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Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet, specifically designed to make web-scale computing easier. Amazon S3 and SoftNAS S3 Cloud Disks provide access to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. Other vendors also provide S3 based storage solutions, including Cloudian, Dunkel, Century Link, and many others. SoftNAS supports integration of these cloud disk extenders, and other vendors based on the same technology. Guidance on adding S3 based cloud disks to SoftNAS is provided below, including best effort support for vendors not yet added to our wizard.

Note: For Amazon AWS S3 Users only, SoftNAS recommends the use of VPC Endpoints. For more information on VPC Endpoints, see S3 Cloud Disk Best Practices.

How to Add SoftNAS S3 Cloud Disks

  1. Launch SoftNAS StorageCenter and choose Disk Devices from the main menu.



    The Disk Devices panel appears.

  2. From Disk Devices, choose Add Device.



  3. From Add Device screen, choose the desired S3 provider you wish to connect to from the dropdown, and click Next to continue. 

Amazon S3 Cloud Extender Disk Settings

The following section illustrates how to connect to your Amazon S3 Cloud Extender Disk. The settings presented, however, (RAM, Bucket Basename, block cache file, etc.) apply equally to the other cloud disk extenders available for selection.

If adding your S3 Cloud Disk through Amazon, the following wizard pop-up will appear, allowing you to connect by entering credentials, associating a region and a bucket, as well as configuring disk size and encryption.

Note: The settings below apply equally to all cloud disk extenders listed in the sections following. If using another cloud disk extender, please follow the guidance provided by said vendor.


RAM

At least 1 GB of RAM is required to support S3 disks.

Bucket Basename

This name is used to automatically generate unique S3 bucket names to host the S3 Cloud Disk. Enter any unique bucket name comprised of all lower-case letters or an automatically generated name.

Region

Use the pull-down menu to choose a regional data center where the S3 Cloud Disk and its corresponding S3 bucket will be created and maintained.



For more information on this topic, consult:

Amazon Regions and Availability Zones

Next, choose cloud disk options:

Maximum Disk Size

This value can be between 1 GB and 4095 TB (4 petabytes). This is the maximum cloud disk size for the device. As cloud disks are thin provisioned, there are no Amazon S3 storage costs until data is actually stored in a SoftNAS Cloud® storage pool and volume.
When choosing a Maximum Disk Size, please keep in mind that a SoftNAS Cloud® license will be required for the maximum amount of storage planned for use. VMs will consume approximately 30GB of disk space.

Encrypted disk

Check this option and provide a Disk Password to encrypt the contents of the S3 cloud disk. This will ensure its contents cannot be accessed, except via this S3 Cloud Disk.
Press Create S3 Cloud Disk.

The S3 Cloud Disk is created, automatically partitioned, and ready for use.

Note: The Extra Disk Info column shows the S3 bucket name and region where the bucket is located.

The next step is to Create a Storage Pool which uses the already-partitioned S3 cloud disk.

Adding Cloudian Cloud Storage Disk Extenders

As with Amazon S3 disks, it is a simple matter of going into Disk Devices, and selecting Add Device to start the process.

In the Add Device popup, simply select Cloudian Cloud Storage from the dropdown.

Click Next.

The Cloudian Disk Extender Wizard will open. The settings are very similar to Amazon S3, enter the access key ID and access key, select your endpoint (Cloudian equivalent to Region), Bucket, etc, based on the above Amazon S3 guidance.

Click Create Cloud Disk once settings have been configured.

Adding Century Link Object Storage Disk Extenders

As with Amazon S3 disks, it is a simple matter of going into Disk Devices, and selecting Add Device to start the process.

In the Add Device popup, simply select Century Link Object Storage from the dropdown.

Click Next.

The Century Link Disk Extender Wizard will open. The settings are very similar to Amazon S3, enter the access key ID and access key, select your endpoint (Century Link equivalent to Region), Bucket, etc, based on the above Amazon S3 guidance.

Click Create Cloud Disk once settings have been configured.

Adding NetApp StorageGRID Object Storage Disk Extenders

As with Amazon S3 disks, it is a simple matter of going into Disk Devices, and selecting Add Device to start the process.

In the Add Device popup, simply select NetApp StorageGRID Object Storage from the dropdown.

Click Next.

The NetAPP StorageGRID Disk Extender Wizard will open. The settings are very similar to Amazon S3, enter the access key ID and access key, select your endpoint (NetAPP equivalent to Region), Bucket, etc, based on the above Amazon S3 guidance.

Click Create Cloud Disk once settings have been configured.

Adding Hitachi HDS Disk Extenders

As with Amazon S3 disks, it is a simple matter of going into Disk Devices, and selecting Add Device to start the process.

In the Add Device popup, simply select Hitachi HDS from the dropdown.

Click Next.

The Hitachi HDS Disk Extender Wizard will open. The settings are very similar to Amazon S3, enter the access key ID and access key, select your endpoint (Cloudian equivalent to Region), Bucket, etc, based on the above Amazon S3 guidance.

Click Create Cloud Disk once settings have been configured.

Adding Self-Configured Disk Extenders

There are numerous S3 compatible cloud storage vendors, each with similar functionality. To allow adding of disks from any vendors we have not yet added to our wizard, you can use the self-configured disk extender to connect to their storage. As with the other options, simply select Self Configured.

Click Next.

The Self-Configured Cloud Disk Extender Wizard will open. This wizard should work for any vendor with S3 compatible storage. As with Amazon S3, you need to add the Access Key ID and Access Key. Select the Endpoint according to the guidance found on the vendor site. The same with the remaining settings. S3 compatible storage typically use a fairly standard list of settings.

Once you have configured the disk, simply click Create Cloud Disk, and your disk should be added.