M+E Daily

AWS Touts Its New Cloud WAN at New York Summit

Amazon Web Services used the keynote at its AWS Summit in New York on July 12 to announce the general availability of AWS Cloud WAN, a new managed wide area network (WAN) service that it said connects on-premises data centers, colocation facilities, branch offices and cloud resources to simplify operating a global network.

Using a central management dashboard that’s been built into AWS Cloud WAN, customers can define their network configuration, view the health of their global network and automate routine configuration and security tasks, according to the company.

Using AWS Cloud WAN, enterprises can access the AWS global network to “build a single, unified network for their organization to improve network health, performance, and security,” the company said.

Continued AWS Growth

Martin Beeby, principal developer advocate at AWS, kicked off the keynote by pointing to the continued growth of AWS.

AWS now has 84 availability zones across 26 geographical regions, he said, adding: “It’s a really big global footprint that AWS now has. It’s the most extensive global footprint of any cloud provider, and we’re continuing to grow new regions and add new regions as customers request them. We have eight more regions coming to Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland and the UAE.”

And it has 24 more new availability zones planned to help customers build applications globally, he told attendees and those viewing the keynote online.

He went on to explore the importance of protecting the environment, noting AWS is trying to build everything “in a sustainable way.”

Beeby told attendees and online viewers: “Everything we do, we think about the sort of impact to the climate.”

He noted that AWS co-founded the Climate Pledge in 2019, vowing to run its operations using 100% renewable energy by 2030. “We’re very much on the path to achieving this ahead of schedule, by 2025,” he pointed out.

The Importance of Innovation

“When you’re choosing cloud providers, it’s really important to think about how innovative they are because tomorrow’s challenges will be different from today’s and you want to choose and bet on a cloud that’s going to innovate on your behalf,” Beeby also said. It’s important for companies to pick the cloud provider that’s best for it now and in the future.

After all, “we’re in the early days of cloud; we’ve still got a long way to go,” he said, adding: “We’ve got lots of innovations ahead of us.”

Looking ahead, he predicted that in the next 10-20 years, “we’re going to do things that we can’t even imagine today.”

AWS Cloud WAN

“Today I’m excited to announce the general availability of AWS Cloud WAN,” Beeby went on to say, noting it’s a “service to build, manage and monitor global wide area networks.”

Cloud WAN “uses this AWS global network to connect your on-premise data centers, your branch offices and cloud resources to AWS and Cloud WAN makes it easy to increase your network security; it gives you one console to manage everything,” he explained.

Many enterprises now run their networks across multiple environments, including on-premise data centers, colocation facilities, branch offices and the cloud, according to AWS. “To connect these disparate environments together, customers build and manage their own global networks, while also leveraging networking, security, and internet services from multiple third-party providers,” it said in a news release.

AWS makes it simple for customers to connect cloud and on-premises environments using AWS networking services. But, “for connectivity between on-premises data centers and branch offices, customers must invest considerable time and money to build their own physical network or build a software-defined overlay network from third-party providers,” according to AWS. That “leads to a complex web of networks, each having different connectivity, security, monitoring, and performance management tools and requirements,” it noted.

Therefore, networking teams often “face challenges configuring, securing, and managing an expanding mix of technologies required to build, scale, and operate a secure global network for their organizations,” according to AWS.

AWS Cloud WAN, however, “makes it faster and easier for customers to build, manage, and monitor a unified global network that seamlessly connects their cloud and on-premises environments,” the company said.

It “allows customers to connect on-premises data centers, colocation facilities, branch offices, and AWS Regions into a single, unified global network with just a few clicks in a central management dashboard — removing the need to configure and manage individual networks that use different technologies,” AWS said.

Using the AWS central management dashboard, networking teams “can have a single view of their global network, apply policies, and automate configuration and security tasks across their entire network,” the company added.

As one example, the company noted that, “with just a few clicks, teams can quickly and easily apply a policy that requires network traffic from branch offices to be routed through a specific network firewall before reaching cloud resources running in an AWS Region.”

AWS Cloud WAN integrates with leading SD-WAN, network appliance and independent software vendors, including Cisco Meraki, Cisco Systems and VMware, “making it easier for customers to connect their on-premises SD-WAN devices to AWS,” the company added.