If you’ve ever deployed AWS Direct Connect or are in the process of deploying it, you know that it is a long and arduous process. It can take weeks if not months before you can send even one bit from your enterprise network to your network in AWS. In addition to time, there is also the added overhead of hardware, networking ninjas, and cost that makes AWS Direct Connect beyond reach for most companies. But before we dive into this dilemma, why do people want AWS Direct Connect?
There are many reasons why AWS Direct Connect is coveted but it typically comes down to these two things:
The above two features allow a company to extend their network into AWS and as a result, anything that is created in their AWS environment is just another resource on their “internal” network, which can be accessed securely and freely by anyone in their internal network. In other words, AWS Direct Connect allows a company to bolt AWS directly to their internal network. Visually, it looks something like this:
In this setup, the enterprise network connects to an AWS Direct Connect datacenter (CO-LO) over MPLS and from there it is connected to the AWS network. Once all the hardware, connections, and configurations are in place, most of which is outside the control of the enterprise, traffic can start following from the enterprise network to AWS.
If your company requires dedicated bandwidth or physical connectivity to AWS then AWS Direct Connect is the only option. But what if you don’t need physical connectivity and dedicated bandwidth? Instead, all you need is an extension of your enterprise network into AWS with comparable Internet bandwidth?