AWS Launches New Type of AWS Storage Gateway: Amazon FSx File Gateway

Recently, AWS launched Amazon FSx File Gateway like a new kind of AWS Storage Gateway, providing customers with a way to access data stored in the cloud with Amazon FSx for Windows File Server, instead of using and managing on-premises file servers. Amazon FSx File Gateway optimizes on-premises access to file shares by maintaining a local cache of frequently accessed data.

AWS Storage Gateway, the public cloud provider, offers customers a hybrid cloud storage service with almost unlimited storage capacity at a lower cost. For example, they can leverage the gateway to move backups to the cloud, use on-premises file shares backed by cloud storage, and provide low-latency access to data in AWS for on-premises applications. For such use cases, AWS offers four different types of gateways, including the new Amazon FSx gateway alongside the Amazon S3 File Gateway, Band Gateway, and Volume gateway.

According to AWS News Blog on the Amazon FSx Gateway, the gateway is an ideal solution to consider when customers want to replace their on-premises file servers. Author Steve Roberts, Developer Advocate at AWS, wrote:

Amazon FSx File Gateway is a solution for moving network attached storage (NAS) to the cloud while still having transparent, low latency access for your on-premises users. This includes two general purpose NAS use cases that use the SMB file protocol: end user home directories and service or group file shares. Amazon FSx File Gateway supports multi-user file sharing, with advanced data management features like access controls, snapshots for data protection, built-in backup, and more.

The data itself resides in Amazon FSx for Windows File Server – a fully managed, highly reliable, and resilient file system that does not require the configuration and operation of file servers, storage volumes, and backups. It provides a fully native Windows file system in the cloud, with Server Message Block (SMB) protocol support, accessible from Windows, Linux, and macOS systems running in the cloud or on-premises, and exposes a rich set of Administrative features, including file recovery, data deduplication, Active Directory integration, and access control through access control lists (ACLs).

Through the AWS Management Console, users can choose the AWS Region in which to create their gateway. Then they can choose a hosting platform – there are different hosting platforms available such as Amazon EC2, a virtual machine – in their on-premises environment (VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, Linux KVM) , or a hardware appliance in a premises environment and proceed as indicated in the Documentation.

Source (screenshot): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftbyZ7vv3B8

Kelly Griffin, Solutions Architect at AWS, said in an introduction video on the Amazon FSx file gateway:

FSx Gateway simplifies file storage in Amazon FSx for Windows File Server, providing existing applications with access to Windows shares as a cost-effective alternative to on-premises storage. It also provides low latency access to data through transparent local caching, giving customers a way to operate an on-premises cloud-managed file server as a replacement for their NAS or file server, as well as ” enable native AWS cloud services such as out-of-band backup with AWS Backup. With these features, customers can consolidate all of their on-premises file sharing data into AWS on FSx for Windows File Server and benefit from protected, resilient, and fully managed file systems.

Note that Microsoft also offers a file gateway feature in Azure Storage called Azure Files, which offers fully managed file shares in the cloud accessible via SMB protocol or Network File System (NFS) protocol.

The Amazon FSx File Gateway is currently available in all AWS Commercial Regions where Amazon FSx for Windows File Server is available and in AWS GovCloud (US-West) and AWS GovCloud (US-East) and Amazon China (Beijing) Regions, and the regions of China (Ningxia). Additionally, pricing details can be found on the price page.