AWS, Cloud Computing

4 Mins Read

Secured Connectivity with AWS Direct Connect (DX)


By moving to the cloud, businesses can optimize their IT costs and save on large portions of hardware and software. Maintaining low latency in the architecture is also somewhat complex and difficult. As a result, AWS created the AWS Direct Connect (DX) service, which lets you use it with extremely low latency with consistent bandwidth. AWS Direct Connect uses standard Ethernet fiber cables to connect your internal network to AWS Direct Connect locations. Connect one cable end to your router and the other to your AWS Direct Connect router. This connection allows you to create a virtual interface directly to public AWS services (such as Amazon S3) or Amazon VPC, bypassing your ISP in your network path. In this blog, we will get a walkthrough on creating AWS DX (Direct Connect) Connection.


AWS Direct Connect is a dedicated network connection from on-premises to AWS. It provides low latency because of a dedicated physical network and consistent bandwidth at a lower data transfer cost.

Through AWS Direct Connect, we can access Amazon VPC privately and AWS public services endpoints (e.g., Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon S3). It leverages AWS Global network backbone. Autoreactive 3rd party providers provide AWS DX locations. It takes around 4-12 weeks for end-to-end provisioning. With a dedicated connection, you can get up to 1, 10, and 100 Gbps.


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AWS Direct Connect Connection Types

  • Dedicated Connections — Comes with three bandwidths 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps, and 100 Gbps capacity. Provides physical ethernet port dedicated to a customer. We must request dedicated connections from the AWS console before AWS Direct Connect partners complete it. Connecting on-premises network with AWS Direct Connect can be done by your Network provider or AWS Direct Connect Partner.
  • Hosted Connections— Multiple bandwidth options, from 50 Mbps to up to 10 Gbps capacity. Partners own it and divide the bandwidth into multiple customers. Connection requests are directly made to AWS Direct Connect partners. AWS uses a traffic policy on hosted connection types. If sending excess traffic, that connection is dropped.

Steps to Setup AWS Direct Connect Connection

Steps for Dedicated Connection

  1. Select the AWS region where you want your Direct Connect connection and submit the request from the AWS console.
  2. AWS provisions your port within 72 hours and provides you with the Letter of Authorization- Connection Facility Assignment (LOA-CFA)
  3. LOA needs to be shared with an AWS Direct Connect location provider. They can allocate that port and cross connect to the AWS router and your router.
  4. If your organization has a physical presence in the DX location, you can request a cross-connect within the facility to connect to the AWS device.
  5. If not, you provide a copy of the LOA to the DX APN partner, who places the order for cross-connect.
  6. After the connection, you receive a Tx/Rx optical signal at your equipment.
  7. Private or Public Virtual Interfaces can now be created to connect to your VPC or public AWS services.


Steps for Hosted Connection

  1. You don’t need to obtain an LOA to order a hosted connection. You can directly contact a Direct Connect Partner to order the connection.
  2. You share your 12-digit AWS account ID with the partner
  3. The partner will set up the hosted connection, which will be available in your account (in the given region) for acceptance.
  4. The billing for port hours and data transfer charges is enabled once you accept the connection.

DX Virtual Interfaces

  1. Provides logical connectivity
  2. Provisioning the Virtual Interfaces is necessary to use the DX connection.
  3. When you create Virtual Interfaces, you must use the 802.1Q VLAN feature
  4. There are 3 types of VIFs
  • Public VIF – enables connectivity to all AWS public IP addresses. Outside VPC, you can access services like S3, SQS, DynamoDB, and other public endpoints, like AWS managed VPN (VGW) Public IPs. Providing both the public IP addresses of the AWS router and your side of the router with a /30 CIDR is necessary for creating a public VIF with IPv4 addresses.


  • Private VIF – enables connectivity to VPC via a Virtual Private Gateway or Direct Connect Gateway. Allows your network to connect to VPC resources through private IPs for resources like Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, and Redshift. Private VIF and VGW must be in the same AWS Region.


  • Transit VIF – The Direct Connect gateway enables connectivity to Transit Gateways. Transit VIF is connected to AWS Direct Connect Gateway, and AWS Direct Connect Gateway connects to Transit Gateway. Support for MTU of 1500 and 8500 (Jumbo Frame). Multiple Transit Gateways can be connected to a single DX Gateway.


Certain companies have existing data centers that are not ready to be decommissioned, and these customers want to be able to use their existing data centers alongside the AWS infrastructure. This is where AWS Direct Connect hosts a high-speed, low-latency connection that allows you to access public and private AWS resources.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding AWS Direct Connect, and we will get back to you quickly.

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1. What do you mean by Virtual Interface (VIF)?

ANS: – You need a public or private virtual interface (VIF) to access AWS services. Public virtual interfaces provide access to public services such as Amazon S3. A private virtual interface provides access to your Amazon VPC.

2. What is multi-account support for AWS DX gateway?

ANS: – AWS Direct Connect gateway multiple account support is the ability to use AWS Direct Connect gateway to connect and link up to 20 Amazon Virtual Private Clouds (Amazon VPCs) or up to 6 AWS Transit Gateways from multiple AWS accounts.

WRITTEN BY Mayank Bharawa



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