In January 2011 Amazon Web Services launched the AWS Storage Gateway. This is a software appliance (VMware virtual machine) which enables to use storage in the cloud provided by Amazon Web Services to be accessed by applications running in the on-premises infrastructure of the customer. The cloud storage service can easily be accesed using iSCSI.
Costs are based on the usage of the gateway, usage of storage, data to and data from the Amazon cloud. First 60 days usage of the Storage Gateway is free, thereafter $125.00 per activated gateway / month. More details on costs, use cases here.
A video showing the working of the Storage Gateway can be viewed here.
The AWS Storage Gateway’s virtual machine (VM) must be installed on a host with the following minimum requirements:
VMWare ESXi Hypervisor (v4.1).
4 Virtual Processors assigned to the VM.
7.5GB of RAM assigned to the VM.
75GB of disk space for .ova installation and system data.
The AWS Storage Gateway currently supports mounting of its storage volumes using either the Microsoft Windows or Red Hat iSCSI Software Initiators.
The use case will mainly be the ability to store backup data in the cloud. Instead of buying storage for archiving and backup this can be leased from Amazon. Another use case will be Disaster Recovery as a Service or DRaaS. Snapshots of on-premises data can be replicated to Amazon cloud service. If the on-premises infrastructure is not available the data can be made available in the cloud using Amazon infrastructure.
More information here. Also a lot of information on the site titled StorageIOblog.com
Amazon fuses your storage system with its cloud at Gigaom.com
The AWS Storage Gateway – Integrate Your Existing On-Premises Applications with AWS Cloud Storage at Amazon Web Services Blog