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Fiber Optic Cloud Connections
Get higher cloud services performance using Amazon AWS with a direct connection.

By: John Shepler

The Internet offers an extensive and cost effective means to access services in the cloud. What it doesn’t offer is consistent low latency, low jitter and high bandwidth performance. It was never intended to. The Internet’s claim to fame is universal connectivity. If your business processes in the cloud suffer from inconsistency or have become sluggish compared to when they were hosted onsite, you could benefit from a direct connection to the cloud.

Amazon AWS Cloud
One of the most popular cloud services is the Amazon AWS Cloud Computing Platform. Leveraging the enormous computing facilities owned by Amazon, users can pay as they go for application hosting, Web hosting, backup and storage, content delivery, enterprise IT applications and scalable database solutions. This nearly unlimited resource set can place a considerable load on typical bandwidth links used by corporations. It gets worse as you move more and more of your business processes to the cloud while leaving your employees in-place, often thousands of miles away.

Internet Connections
The Internet works just fine for e-commerce, with thousands or millions of individual customers accessing centralized servers from their homes and offices. It’s also well suited for accessing company resources by remote workers and traveling employees. Where it starts to stumble is when you expect consistent real-time performance between the cloud and your data center or user base similar to what you get from hardwired connections in-house. The closest thing to your LAN is a high performance direct connection.

Colo Connections at Equinix
There are a couple of ways to achieve that direct connection. Amazon is currently offering direct connection to its cloud at Equinix’s Ashburn, VA and Silicon Valley, CA colocation facilities. Equinix provides colocation facilities for over 4,000 enterprises, cloud, content and financial companies through its network of colo centers. If you happen to have your equipment in their Ashburn or Silicon Valley facility, a simple cross connect is all that’s needed to hook your servers to Amazon’s.

WAN Connections
If you are not collocated in an Equinix data center, you’ll need a WAN connection. AWS has two approved carriers that can make the connection. One is Level 3 Communications, a leading international fiber-based carrier with services to over 125 international markets. The other is AboveNet, Inc., another leading fiber optic carrier with 2.3 million metro fiber miles and connections in place to more than 450 data centers. AboveNet is offering connections to the AWS Direct Connect service at 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps.

How AWS Direct Connect Works
AWS Direct Connect network service works withe the same AWS services that you would otherwise access over the Internet. These include Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC). You can use AWS Direct Connect to create multiple logical connections between your network and Amazon VPC. You can even establish multiple VPCs over this connection if you have enough bandwidth available.

Fiber Optic Bandwidths
AWS Direct Connect is flexible enough to scale your connectivity as your needs change. Each connection offers 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps connectivity and you can add multiple connections to increase capacity. Amazon suggests that this approach is better than using VPN hardware that frequently can’t support data transfer rates above 4 Gbps.

Do You Need AWS Direct Connect Services?
Have you already moved to the cloud or anticipate such a move and are concerned that your current connectivity can’t get the job done? Perhaps a direct connection can give you the performance that you need. Get pricing and bandwidth options for fiber optic cloud connections now. If you need an AWS Direct Connect, please specify that.

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