Creating a gateway | AWS Storage Gateway

In this article, we will explore the process of creating, deploying, and activating a file gateway.

Choosing a gateway type

With the help of a file gateway, you store and retrieve objects in Amazon S3 using a local cache for low latency access to  the most recently used data.

To choose a gateway type:

  • Open the AWS Management Console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/storagegateway/home/ and choose the AWS Region that you want to create your gateway in. 
  • If you have not made a gateway in the AWS Region of your choice, choose Get started. If you have a gateway in the AWS Region of your choice then choose Gateways from the navigation pane, and then choose Create gateway.
  • On Select gateway type page, choose the File gateway, and then choose Next.

select gateway type

Choosing a host platform and downloading the VM

If you make your gateway on an Amazon EC2 instance, you need to launch an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) that has the gateway VM image, and then you will need to activate the gateway. 

To choose a host platform and download the VM:

  • On the Select host platform page, choose the virtualization platform that you need to run your gateway on.
  • If you choose the hardware appliance, activate it. If you choose one of the other options, choose Download image next to your virtualization platform to download a zip file that contains the .ova file for your respective virtualization platform.
  • If your choice is a hypervisor option then deploy the downloaded image to your hypervisor. Add a minimum of one local disk for your cache and one local disk for your upload buffer during the deployment. A file gateway needs only one local disk for a cache.
  • If you choose VMware, Store your disk using the Thick provisioned format option. When you use the thick provisioning, the disk storage is allocated instantaneously, resulting in better performance. In contrast, thin provisioning allocates storage on demand. On-demand allocation can alter the normal functioning of the Storage Gateway. For Storage Gateway to function properly, the VM disks must be stored in a thick-provisioned format. Configure your gateway VM to use para-virtualized disk controllers.
  • If you choose Microsoft Hyper-V, Configure the disk type using the Fixed size option. When you use fixed-size provisioning, the disk storage is allocated instantly, resulting in great performance.Not using the fixed-size provisioning, results in the storage being allocated on demand. On-demand allocation can alter the functioning of Storage Gateway. For Storage Gateway to function properly, the VM disks must be stored in a fixed-size provisioned format. When allocating disks, choose the virtual hard disk (.vhd) file. Storage Gateway supports the .vhdx file type. By using this file type, you can create larger virtual disks than with other file types. If you make a .vhdx type virtual disk, it is important to make sure that the size of the virtual disks that you create doesn’t exceed the recommended disk size for your gateway.
  • If you choose Linux Kernel-bases Virtual Machine (KVM), Don’t configure your disk to use sparse formatting. When you use fixed-size (non-sparse) provisioning, the disk storage is allocated immediately, resulting in better performance. Use the parameter sparse=false to store your disk in non-sparse format when creating new virtual disks in the VM with the virt-install command for provisioning new virtual machines. Use virtio drivers for disk and network devices. 

Example:



Following is a virt-install command for installing KVM:

virt-install --name "SGW_KVM" --description "SGW KVM" 
--os-type=generic --ram=32768 --vcpus=16
--disk path=fgw-kvm.qcow2,bus=virtio,size=80,sparse=false 
--disk path=fgw-kvm-cache.qcow2,bus=virtio,size=1024,sparse=false 
--network default,model=virtio --graphics none --import

Choosing a service endpoint

You can activate your gateway using:

  • A public service endpoint can support your gateway communicating with AWS storage services over the public internet.
  • A Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) compliant public service endpoint can support your gateway communicating with AWS storage services over the public internet.
  • A public service endpoint can support your gateway communicating with AWS storage services using a virtual private cloud (VPC) endpoint, which is private.

To choose a service endpoint:

  • To have your gateway access AWS services over the internet using a public service endpoint, choose the Public.
  • To have your gateway access AWS services over the internet using a public service endpoint that complies with FIPS, choose the FIPS.
  • To have your gateway access AWS services over a private VPC endpoint connection using a public service endpoint, choose VPC.
  • A public service endpoint can support your gateway communicating with AWS storage services over the internet.
  • A Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) compliant public service endpoint can support the gateway communicating with AWS storage services over the internet.
  • A public service endpoint can support your gateway communicating with AWS storage services using a virtual private cloud (VPC) endpoint, which is private.

 

choosing a service endpoint

This procedure assumes that you are activating your gateway with a public endpoint. For information about how to activate a gateway using a VPC endpoint.

  • Choose Next to connect and activate your gateway.

Connecting to the gateway

To connect to your gateway, the first thing to do is get the IP address of your gateway VM. Use that IP address to activate your gateway. For gateways that are deployed and activated on an on-premises host, you can get the IP address through your gateway VM local console or your respective hypervisor client. 

Your gateway VM needs to be running for activation to succeed. It is also important to make sure that the correct gateway type is selected. 

To get the IP address for your gateway VM from the local console:

Log on to the gateway VM local console and select any of the following:

  • VMware ESXi:  For accessing your Gateway Local Console with VMware ESXi.
  • Microsoft Hyper-V: For accessing your Gateway Local Console with Microsoft Hyper-V.
  • Linux KVM: For accessing the Gateway Local Console with Linux KVM.
  • Make note of the IP address from the top of the menu page, and note it for later use.

To get the IP address from an EC2 instance:

  • Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/v2/home
  • Now in the navigation pane, choose Instances, followed by EC2 instance.
  • Choose the Description tab at the bottom, and make a note of the IP address. 

ip address from ec2 instance

To associate your gateway with your AWS account:

  • If the Connect to gateway page isn’t open already, navigate their through the console.
  • Finally, use the IP address of the gateway for IP address, and then choose Connect gateway.

associating gateway

Activating the gateway

The gateway type, endpoint type, and AWS Region as chosen by you are shown on the activation page.

To activate your gateway:

To complete the activation process, give the information on the activation page:

  • Gateway type sets the type of gateway that you are activating.
  • Endpoint type sets the type of endpoint that you selected for your gateway.
  • AWS Region sets the AWS Region where your gateway will be activated and where your data will be stored. If Endpoint type is VPC, the AWS Region should be the same as the Region where your VPC endpoint is located.
  • Gateway Time Zone sets the time zone to use for your gateway.
  • Gateway Name identifies the owned gateway. 

The following screenshot shows the activation page for a file gateway.

  • Choose Activate gateway.

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