AWS bows Global Accelerator to improve network performance across regions

Amazon Web Services took the wraps off of a new service that it says boosts the performance and reliability of global connections that are running on its public cloud.

AWS announced its Global Accelerator networking service Monday night in Las Vegas to kick off this week's re:Invent 2018 conference.

Global Accelerator takes the public internet out of the equation by automating the routing of traffic across the global regions that AWS serves.

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The accelerator would appear to pit AWS against some of its telco and managed service provider partners. While AWS has partnered with various service providers, including CenturyLink, AT&T, Orange Business Services and Verizon, the Global Accelerator could pull some of the telcos' customers away from provisioning services across their networks.

"AWS Global Accelerator uses AWS’ vast, highly available and congestion-free global network to direct internet traffic from your users to your applications running in AWS regions," said Shaun Ray, senior manager, developer relations, in a blog post. "With AWS Global Accelerator, your users are directed to your workload based on their geographic location, application health, and weights that you can configure."

Customer traffic enters the AWS Global Accelerator via the closest end location and then routes the traffic to the best application endpoint in AWS' network. On the flip side, the application response travels over the AWS global network to reach the end user through the best available endpoint. 

"AWS Global Accelerator also allocates static Anycast IP addresses that are globally unique for your application and do not change, thus removing the need to update clients as your application scales," according to Ray. "You can get started by provisioning your accelerator and associating it with your applications running on: network load balancers, application load balancers, or elastic IP addresses."

The accelerator supports both TCP and UDP protocols. By "health checking" target endpoints, it can route traffic away from unhealthy applications. The  accelerator can be used in one or more AWS regions.

Customers of the Global Accelerator are charged for each accelerator that they use, and for the amount of traffic that flows through the primary direction through the accelerator. For every full or partial hour when an accelerator runs in a customer's, they're charged $0.025 over the standard Data Transfer rate.

AWS Global Accelerator is available in the following regions: U.S. East (Northern Virginia), U.S. East (Ohio), U.S. West (Oregon), U.S. West (Northern California), Europe (Ireland), Europe (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Tokyo) and Asia Pacific (Singapore.)