3 Steps Toward Cloud WAN Optimization for AWS Interconnection

Transforming your network is critical for fast, secure and cost-effective access to AWS

Gene McColm
Vivek Kumar
3 Steps Toward Cloud WAN Optimization for AWS Interconnection

By now, everyone knows that clouds are required for a company’s digital transformation. But did you also know that the underlying interconnection between your on-premises infrastructure and the cloud is a huge factor in ensuring that your digital transformation is successful?  In a recent survey conducted on behalf of Equinix by APCO, 48% of total IT decision makers agree that interconnection is a key facilitator of digital transformation, with almost half (45%) believing that interconnection is vital to business survival. So, why wouldn’t you look at interconnection first before making the move to the cloud?

Given the increase in remote workers telecommuting from home due to the current COVID-19 conditions, it is critical for businesses to harness more flexible and scalable cloud resources using the most optimized WAN connections possible.

Optimize your private access to AWS

Transform your network for fast, secure and cost-effective access to AWS. Schedule a Cloud-Optimized WAN workshop for your business today!

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Digital transformation challenges when moving to the cloud

There are three core connectivity hurdles that most organizations have to address when moving to the cloud:

  1. Designing the network for cloud applications: Many cloud-based applications, such as streaming video, online gaming and real-time analytics, require low latency, high bandwidth and fast throughput. Close proximity between cloud-based applications and users is an important performance consideration in your network design to avoid the high latency involved in backhauling data and workloads over multi-hop wide area networks (WANs).
  2. Meeting security and compliance requirements: Enabling security capabilities such as data privacy and protection, encryption key management and DDoS mitigation, and ensuring compliance requirements (e.g., GDPR, HIPPA, etc.), means your network needs the proper safeguards to protect and segment data traffic and workloads in flight in a hybrid multicloud infrastructure.
  3. Reducing overall network spend: This means lowering WAN costs to offset cloud spend (i.e., egress costs) on moving data and workloads out of the cloud.

Cloud optimized WAN for AWS interconnection

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has helped our customers accelerate their digital transformation by enabling them to build sophisticated applications for the cloud with increased flexibility, scalability and reliability. This also includes hybrid cloud environments such as VMware Cloud on AWS, which leverages AWS Direct Connect to establish multiple virtual private connections between on-premises vSphere environments and VMware Cloud on AWS.

Platform Equinix® delivers easy access to AWS Direct Connect in 33 business-rich, metro markets to give our customers a fast, secure and reliable on-ramp to AWS over private, high-speed, low-latency connections. Leveraging AWS Direct Connect on Platform Equinix, you can bypass the public internet and achieve private connectivity and full integration between AWS cloud services and your business applications. And using AWS Direct Connect with Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric), you can scale high-speed, virtual interconnection to AWS around the world through 1, 2, 5, and 10 Gbps AWS Direct Connect Hosted connections.

AWS Direct Connect on Platform Equinix combined with a cloud optimized WAN provides end-to-end connectivity from your data center to AWS (see diagram below).

This diagram illustrates how you can configure a cloud optimized WAN architecture between your data centers and Platform Equinix with agile, low-cost software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) connectivity versus an MPLS network. Using your network service provider (NSP) of choice, you can interconnect your headquarters (HQ), regional or branch locations to your IT infrastructure located at the “cloud edge” of an AWS location within a global Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center. From there, AWS Direct Connect enables direct and secure access to AWS with less than 2 milliseconds (ms) latency with greater bandwidth for optimized network performance, at a lower cost. The cloud optimized WAN architecture enables:

  • Distributed and redundant connectivity for HQ, branch and regional offices
  • Optimized performance from application and data cloud adjacency
  • Improved data security and compliance
  • Lower per/GB egress costs when compared to a public internet connection

The same Cloud WAN Optimization techniques work when trying to achieve last mile connectivity to hybrid VMware on AWS, with the added benefit of zero downtime migration when using vMotion to transfer VMs:

Controlling costs via a cloud optimized WAN

Based on actual customer deployments, we’ve compiled a before and after impact analysis of using a cloud optimized WAN to interconnect to AWS. The cost reduction, latency improvement and bandwidth increase results are significant:

3 steps for fast, secure and cost-effective access to AWS

The following steps demonstrate how to access VMware on AWS via a cloud optimized WAN using AWS Direct Connect on Platform Equinix:

Step #1: Solve for better performance and higher security
Use your NSP to connect with AWS Direct Connect on Platform Equinix and migrate your existing on-premises VMware infrastructure to VMware Cloud on AWS and AWS native services. 

Step #2: Build hybrid application with best performance and security
Move your existing private data center and VMware stack to Platform Equinix. Use AWS Direct Connect and vMotion to migrate to VMware Cloud on AWS with zero downtime.

Step #3: Optimize your global network architecture for best hybrid application performance and security
Co-locating your VMware infrastructure on Platform Equinix provides lower cost, improved performance and better security through the private connectivity via AWS Direct Connect. And VMware Cloud on AWS enables cloud scalability for hybrid cloud workloads to power your business.

These steps will help you overcome the cloud connectivity challenges noted above with the added benefits of reduced costs and improved performance and security. But if you would like a more tailored approach to your specific network infrastructure, workloads and AWS cloud deployment, please contact us to schedule an Equinix Cloud Optimized WAN for AWS Interconnection workshop for your business.

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Gene McColm Principal Solutions Architect, AWS Strategic Alliance
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Vivek Kumar Former Director, Alliances & Business Development, Equinix
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