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What are my options for connecting to AWS?

Direct Connect Options

Since May 2019, AWS started supporting higher dedicated bandwidths through partner-hosted connections.

These "Hosted Connections" are now AARNet's preferred method of delivery, for faster and more flexible provisioning and reduced costs.

Option 1:   Hosted Connections

Speeds Available:  1, 2, 5, 10 Gbps          and 50, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 Mbps

These are delivered from AARNet's existing ports into AWS, and by AARNet4 VPN services to customer locations: so customers save time and cost.

As of May 2019, AWS changed their network architecture so that there is no contention between customer connections. Similarly, AARNet does not oversubscribe the ports, so customers can be confident that the full purchased bandwidth is available at all times.

Each Hosted Connection with a capacity of greater than or equal to 1G supports: one private, public or transit Virtual Interface.  (Hosted connections below 1Gbps do not support a transit Virtual Interface).

For a full description of limitations, see Direct Connect Limits.

AARNet recommends connecting to multiple AWS Direct Connect locations for physical redundancy.

Option 2:   Dedicated Connections

Speeds Available:  1 or 10 Gbps physical Ethernet ports into AWS.

Dedicated Connections are physical Ethernet ports dedicated to a single customer. Each Dedicated Connection supports 50 private or public Virtual Interfaces and 1 transit Virtual Interface. For even greater capacity, Dedicated Connections can be combined using Link Aggregation Groups. Dedicated Connections are ordered directly from AWS via the Console, CLI or API. 

These require dedicated physical data centre cross-connects, so are slower and more costly to provision.

Option 3:   Connecting via the Internet

This is suitable particularly for customers using only the public internet-facing part of AWS (e.g. Amazon S3). To reach Virtual Private Clouds via the public internet, a VPN needs to be configured.

 For AARNet customers, this connectivity will be via our Domestic Peering arrangements, so traffic is un-metered (for members and subscription-based customers). 

AWS may still charge “Data Egress” charges, but may waive them for certain research data workloads under the AWS CAUDIT Agreement -   https://www.caudit.edu.au/amazon-web-services

Software VPNs can be used over the peering link and will be free of any AARNet data charges – but are generally only good for relatively low bandwidth expectations (less than about 150Mbps). Using a hardware device may improve performance and stability of the VPN, but is again only recommended for non-critical workloads.