AWS Direct Connect is a dedicated network connection from your premises (office, DC, Co-Lo) to AWS.  With AWS Direct you get private semi-secure network connectivity whilst also reducing your network costs, increasing network throughput and experiencing more consistent network performance (latency, Jitter, loss) than IPSEC VPN solutions across the internet.

AWS has a number of direct connect location where you can establish these dedicated links between your infrastructure and AWS.  Direct Connect can be ordered directly from AWS at speeds of 1Gbps or 10Gbps or via AWS APN partners at speeds of less than 1Gbps.  The dedicated Direct connect links provide access to public or private AWS resource through allowing the link to be divided into multiple VLANs using standard 802.1q tagging.

Direct Connect is available to any customer but is best suited to customer with strict regulatory or performance requirements and customer who access large data-sets hosted within AWS.  There are a number of benefits to using direct connect some being:

  • private connectivity to AWS
  • consistent performance
  • reduced bandwidth costs (potentially)
  • privately access AWS services

Direct Connect can be configured in a number of ways to achieve resiliency and high availability all using industry standard protocols such as 802.1q, 802.1ad for VLAN tagging and nesting, IP SEC for encrypted tunnels and BGP for dynamic routing.  These should be largely familiar to most network engineers and as such managing direct connect should not be too much of an additional burden.