Partners Praise AWS For Solving Intra-Region Connectivity Challenges With New Offering

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Amazon Web Services relieved a major connectivity headache for partners working with some of its largest customers Wednesday by making it possible to extend virtual networks across multiple AWS regions on its network backbone.

The new service, Direct Connect Gateway, makes it possible for customers with Direct Connect private circuits linking their data centers to AWS to access Amazon's cloud in other geographies without significant investments of time, money and administrative energy.

Gateway makes "Direct Connect simpler and more powerful," blogged Jeff Barr, AWS' chief evangelist.

[Related: AT&T Intros New Capabilities To Securely Connect To Amazon Web Services, A Boost For IoT Solutions]

Partners told CRN they had been eagerly awaiting this capability from the public cloud leader and often heard from customers that the difficulties in spanning AWS regions made them hesitant to adopt the dedicated connectivity solution.

Tom Ray, Head of Cloudreach, an international cloud computing consultancy, said customers had been asking for the intra-region capability for a long time.

Since AWS introduced Virtual Private Cloud (VPCs) in 2009, Cloudreach has been engineering "bespoke solutions to create connectivity between regions," Ray said.

"We are looking forward to testing the new functionality in the coming weeks," he added.

Just about all AWS customers use VPCs, which deliver virtualized networking environments.

For those connecting to their VPCs using IPsec, a secure protocol that works over the public Internet, it was only a minor challenge to extend those virtual networks across AWS regions around the world. However, the ones using Direct Connect faced a daunting obstacle if they wanted to stay off the public internet.

There are more than 60 colocation providers around the world that offer Direct Connect, according to Amazon. Those dedicated links deliver greater security, bandwidth and more predictable data transfer performance.

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