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Cloud Storage Gateway

In IT, gateway is anything that bridges a connection between hardware and the software or between two entities that need to collaborate.

A cloud storage gateway, also called storage gateway, is a smart hardware- or software-based appliance serves as a bridge between local applications and remote cloud-based storage. The local applications should be able to make a connection with the underpinning storage or it would not work at all. Such smart devices are also known as cloud storage appliances or cloud storage controllers.

Several cloud hosting providers have made their cloud storage gateway open source. This means you are allowed to make use of their existing gateway and integrate with your own.

The gateway not only bridges the connection, it also selectively routes traffic in and out of the system. Similar purpose is served by cloud gateway appliance. In fact all server gateways feature a gateway appliance.

In traditional concept, Online Cloud Storage systems and enterprise applications were facing problems due to compatibility conflicts between public cloud technologies and legacy applications. This drove in the need for bridging cloud storage and application for added compatibility. Azure cloud storage gateway was among those configured the earliest.

AWS storage gateway has been one of the most touted gateways of all time because of its robustness.

A cloud storage gateway features a physical or virtual appliance web server which is located at the customer’s premises and performs basis protocol conversions and translations to ensure that technologies that are incompatible can seamlessly communicate with each other.

The need for such type of gateway arose to fill the incompatibility gap that exists between Cloud computing systems and enterprise applications. The incompatibility arose due to the difference in protocols followed by a public cloud storage system and existing applications. We can rightly attribute the difference in the two to various to the different privacy policies to which they have adhered.

Cloud gateway plays an important part in increasing the usage and popularity of cloud storage system by eliminating the concern of data security. Most of the time the data transferred through the gateway from the data centre to the cloud storage is encrypted to ensure maximum data security.

The disadvantage of transmitting data through the storage gateway is its slow speed. This is overcome to a significant extent by gateway storage through use of data deduping and compression. These two techniques enable efficient use of bandwidth and also help speed up data transfer rate.

With evolving technologies and new IT requirements, some vendors prefer to use the word ‘controller’ instead of ‘gateway’ to drive home the point that their gateway products perform more functions than just acting as a bridge.

A cloud storage gateway provides simple connectivity and basic protocol translation to enable the incompatible technologies to communicate with improved transparency. The gateway can make cloud storage available a NAS filer, a block storage array, a backup target or even an extension of the application itself.

Following are the features of Cloud Storage gateway product:

- Encryption technology for data security

- Compression and De-duplication

- WAN optimization for faster performance

- Snapshots

- Version control

- Data protection

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