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AWS Cloud WAN: The General Availability and Product Features

This is not a “Last Week in AWS” however there is something to sum about. AWS announced the general availability of Cloud WAN on July 12. This release is important to manage global on-premise networks with the cloud services. Let’s take a quick look.

As most of you know that WAN stands for Wide Area Networking in the telecom business. It helps to build, manage, monitor and also maintain a global network which contains lots of physical on-premise systems. Of course, not only on-premise environments but also networking-focused cloud products can be connected easily.

You can basically use network policies to specify which of your Virtual Private Clouds (VPC) to any networking service by using AWS Direct Connect or AWS Site-to-Site VPN.

Network Policy: Defines rules and apply policies to configure and manage your network. (Source: Product page)

You can monitor, operate and maintain these configurations on the Cloud WAN central dashboard too.

Central Dashboard: Create connections between your branch offices, data centers, and Amazon VPCs. (Source: Product page)

Cloud WAN is available to use between AWS Regions by using Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). Therefore there is not any technical limitation related to AWS Regions.

Why is it essential?

Global networks are evolving continuously. Since the popular applications are mostly running on serverless and cloud, a huge opportunity for network operators has been born.

How? There is an annual expense for on-premise systems. And it gets worse day after day. However, it can be prevented with the proper usage of the cloud. The basic solution is to migrate some of the suitable services to the cloud. Especially server-based applications or end user-related applications are such examples. So integrating the cloud and the network itself, in other words, hybrid cloud, became a real opportunity to reduce OPEX and CAPEX while operating the systems as usual.

So what is the point of Cloud WAN? Well, Cloud WAN is used to connect region-based services actually. Let’s think about a high-available network application which is deployed in multiple locations.

Without Cloud WAN; it can be hard to turn the system into a hybrid cloud as a whole because there is another conjugate system running in a different region or location.

With Cloud WAN; it is easier to understand the requirement and build accordingly. Since we have a product that can be used to exchange routes with BGP, there is no need to worry about connecting different regions to each other. It is just a bunch of network routing policies after all.

To sum up, Cloud WAN is a great product for creating a hybrid cloud environment. If you or your company does not require local availability (released for several regions for now), then it can be definitely tried out.

If this post seems interesting for you, please see the details of the product page here. Also there are two Twitch sessions covering Cloud WAN.

  1. AWS On Air Live at the NY Summit
  2. The Routing Loop - Cloud WAN

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