How to create a Volume Gateway and map an iSCSI volume?

I have shown in my other post how to create a File Gateway and map a file share using SMB protocol. If you are looking for block level access and want to take backup of your data to EBS snapshots, you can use volume gateway. Volume gateway offers two types: stored and cached volume gateway. In cached volume gateway, you would need two local disks, one for the upload buffer and other for cache disk. Cache disk stores frequently access data and provide low latency access to that data set which is mostly accessed. Upload buffer disk provides buffer space and provides a staging space for your data before it gets uploaded to S3. In File Gateway it is possible to access the underlying S3 bucket. However, with volume gateway data in the volumes cannot be accessed using S3 APIs. Also, you wouldn’t be able to see the S3 buckets which stores your volume data.

The process of downloading and activating the gateway remains same as file gateway. But, you would want to make sure that you are downloading the volume gateway image, choosing volume gateway and right platform when activating the gateway from the AWS storage gateway console. I am providing the screenshots of my setup after activation, where the gateway recognizes the two cache disks and completes activation. After the activation, I created a new volume and mapped that volume to my Windows client using iSCSI initiator.

In the below screenshot, you would see the gateway is active passing the activation page and showing the two local disks as unallocated. You would need to assign them to local upload buffer and cache disks. In future, if you are looking to add additional space to your local upload buffer and cache disks, you should create new VM disks and add them to upload buffer and cache disk. Don’t extend the size of the disks which are already allocated.

Once the local disks are allocated to upload buffer and cache disks, the gateway activation process is completed. Then, you can create the cached gateway volume using the below steps. Under Create Volume, you can provide the size of the volume, you can create a cached gateway volume upto 32 TiB. However, if you are wanting to create a EBS volume based on the EBS snapshot of cached gateway volume, you can create maximum of 16 TB EBS volume.

Once you click create volume, you would see CHAP authentication box to configure Initiator and target secret. I am choosing to skip that here. But, if you are wanting to configure the CHAP configuration, you can use steps from here.

Next, you would need to open the iSCSI initiator from your Windows client and discover the target IP address. Here the Target would be your cached gateway IP address.

You would need to go to Discovery Tab and Chose Discover Portal, then provide the IP address of your gateway.

Once you click OK, you would see the volume with name “cachedvolume” in the discovered targets and with status inactive under Targets. You can click connect so that the volume gets connected and available to further partition from Windows disk management. Then, you can to Windows disk management and bring the volume online, if it is offline. Next, follow the steps to create a new volume assigning the size and drive letter. Once that process is completed, you would see the new volume recognized and you can upload files to the mapped iSCSI volume.

Hope the post helps in creating the volume and mapping it from the Windows client. Feel free to leave any comments you may have.

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