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AWS Storage Gateway tape devices configuration

This article focuses on the initial configuration for the virtual appliance serving the AWS Storage Gateway tape devices. In the first part we have already seen how to deploy the AWS appliance on a VMware vSphere environment. In this part the appliance configuration proceeds with the network configuration and other parameters available in the appliance. By default the appliance uses a DHCP settings. In this example we’ll change this to static IP address and also quickly visit the other options in the console.

As soon as the initial setup is competed the next step is to associate the AWS Storage Gateway tape appliance to the AWS account and progress the rest of the VTL configuration from there. It is possible to have only one Storage Gateway per AWS account. The creation of VTL tapes is straight forward and allows to create up to 10 tapes in batches to a maximum of 1500. The table below represent the current maximum supported with AWS Storage Gateway tape configuration:

Description Tape Gateway
Minimum size of a virtual tape 100 GiB
Maximum size of a virtual tape 2.5 TiB
Maximum number of virtual tapes for a virtual tape library (VTL) 1,500
Total size of all tapes in a virtual tape library (VTL) 1 PiB
Maximum number of virtual tapes in archive No limit
Total size of all tapes in a archive No limit

Based on this information we can also start planning the number of tapes and the amount of data that should sit on tapes or archived tapes. Archived tapes have much lower costs in the AWS Cloud but charge for tape retrieval as well. Each region has different costs. Another consideration to make is the compatibility with the Backup Applications to which the VTLs will be presented to. Based on the Backup Application it is recommended to configure the “Media Changer” to the supported one as per AWS testing. There are currently two media changer types the AWS Storage Gateway tape appliance emulates:

  • AWS-Gateway-VTL
  • STK-L700

In the case of Veeam Backup & Replication the one to use is AWS-Gateway-VTL type.

Let’s proceed with the installation of the appliance and configure the VTL tapes to use with Veeam Backup Server.


AWS Storage Gateway tape devices configuration

After powering on the AWS Gateway appliance let’s open the console and check the network settings. Everything is wizard driven using a text based menu. Simple ans essential. Unless a Web Proxy configuration is available in the network we can jump to option “2” for the network appliance configuration.

domalab.com AWS Storage Gateway tape

The wizard shows the current DHCP address. I like the idea to specify a static IP address instead.

domalab.com AWS Storage Gateway tape

First let’s make sure all the adapters are recognised. Useful  when running multiple vnics on the appliance. In this case we’ll use the standard configuration. So menu “1” shows the current settings for the adapter.

We’ll use option “3” to specify a custom network settings for a static IP Address.

Let’s provide IP Address, Subnet Mask, Gateway, Primary and Secondary DNS if available.

When satisfied with network settings and routes configurations we can hit on “x” to save the network configuration.

From the console on AWS Gateway appliance the menu also offers the option to verify and adjust the NTP settings showing differences between the local time and NTP server time as well.

Eventually it is also possible to run additional commands from the console like: ip, ifconfig, iptables and also other options to update passwords and connect to the AWS support.

Another interesting option from the console menu is the ability to run a quick self check on Memory and CPU resources.

At this point we are ready to progress with the initial AWS Gateway appliance configuration. From the AWS portal let’s add the chosen or current IP address to make the association with the AWS account and hit on Connect to gateway.

domalab.com AWS Storage Gateway tape

The page shows the gateway type. In this case VTL gateway. File and Volume can be added at a later stage. The region we select will determine the costs associated with tapes stored online and more importantly the “option” to make the data reside in a different region when this is allowed. From the Backup application dropdown we can select the application which will create the suggested media changer type for the VTL devices. This can be changed as well afterwards.

domalab.com AWS Storage Gateway tape

As a last step we can now associate the previously created disks to the AWS appliance one for caching and the other one as upload buffer to the Cloud storage.

domalab.com AWS Storage Gateway tape

The initial configuration is now completed. The AWS appliance already detected an update which could be deferred as well and in the appliance actions it is possible to specify a “maintenance” period. Since the appliance has just been installed it is safe to run the update. Which by the way took a very small amount of time and couldn’t even notice the reboot as it was very quick.

domalab.com AWS Storage Gateway tape

Now ready to create the VTL tapes.

domalab.com AWS Storage Gateway tape

From the button Create tapes let’s add the VTL devices. Max 10 per batch with a minimum of 100 GB each. Additionally, the option to also create labels to easily recognise them. Maximum 1500 VTL devices can be created per AWS Gateway.

domalab.com AWS Storage Gateway tape

We now have our VTL tapes ready.

domalab.com AWS Storage Gateway tape

Next is to verify the Media Changer and choose the proper one. In the case of Veeam this will be the AWS-Gateway-VTL.

domalab.com AWS Storage Gateway tape media changer type

This part is now concluded. The overall installation of the AWS Storage Gateway tape appliance is very easy to complete. In the next steps we’ll configure the integration with Veeam Backup Server and run Backup to tape jobs as well archiving data directly into the AWS Cloud.

About the author

Michele Domanico

Passionate about Virtualization, Storage, Data Availability and Software Defined Data Center technologies. The aim of Domalab.com is sharing with the Community the knowledge and experience gained with customers, industry leaders and like minded peers. Always open to constructive feedback and new challenges.

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