AWS Direct Connect gives you the ability to create private network connections between your datacenter, office, or colocation environment and AWS. The connections start at your network and end at one of 91 AWS Direct Connect locations and can reduce your network costs, increase throughput, and deliver a more consistent experience than an Internet-based connection. In most cases you will need to work with an AWS Direct Connect Partner to get your connection set up.
As I prepared to write this post, I learned that my understanding of AWS Direct Connect was incomplete, and that the name actually encompasses three distinct models. Here’s a summary:
Dedicated Connections are available with 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps capacity. You use the AWS Management Console to request a connection, after which AWS will review your request and either follow up via email to request additional information or provision a port for your connection. Once AWS has provisioned a port for you, the remaining time to complete the connection by the AWS Direct Connect Partner will vary between days and weeks. A Dedicated Connection is a physical Ethernet port dedicated to you. Each Dedicated Connection supports up to 50 Virtual Interfaces (VIFs). To get started, read Creating a Connection.
Hosted Connections are available with 50 to 500 Mbps capacity, and connection requests are made via an AWS Direct Connect Partner. After the AWS Direct Connect Partner establishes a network circuit to your premises, capacity to AWS Direct Connect can be added or removed on demand by adding or removing Hosted Connections. Each Hosted Connection supports a single VIF; you can obtain multiple VIFs by acquiring multiple Hosted Connections. The AWS Direct Connect Partner provisions the Hosted Connection and sends you an invite, which you must accept (with a click) in order to proceed.
Hosted Virtual Interfaces are also set up via AWS Direct Connect Partners. A Hosted Virtual Interface has access to all of the available capacity on the network link between the AWS Direct Connect Partner and an AWS Direct Connect location. The network link between the AWS Direct Connect Partner and the AWS Direct Connect location is shared by multiple customers and could possibly be oversubscribed. Due to the possibility of oversubscription in the Hosted Virtual Interface model, we no longer allow new AWS Direct Connect Partner service integrations using this model and recommend that customers with workloads sensitive to network congestion use Dedicated or Hosted Connections.
Higher Capacity Hosted Connections
Today we are announcing Hosted Connections with 1, 2, 5, or 10 Gbps of capacity. These capacities will be available through a select set of AWS Direct Connect Partners who have been specifically approved by AWS. We are also working with AWS Direct Connect Partners to implement additional monitoring of the network link between the AWS Direct Connect Partners and AWS.
Most AWS Direct Connect Partners support adding or removing Hosted Connections on demand. Suppose that you archive a massive amount of data to Amazon Glacier at the end of every quarter, and that you already have a pair of resilient 10 Gbps circuits from your AWS Direct Connect Partner for use by other parts of your business. You then create a pair of resilient 1, 2, 5 or 10 Gbps Hosted Connections at the end of the quarter, upload your data to Glacier, and then delete the Hosted Connections.
You pay AWS for the port-hour charges while the Hosted Connections are in place, along with any associated data transfer charges (see the Direct Connect Pricing page for more info). Check with your AWS Direct Connect Partner for the charges associated with their services. You get a cost-effective, elastic way to move data to the cloud while creating Hosted Connections only when needed.
The new higher capacity Hosted Connections are available through select AWS Direct Connect Partners after they are approved by AWS.
PS – As part of this launch, we are reducing the prices for the existing 200, 300, 400, and 500 Mbps Hosted Connection capacities by 33.3%, effective March 1, 2019.