A cloud storage gateway is a hardware- or software-based appliance located on the customer premises that serves as a bridge between local applications and remote cloud-based storage. The products are sometimes called cloud storage appliances or cloud storage controllers.
The need for a bridge between cloud storage systems and enterprise applications arose because of an incompatibility between public cloud technologies and legacy applications. Most public cloud providers rely on Internet protocols, usually a REST API over HTTP, rather than a conventional storage area network (SAN) or network-attached storage (NAS) protocol. That method is useful for programmers creating new applications but not compatible with legacy systems.
A cloud storage gateway provides basic protocol translation and simple connectivity to allow the incompatible technologies to communicate transparently. The gateway can make cloud storage appear to be a NAS filer, a block storage array, a backup target or even an extension of the application itself. Local storage is generally used as a cache for improved performance.
Cloud gateway product features include:
- Encryption technology to safeguard data.
- Compression. Deduplication.
- WAN optimization for faster performance.
- Version control.
- Data protection.