New – Site-to-Site Connectivity with AWS Direct Connect SiteLink

We are launching AWS Direct Connect SiteLink, a new capability of AWS Direct Connect that lets you create connections between your on-premises networks through the AWS global network backbone. Until today, when you needed direct connectivity between your data centers or branch offices, you had to rely on public internet or expensive and hard-to-deploy fixed […]

We are launching AWS Direct Connect SiteLink, a new capability of AWS Direct Connect that lets you create connections between your on-premises networks through the AWS global network backbone.

Until today, when you needed direct connectivity between your data centers or branch offices, you had to rely on public internet or expensive and hard-to-deploy fixed networks. These are geographically constrained and can be tied to long-term contracts. This rigidity becomes a pain point as you expand your businesses globally. In turn, you’re required to create custom workarounds to interconnect networks from different providers, which increases your operating costs.

Starting today, you may connect your sites through Direct Connect locations, without sending your traffic through an AWS Region. We have 108 Direct Connect locations available in 32 countries as I am writing this post, located across Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. Traffic flows from one Direct Connect location to another following the shortest possible path. You no longer need to connect through the closest AWS Region and manage and configure an AWS Transit Gateway for site-to-site network connectivity.

You can take advantage of Direct Connect’s reliability and global footprint to build a network that grows with your business, with no long-term contracts, flexible pay-as-you-go pricing, and a wide range of port-speeds, from 50 Mbps to 100 Gbps. SiteLink also integrates with other AWS services, letting you reach your VPCs, other AWS services, and your on-premises networks from your Direct Connect connections.

When talking about network topology, a small diagram is always more descriptive than long phrases.

The following diagram shows the way that you use Direct Connect today. Direct Connect is currently optimized to let you reach your AWS Resources running in any Region as quickly as possible. Sending data from one Direct Connect location to another is not possible.

Once you connect your locations (NY1, AM3, Paris, and TY2 in the diagram) to a Direct Connect gateway, those connections can reach any AWS Region (except the two AWS China Regions). No peering between Regions is necessary, because Direct Connect gateways are global resources.

Site-to-site connectivity without SiteLink

The following diagram shows how you connect multiple sites using SiteLink. The data flows between Direct Connect locations without going through an AWS Region.

Site-to-site connectivity with SiteLink

How to Get Started?
Configuring these connections is very similar to what you do today. The first step is to connect my network to Direct Connect locations. After that, SiteLink can be enabled or disabled in minutes.

Using the AWS Management Console, I navigate to the Direct Connect section, and I select Create virtual interface to create a virtual interface. Under the Additional Settings section, I make sure the SiteLink switch is turned on. Obviously, I repeat this on another virtual interface, once per site, to connect.

SiteLink - enable sitelink for VIF

I have access to similar monitoring dashboards and metrics published to CloudWatch. I select my virtual interface, and then navigate to the Monitoring tab (hopefully your ViF will have more data available than mine that was created just for this post).

SiteLink VIF Monitoring

Availability and Pricing
You can connect your on-premises networks or branch offices to any of our Direct Connect locations available today, except in China.

Pricing is pay-as-you-go, with no commitment or recurring fees. In addition to existing Direct Connect charges, your monthly bill will include a price-per-hour for SiteLink virtual interfaces, as well as the cost of SiteLink data transfer. Check the pricing page to get the details.

Go ahead an start connecting your on-premises locations together with Direct Connect SiteLink!

— seb
Source: AWS