What is AWS Direct Connect? What does it mean to me?
(Break it down for me in simple understandable terms because you know we like simple.)
Well, if you have a company and you have a good chunk of data that you either: Have produced, Are producing on a regular basis, or Plan to or are producing in Real-Time – Then AWS Direct Connect may be the a solution worth looking at.
O.K. Still. What does this mean?
Essentially it means that for example you have a corporation or company, or let’s say, a content media company, or a company with files or archives that you use or produce daily or store, then AWS Direct Connect allows you to Connect Directly into AWS without going through your end point Internet Service Provider or through a traditional cloud connect to AWS.
Basically, connecting to AWS directly without the bridges commonly produced by a company > internet provider or web connection > AWS interface.
Currently, or in the past, and still, AWS provides a service called Snowball.
Snowball is a AWS service which you send a request to AWS to deliver a physical hardware unit (like a giant hard drive,) that gets delivered to you at your company address. You then take that hard drive and access it, then put all of your data files on the Snowball unit, call for pick up, AWS then picks up the unit, then transfers all the data from the unit into your accessable AWS account.
Pretty neat huh? yeah it kinda is.
Ok. But why do you mention Snowball? Don’t get sidetracked Simon.
Good question. Well, because up until now snowball was the way to take huge amounts of data and put it into AWS. BUT now, there is another option – AWS Direct Connect.
AWS Direct Connect is suited for companies that need high throughput direct connection to AWS at a up speed up to 100GPS to put their data onto AWS, or essentially, get their data.
AWS Direct Connect is good for companies that have a lot of data, probably don’t have HUGE amounts for say to fill up a Snowball drive, but have too much to keep trying to transfer that data over a standard cloud connection.
So? I think now you get kinda what AWS Direct Connect is and maybe why it’s a good thing for companies with who seriously have a chunk of data for AWS and need to move it. This service is a big deal for any company who has data to get on the cloud, and in the process of doing so, the bar is moving slowly, it’s tedious, plus reducing the amount of time to get your data onto AWS for production. This could mean waiting weeks to months to manage transferring files or data, to just 1-2 days. Also by doing so, a big point is that it does not take down or take from your current infrastructure such as your company VPN or network, your company bandwidth connection (very important,) company interfacing (web, email, peer-to-peer, etc.,) or company apps! It bypasses and uses it’s own bandwidth connection to connect directly to transfer data and is compatible with S3 storage or your running Amazon server instance (VPC.)
Skip this paragraph if you’d like to. Back when I was 21 working for NCR Corporation. My job was to requisite out GIANT platen hard drives that cost thousands of dollars. These giant drives went into locations like Dominoes pizza and at the end of the day over a network of locations, they would access this drive over their network and upload all of the sales for all of the locations for the end of day. Only mainstream corporations had access to this type of technology. Now, as still an example, a retail chain with multiple locations could access AWS Direct Connect at a given time to upload their end of day data all to one location with no downtime, extended hardware, no latency or lag, no maintenance tab, and cost just per transfer usage.
The other way to get data onto AWS from a company is by setting up a company VPN or Remote Network through one or multiple AWS VPC’s. That’s a bit complicated and takes time, so we won’t into to that in this article. A VPN is good if you want have a custom place or environment for your internal company network remotely. To share files, transfer files, apply guidelines, store apps: privately, for your company.
Of course, accessing AWS through the standard console or through command line access is still just the quickest and easiest way to just transfer basic files and to access to the AWS platform. Also, don’t forget your storage types, services, and access time vary the cost or purpose, so you should do so accordingly.
AWS Direct Connect is available now at select locations. For a list you can go here: