Saturday, March 18, 2017

Three Networking features AWS should support

AWS is continuously enhancing and adding new features. However, a number of fundamental networking features have been discussed for a while, based on recent interactions with AWS team, still not on roadmap.

Here are three of those features high on my list, and why.

1. Multi-Path Routing (ECMP)
Currently, AWS routing table does not allow multiple routes to the same destination. For example, I can only define my default route in a private route table to a single destination (which can be a single point of failure).
If ECMP is supported, user will have a lot of load sharing and resiliency options. For example, I can define multiple default route to point to redundant load sharing gateways in multiple zones.

However, user still needs to keep those route up to date if the target instances changes. This can be done by keeping the ENI persistent and reattaching to new instances, or trigger lambda to update routes when instance refreshes

2. ELB as Route Table target
Supporting load balancer as a routing target may not seem natural as a network solution, there needs to be internal implementation that forward traffic to resolved load balancer and instances behind them.
This type of capability will allow user to fully benefit from the scalability and resiliency of load balancer, and have "native" high availability without the need for a self-maintained layer of lambda checks and actions.

An example that this can be done can be found with Azure, User Defined Route (UDR) can point to Azure Load Balancer (ALB), this enables route table to send traffic to a cluster of gateway nodes behind of load balancer, which leads to simple and elegant resiliency.

3. Native Transit VPC
In large scale enterprise use of AWS, as the number of VPCs go up, transit VPC can really help to scale by consolidating connectivity. Currently, there is a Cisco CSR based solution. But any third party appliances would require maintenance overhead, and introduce bottlenecks.

The ideal solution would be AWS enabled transit, to allow user to self define, much like peering connections.

I hope the these requirements are echoed by user communities.

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