Hands on with Amazon Storage Gateway

Amazon's new Storage Gateway offers a twist on cloud-based backups, but beware of the rough edges

Last week, Amazon announced the most recent addition to its AWS product portfolio: The Amazon Storage Gateway, a simple, powerful way to back up on-premise data to Amazon's S3 storage infrastructure.

But the Storage Gateway is not just a cloud-based backup solution. It also opens the door to using Amazon EC2 instances as a means to provide disaster recovery.

To get a better feel for the possibilities, I decided to set one up for myself. What I found is an initial release product that is not without some serious limitations, but well worth the time to experiment with, nonetheless.

A quick tour of Amazon Storage Gateway
In basic terms, the Amazon Storage Gateway is a virtual appliance that allows you to snapshot your own on-premise storage into Amazon's highly redundant  AWS S3 storage infrastructure. In that sense, it seems much like other cloud backup offerings. But there are some crucial differences.

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