Cloud Networking Glossary
Learn the Fundamentals

What is Direct Connect?

Direct Connect is a cloud service from AWS that allows a dedicated network connection to be established between AWS and customers’ premises without using the Internet. Private connectivity can be established between AWS and an external location (e.g., data center, office, colocation environment).

AWS Direct Connect uses industry-standard, 802.1q VLANs to establish direct connections. These dedicated connections can be partitioned into multiple virtual interfaces so that the same connection can also be used to access public resources or private resources, while maintaining network separation between the public and private environments. These environments can include:

  • Objects stored in Amazon S3 using public IP address space
  • Amazon EC2 instances running within an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) using private IP space

Among the benefits realized using AWS Direct Connect include:

Reduced costs

The cost of running bandwidth-heavy workloads in AWS is reduced by transferring data to and from AWS directly. Also, data transferred over the dedicated connection is charged at a reduced, AWS Direct Connect data transfer rate.

Elasticity

It is easy to scale connections with AWS Direct Connect to meet changing requirements. 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps connections are provided by AWS, and multiple connections can easily be provisioned to provide additional capacity.

VPN alternative

AWS Direct Connect can also be used as an alternative to establishing a VPN connection over the Internet to an Amazon VPC.

Consistent network performance

With AWS Direct Connect, users control which data utilizes the dedicated connection and how that data is routed. This ensures consistent network performance over Internet-based connections, whose network latency can vary since how data gets from point A to B is constantly changing.

Ease of use

AWS Direct Connect can be quickly and easily set up using the AWS Management Console. The console also provides a central location for managing all connections and virtual interfaces. And, customized router templates can be downloaded for networking equipment after configuring one or more virtual interfaces.

Private Connects to Amazon VPC

AWS Direct Connect provides a private, high-bandwidth network connection between on-premises networks and an Amazon VPC. If needed, private connectivity can be established with multiple VPCs to maintain network isolation.