How Does WAN Optimization Work with AWS Direct Connect

Amazon’s Direct Connect is now working wonders by providing 10 Gbps through their cloud network. This is so far from the time when WAN lines were used in personal computers. In the past IBM’s SNA operated at just the speed of 19kbps in the 70’s and 80’s. But, now Amazon is speeding up and setting the trend in cloud computing.

The catch, however, is that to use Amazon Direct Connect you also have to be connected to at least three providers. This is vital because without this provider support you will not be able to access some apps services. The key here is to purchase connectivity to communicate with both the private and the public cloud.

Equinix, a high performance data center platform is one of the service providers that supply the following service features:

  • 90 High Performance Feature that Integrates with key applications. This will allow AWS to be an integral part of the LAN, which will put together other cloud applications.
  • Huge Data Processing. Movement of huge files in and out of the AWS is made possible.
  • Direct Data Storage Access. Migration of data files to the customer cloud computing solutions from the AWS is stable.
  • Integration of Custom Hardware. Custom hardware can be integrated with the AWS system with much ease, allowing real-time streaming of cloud data to and from the AWS.

Joe Skorupa, a Gartner research VP on data center, who has been an advocate of dedicated links for cloud computing solutions said “Cloud access doesn’t necessarily equal the Internet, and in many cases the Internet isn’t appropriate. First, performance is variable and there are times when a business critical app can be at risk. Second, you don’t have control over QoS if you are running multiple services. And service level agreements around a dedicated point-to-point link will be more expensive but there are guarantees around restore times which should be faster. If latency is a problem, then WAN optimization may be very appropriate.”

If a business IT solution is to be decided upon, it is a must to consider the options closely. And if one is to use Amazon’s Direct Connect, the WAN optimization technology must be scrutinized. This is very important because one needs to realize that a fee for service means charges for every packet one sends on the WAN link.

Several other vendors are now offering their services, including:

  • Riverbed’s Steelhead, the market leader
  • BlueCoat MACH5, a general purpose WAN
  • Aspera, Amazon based subscription service
  • Silver Peak Systems, offers both physical and virtual platforms
  • Infineta Systems Data Mobility Switch, offers hardware based accelerator

David Greenfield’s Network Computing column mentioned about the vendor promises as to their performance, he said “With the ability to save real dollars by improving WAN connections, WAN optimization vendors are encouraged to tout ever greater levels of performance. But those numbers may have little bearing on your reality.”

WAN optimizers have established several methods to speed up huge data transfer by functioning as a proxy server that caches specific application techniques to improve service performance to users.

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