AWS Storage Gateway for Reliable, Efficient File Access

Samuel Bennett

Samuel Bennett

AWS Storage Gateway for Reliable, Efficient File Access

The Amazon Web Services Storage Gateway is a set of storage services that provides seamless access between on-premises storage and applications and Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service). Resilio also offers a storage gateway to AWS S3 and other object storage vendors. This blog explores both options–and when to consider Resilio as an alternative to the AWS storage gateway.

There are four different storage gateway types. These include:

  • Tape Gateway: An iSCSI-based interface for virtual tape libraries (VTLs) and a virtual media changer to your on-premises backup application.
  • Amazon S3 File Gateway: The file gateway interface AWS provides for files stored as objects in AWS.
  • Amazon FSx File Gateway: An interface for file shares stored in the cloud.
  • Volume Gateway: An interface for block storage volumes.

The AWS Storage Gateway can be used to backup and archive files in AWS cloud storage, free up space on on-prem devices by storing data in the cloud, and provide low-latency access to data stored in the cloud. 

While organizations using block storage or virtual tape drives will need to use AWS Volume/Tape Gateway, many customers are looking for a file-based alternative.  This is where Resilio comes in.

Resilio Connect provides a turnkey, file gateway for AWS and for any S3-compatible object storage. Your cloud object storage could be on AWS, in Azure, Google GCP — or any S3-compatible object storage. Resilio Connect makes storing and accessing files in the cloud super easy, highly reliable — and efficient. There’s no vendor lock in. You can use any cloud — and any type of cloud storage (both file and object storage). 

Quite simply, Resilio Connect is a software-only solution that installs directly on your on-premises file servers and/or NAS devices.  Once installed, your local on-premises can view and selectively download and synchronize files stored in the cloud with your on-premises file servers.  

For example, through a capability called transparent selective sync, Resilio Connect enables your administrators and (if you need) your end-users to browse and efficiently sync files in object storage with your file servers.  It’s more efficient than the AWS Storage Gateway. 

Files stored on-premises don’t take up any space until you fully download them.  Once available on-prem, you can access them as you normally would on a file server (over SMB over NFS). Once you no longer need them on-prem, they can be re-synced with the cloud and deleted / purged from your on-premises storage. 

While the AWS Storage Gateway caches recently accessed files on local devices for quicker access, Resilio Connect enables users to configure policies that control which specific files are cached locally (including full and partial downloads of files) as well as how files get synced and purged. This enables organizations to optimize their workflows as needed, while freeing up space on their on-premises environment.

Resilio’s file gateway solution is:

  • More efficient and cost-effective: Resilio doesn’t require any proprietary hardware appliances and can be deployed on your existing IT infrastructure using tools you already own. And it provides flexible, efficient synchronization that enables you to enhance operational workflows and reduce costs.
  • Vendor-agnostic: Unlike AWS Storage Gateway, Resilio Connect is a vendor-agnostic, multi-cloud solution that can be deployed on any cloud and on-prem storage provider, enabling businesses to mix and match storage, as needed.
  • Reliably synchronized & highly available: Resilio uses a P2P (peer-to-peer) replication architecture and WAN optimization technology to quickly and reliably sync data across all endpoints over any network. Syncs can be performed in real-time (or scheduled) and in any direction (one-to-one, bidirectional, one-to-many, many-to-one, and N-way). Because of this, Resilio provides high availability with no single point of failure.
  • Centrally managed: With Resilio, IT admins can manage every aspect of data replication and access through a single, unified interface. And employees can browse files through a single, unified interface that operates much like Microsoft Onedrive.
  • Highly secure: While AWS Storage Gateway encrypts data, Resilio provides end-to-end encryption, data integrity validation, and more, so you can ensure that all of your data is always protected and arrives safely at its destination.

In this article, we’ll discuss the similarities and differences between the two storage gateways, with an emphasis on why Resilio is a superior alternative to AWS Storage Gateway for any organization that needs to extend their on-premises file storage to any S3-compatible cloud (particularly for those who want to use multi-cloud environments or cloud storage services other than AWS).

To learn more about using Resilio Connect as an AWS Storage Gateway alternative, schedule a demo.

Efficient, Cost-Effective Access to Cloud-Backed Files

Both Resilio Connect and AWS Storage Gateway connect to on-prem devices through NFS (Network File Share) or SMB (Server Message Block) file sharing protocols. Both services enable organizations to free up space on their on-prem devices and provide employees and applications with low-latency, local access to data stored in the cloud server closest to them.

But Resilio Connect is a vendor-agnostic solution that provides flexible sync and cache capabilities with higher data availability — making it faster, more cost-effective, and more efficient than AWS Storage Gateway.

No Vendor Lock In: Multicloud Deployment

Resilio Connect is a software-only solution that builds on open standards, open file formats, and an open, multi-cloud architecture. It works with any S3-compatible cloud provider and:

  • Popular operating systems and file servers, such as Linux, Windows, Android, Mac, and more.
  • Virtual machines and hypervisors, such as VMware, Citrix, and more.
  • Any cloud storage provider, such as Wasabi, Google Cloud Provider, AWS, Azure, Backblaze, and more.
  • Any type of on-premises storage:  file, block, and object storage. 

Organizations can install Resilio Connect on their existing IT infrastructure — servers, networks, desktops, DAS, and NAS (such as TrueNAS, QNAP, OSNexus, Synology, and more). IT admins can use available storage space and enterprise storage devices, as well as blend storage from any type of platform or array (such as NAS devices, hard drives, storage systems, and SSDs).

Resilio’s well-documented REST API provides full control over all aspects of sync automation, file storage, and integration of applications and matching frameworks. End-users can access and browse files remotely, and selectively sync and download the files they choose.

Because of Resilio’s flexibility, there’s no need to migrate to proprietary hardware resources or migrate data to any specific cloud storage provider, providing easy continuity and saving organizations time and money.

Flexible Synchronization & Easy File Browsing

AWS Storage Gateway maintains a local cache of files for easy, low-latency access. But it only caches recently accessed files — i.e., recently written or read data.

But Resilio Connect includes a feature known as Transparent Selective Sync, giving organizations greater control over how files are synchronized and cached, providing file access even if the network goes down, and enabling businesses to optimize workflows.

With TSS, organizations can selectively download, store, and sync files on the server closest to them based on configurable policies. End-users can download or partially download files through the gateway with no change to the tools they’re used to working in. You can choose to sync files or keep them on local devices as desired, syncing data in real-time or at scheduled intervals. This enables users to store infrequently accessed files on longer term storage and active files on local storage.

Global Availability

AWS Storage Gateway performs asynchronous data synchronization — i.e., syncing to a primary storage device first before syncing to other endpoints.

But Resilio utilizes a peer-to-peer replication architecture in which every server can take part in synchronization simultaneously. This enables faster synchronization (up to 20 Gbps per server) and synchronization in any direction — one-to-one, two-way, one-to-many, many-to-one, and N-way.

With P2P replication, there is no single point of failure. If any device (or the network on any device) goes down, the necessary files or services can be retrieved from any other device in your environment. This enables organizations to quickly and reliably replicate files across AWS cloud regions, other cloud storage services, and on-prem devices, making data globally available. And end-users and applications can always access files from the server closest to them, ensuring data can be retrieved as quickly as possible.

Move and Sync Files Over Any Network

As stated earlier, AWS Storage Gateway uses asynchronous replication to sync data across on-prem servers and Amazon cloud regions. Resilio Connect uses real-time, P2P replication and WAN optimization technology to move files at full speed over any network (regardless of latency or network quality).

WAN Optimization

AWS Storage Gateway optimizes data transfer to AWS cloud storage using several methods, such as intelligent buffering, upload management for network variations, and bandwidth management.

But Resilio Connect optimizes file transfer over high-latency, lossy WANs using a proprietary WAN acceleration protocol known as Zero Gravity Transport.

ZGT comes with preconfigured transfer policies that ensure high-performance over any network (though policies can be adjusted, as needed). 

Resilio Connect enables fast data transfer over any IP network using:

  • Congestion control: Other transport protocols distribute data packets at one consistent rate. But ZGT uses a congestion control algorithm that periodically probes the RTT (Round Trip Time) to compute the ideal distribution rate for data packets.
  • Bandwidth control: Like AWS Storage Gateway, Resilio Connect enables you to manage bandwidth allocation for each endpoint. But with Resilio, you can configure profiles for each endpoint that govern how much bandwidth each endpoint can use at certain times of the day and on certain days of the week.
  • Checksum restarts: If a file transfer is interrupted, Resilio can perform a checksum restart and resume the transfer where it left off.

Real-Time, Peer-to-Peer Synchronization

Resilio Connect can replicate data in real-time (or at scheduled intervals) using a P2P replication topology that enables fast file transfer in any direction.

Resilio uses optimized checksum calculations and real-time notification events from the host OS to identify file changes as they occur and immediately synchronize only the changed portions of files across your environment.

Using a process known as file chunking, Resilio splits files into several chunks that can transfer independently of each other. Since every server in your environment can share file chunks simultaneously, synchronization with Resilio occurs 3-10x faster than traditional solutions.

If, for example, you needed to sync five file chunks across five servers, then Server 1 can start by sharing the first file chunk with Server 2. Once Server 2 receives that file chunk, it can immediately begin sharing it with another server. 

P2P vs Client-Server architecture

Synchronization with Resilio Connect can occur in any direction, including one-to-one, bidirectional, one-to-many, many-to-one, and N-way sync. This enables organizations to scale out omnidirectional replication and move data across data centers and Amazon cloud regions.

Users can choose to include file system metadata and file permissions in syncs. And Resilio’s push and pull caching enables users to push updates across their entire environment in real-time and pull remote files as they are needed.

Simplified Data Management and Access

AWS Storage Gateway enables users to manage data access and movement by integrating with other AWS services, such as AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) for access management, AWS Key Management Service (KMS) for key-based encryption, Amazon Cloudwatch for data and replication monitoring, AWS Cloudtrail for auditing, and AWS Management Console for operations management.

Resilio Connect requires no integrations or 3rd-party services. Every aspect of data replication and access can be managed through a single, unified interface. And Resilio’s Management Console can be stored in Amazon EC2 or on any virtual/physical Windows or Linux instance.

Through the Management Console, users can manage and monitor agents, adjust replication parameters (such as buffer size, disk I/O threads, and more), control bandwidth allocation to balance network workloads, collect logs and notification events, manage S3 buckets, and more.

Resilio also provides a single, unified interface that employees can use to browse files. Everyone across the organization gets the same view of files and folders through an interface that operates much like Microsoft OneDrive.

End-to-End Data Security

AWS Storage Gateway encrypts data in transit between any gateway appliance and AWS using SSL (Secure Socket Layer), and encrypts data at rest using S3-SSE (Server-Side Encryption). Users can also use their own encryption key through the AWS KMS integration.

Resilio encrypts data at rest and in transit using AES 256 encryption. But Resilio also protects data using mutually authenticated endpoints (that ensures data is only delivered to approved endpoints), cryptographic integrity validation (which ensures data arrives at its destination uncorrupted), and data access management (which enables users to control who can access specific files). Resilio also stores immutable copies of data in the public cloud, protecting users from ransomware and data loss.

Use Resilio’s AWS Storage Gateway

Resilio’s hybrid cloud storage gateway provides organizations with efficient, cost-effective file access and replication through:

  • An easy-to-use, unified file interface that can be used to optimize file transfer and sync across the lifecycle of your file-based and object storage datasets and give end-users access to data stored in the cloud as if it were on-premises access.
  • Transparent Selective Sync, which enables users to selectively download, cache, sync, and purge files as desired — freeing up space on on-prem servers.
  • Flexible, vendor-agnosticism, which enables users to use Resilio on their existing IT infrastructure with any cloud storage provider, any on-prem device, multiple cloud storage providers, and with the tools they already own — eliminating the need to migrate data and spend money on new hardware.
  • Optimized file transfer over any network connection — through P2P replication and WAN acceleration technology — which ensures high-availability for disaster recovery use cases and reliable access to data for end-users.
  • State-of-the-art security features that encrypt data end-to-end, protect from malicious attacks, and ensure data always arrives at its destination uncorrupted.

To learn more about using Resilio Connect as an AWS Storage Gateway alternative, schedule a demo.


This blog compares Resilio's multi-cloud storage gateway to the AWS storage gateway. We'll explore the important issues and explain why Resilio is a superior alternative to the AWS gateway for reliable and efficient multi-cloud file access.

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