Deciphering Cloud Connections: A Comprehensive Comparison between AWS Direct Connect and Remote.It

February 3, 2024

AWS Direct Connect and Remote.It are two different solutions for connecting an on-premises network to an AWS VPC. The best choice depends on your specific needs and constraints. Here's a comparison:

AWS Direct Connect

Benefits of AWS Direct Connect

  - Provides a dedicated, private connection between your on-premises network and AWS, which can offer more consistent network performance compared to internet-based connections.

  - Potentially lower data transfer costs compared to transferring data over the internet.

  - Supports multiple virtual interfaces, allowing you to connect to multiple VPCs and services within AWS over a single connection.

  - Can provide higher bandwidth options compared to internet-based connections.

Challenges of AWS Direct Connect

  - Requires a physical connection to an AWS Direct Connect location, which may not be available in all areas.

  - There can be significant setup and monthly costs associated with maintaining a Direct Connect connection, especially for high-bandwidth connections.

  - Might require more advanced networking knowledge to set up and manage.

Use Cases of AWS Direct Connect

  - Ideal for high-volume data transfer use cases, such as migrating data to the cloud, backing up data to the cloud, or running high-performance, latency-sensitive applications in the cloud.


Benefits of Remote.It

  - Provides zero trust network connectivity, reducing the attack surface by not exposing IP addresses or requiring port forwarding.

  - Works well in multi-NAT or CGNAT environments where traditional VPNs might fail.

  - Resilient to network changes or moving devices, automatically reconnecting connections.

  - Efficiently manages network resources, automates IP address planning, resolves subnet collisions, and simplifies routing tables, access control lists, and VLAN tags.

  - Remote.It connects users and devices when other solutions fail.

Challenges of Remote.It 

  - May require additional setup and configuration compared to built-in AWS services.

  - As a third-party service, it might not have the same level of integration with other AWS services as native AWS solutions like AWS Direct Connect.

  - Pricing model and costs could be a factor depending on the size and scale of the network.

Use Cases of Remote.It

  - Ideal for enabling remote access on any network, including devices on CGNAT networks such as 5G and Starlink.

  - Useful for developers needing to access resources from multiple private networks simultaneously.

  - Can be integrated into OEM and embedded products before deployment.

  - Can provide access to services within Docker container networks without the need for routing tables

AWS Direct Connect Physical Connection Requirement

AWS Direct Connect requires a physical connection between your network and an AWS Direct Connect location. This is typically done through one of the following methods:

1. Direct Fiber Connection: This method involves running a physical fiber connection from your data center, office, or colocation environment directly to an AWS Direct Connect location. This option often provides the highest level of performance and consistency but can be costly and logistically complex, particularly if your location is far from an AWS Direct Connect location.

2. Partner Carrier Network: If a direct fiber connection isn't feasible, you can work with a partner carrier that already has a presence at an AWS Direct Connect location. These carriers can extend their network to your location, essentially providing a "last mile" service. This is often simpler and can be more cost-effective than a direct fiber connection, particularly for smaller data requirements or if your location is far from an AWS Direct Connect location.

In either case, once the physical connection to the AWS Direct Connect location is established, you can create a virtual interface to your VPC. This virtual interface allows your network to access resources in your VPC as if they were on the same network.

It's also worth noting that AWS Direct Connect supports Link Aggregation Group (LAG), which allows you to aggregate multiple physical connections into a single logical connection. This can provide higher bandwidth and increased redundancy.

Keep in mind that implementing AWS Direct Connect requires coordinating with multiple parties (e.g., your internal network team, AWS, and potentially a partner carrier) and can involve significant technical networking knowledge to set up and manage.

AWS Direct Connect Cost

AWS Direct Connect has two main components to its pricing:

1. Pricing per port hour for all AWS Direct Connect locations

2. Data transfer out fees by AWS Direct Connect locations

For example, if you order a 1GB connection to the US East region - Virginia and expect to transfer 1TB out monthly, a price per port hour of $0.30 and a data transfer per GB of $0.02 will be applied. The 1TB data transfer cost would be $216 for the port charges and $20 for the data transfer. The total cost would be $236 per month. It's important to note that the total cost of maintaining your AWS Direct Connect link to your on-premises environment will vary depending on the volume of data transfer out of AWS and the region you select.

Remote.It Deployment

Remote doesn't have physical connection requirements or even requires exposing AWS ports to the public internet.

Remote.It Cost

Remote.It will incur the same AWS data transfer fees as Direct Connect. There are no additional data transfer fees for Remote.It.

Summary Comparison of AWS Direct Connect and Remote.It

In summary, AWS Direct Connect might be the better choice if you have high-volume, consistent data transfer needs and can afford the setup and maintenance costs. Remote.It is more suitable if you have complex network environments, requires zero trust network access, or need a more flexible and resilient connection without additional network setup and maintenance costs in both time and money. As always, the choice will depend on your specific requirements and circumstances.

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