Today in an email to existing AWS customers, Amazon introduced a service known as AWS Storage Gateway which is an on-premise software appliance allowing customers to easily transfer data from on-premise storage to S3. This service could be used for offsite backup and capacity augmentation among other use cases.

From the email:

We’re excited to introduce the AWS Storage Gateway, a service that provides a new option to securely upload data to the AWS cloud for scalable, reliable, cost-effective storage.

The AWS Storage Gateway connects an on-premises software appliance with cloud-based storage for seamless integration between on-premises IT environments and AWS storage. The service supports a standard iSCSI interface, enabling you to take advantage of cloud based storage without re-architecting existing applications. The AWS Storage Gateway provides low-latency performance by maintaining data in your on-premises storage hardware while asynchronously uploading data over SSL to AWS, where it is encrypted and securely stored in the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

The AWS Storage Gateway enables you to securely upload your data to the AWS cloud for cost-effective backup, storing point-in-time snapshots of your on-premises application data in Amazon S3 for future recovery. Your data in Amazon S3 is stored as Amazon EBS snapshots, which you can restore on-premises using the AWS Management Console.

The AWS Storage Gateway also makes it easy to leverage the on-demand capacity of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for additional capacity during peak periods, as a more cost-effective way to run normal enterprise workloads, or for disaster recovery purposes. You can create Amazon EBS volumes from the snapshots you’ve taken using the AWS Storage Gateway, and attach these volumes to your Amazon EC2 compute instances. Once attached, your Amazon EC2 instances will have access to this data to do any processing or computation.

Pricing for the AWS Storage Gateway is $125/month per activated gateway and comes with a 60 day free trial. Snapshot storage pricing starts at only $0.14 per gigabyte per month.

Here is a video that describes Storage Gateway in more detail.