For all the talk about AWS and how it continuously launches new services, it doesn’t seem very responsive to customer requests (Just take a look at this thread on the AWS discussion forum). Datapath.io is. We have been getting requests for a feature to optimize VPC to VPC connections between AWS regions. So we decided to do something about it.
In this blog, we are going look at the Inter Region Connect: a super easy way of connecting AWS VPCs across regions.
But before we take a look at that, let us see why VPCs are distributed across multiple regions in the first place.
There are many different reasons that drive the decision behind a single or multi-region architecture.
These can include building in fault tolerance, disaster recovery, and failover capabilities. Architecting your AWS environment to scale quickly by load balancing also forces some businesses to create a multi-region presence. Another reason is to distribute VPCs across regions, to get as near to end users as possible and reduce internet latency.
VPC peering connections between AWS regions
Alright so why do I need to create connections between VPCs across regions?
The volume of requests for inter region AWS VPC peering connections is understandable. Web services need to exchange data between VPCs in different regions, and they need to do it quickly, securely and reliably.
One obvious reason is the traditional method of demarcating VPCs based on organizational structure. Different departments are allocated different VPCs and their resources are isolated. For other departments to be able to access those resources quickly, creating connections between those VPCs is essential.
Additionally, not all AWS regions are born equal. Some AWS resources are not available in certain AWS regions. SES and Workspaces are two such examples. Customers with EC2 instances in a specific AWS region requiring a service which is not available there, could, in theory, establish a VPC peering connection with a VPC in another region which has the required service.
Application design and architecture also determine VPC peering connections across regions would be required. Most applications are designed with the public facing component distributed over many different regions, whereas the database is hosted locally in one region. There is Constant communication between the VPCs handling the public facing component and those handling the database. As such having a reliable, fast connection between those VPCs will ultimately translate into better performance and an improved end user QOS.
VPC peering between regions to establish reliable and fast connections with reserved bandwidth is especially relevant for the Adtech industry. RTB and programmatic bidding rely on a large number of partners to come up with optimized bids for eyeballs. To make decisions about bid amount, data from a large number of sources has to be aggregated. Having a quick and fast data retrieval mechanism over the network is of great benefit to DSPs. Creating optimized VPC peering connections across regions helps make the exchange of this live data faster.
Now that we have figured out why VPC peering connections across regions are important, let’s move on to how this can be done in a couple of minutes.
AWS VPC peering inside a region
In cases where AWS VPCs are limited to a single region, AWS provides an easy way of creating connections between them through VPC peering. Here is a handy guide on creating peering connections between AWS VPCs in the same region.
AWS VPC peering between regions
However, creating secure and fast inter region connections between VPCs across regions can be a daunting task. Read more about it in creating VPN tunnels between VPCs in different AWS regions. (Caution: it is pretty long)
Datapath.io’s solution to creating cross region connections between VPCs allows you to do that in a couple of clicks.
Step 1: Sign-up
Step 2: Select the regions and VPCs you want to connect
Step 3: Choose the uplink provider and bandwidth
Step 4: Nothing to see here! (It’s all done)
Datapath.io’s Inter Region Connect leverages AWS DirectConnect in several AWS regions to create optimized, bandwidth heavy and secure VPC connections across regions. It requires no additional encryption as opposed to regular VPN connections. These VPN connections also tend to be slower because of the time required for encryption.