain of hospitals and health care facilities. He has also served as a network administrator for some of the country's largest insurance companies and for the Department of Defense at Fort Knox. In addition to his continued work in IT, Posey has spent the last several years actively training as a commercial scientist-astronaut candidate in preparation to fly on a mission to study polar mesospheric clouds from space. You can follow his spaceflight training on his Web site.

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