AWS Transit Gateway Examined – Part II

In a previous article, we talked about how AWS Transit Gateway is enabling on-premise infrastructure to interact with cloud infrastructure in a multi-cloud environment. We also covered how Transit Gateway can be fully automated using Terraform, with each VPC configured to work seamlessly as a part of a larger network.

AWS Transit Gateway has been updated since then. New features such as support for multicast allows AWS Transit Gateway to be more robust, especially when it comes to allowing services and VPCs to deliver data to multiple users at the same time. What are the changes added to AWS Transit Gateway? How can you benefit from the new features?

A Global Network, Visualized

One of the biggest additions to the Transit Gateway is the new Network Manager console, complete with a refined user interface and new features. The console helps you troubleshoot any network issues in your AWS environments caused by AWS resources.

You get details about on-premise devices as well as a connectivity map, including VPNs used to connect network nodes. Yes, Transit Gateway also supports accelerated site-to-site VPN, but the new Network Manager is capable of handling more than that. It acts as a centralized operational dashboard for network admins, plus it gives you an overview of how to best optimize the network and leverage other AWS services.

As an added bonus, and for no additional cost, the visual network map can display different details. For example, you can zoom out to get a bird’s-eye view of your global network or zoom in to a particular region to see individual nodes and how they are affecting each other. For international businesses with complex cloud infrastructure, the feature is invaluable. Clicking on a node automatically displays more network information.

The Topology panel is also very interesting. It displays the same network from the topology point of view, connecting nodes in a more structured way and providing enough details for troubleshooting. Details such as Resource ID and Resource Type help identify nodes. You also get raw network data gathered automatically by CloudWatch. In fact, 15 months of raw data will be stored for further processing.

Support for Multicast

As mentioned before, AWS Transit Gateway now supports multicast, which means it can now act as the foundation for multicast applications. When you have a central data server in the cloud and you need to push data to multiple VPCs, you will immediately appreciate the addition of multicast support. Multicast is also perfect for certain types of data, including multimedia streams and quotes.

Multicast is now a key component in many cloud-native applications. By supporting multicast natively, AWS is expanding its elasticity and reliability to a whole new level. On top of that, you also get native support for multicast domains, so you can create domain-level segmentation and utilize multicast in a targeted way. The feature is supported by the US East region, but it will soon be made available to other regions as well.

Inter-Region Peering

One last feature to note in the latest AWS Transit Gateway update is inter-region peering. The feature significantly simplifies global network infrastructure. Instead of manually configuring PrivateLink to connect endpoints between VPCs, you can use inter-region peering to centralize routing policies and make endpoint connectivity easier to manage. It even supports encryption and anonymization of network traffic flowing through inter-region peering.

The combination of these new features certainly makes VPCs and Transit Gateway more flexible and capable at the same time. There is no global network too complicated to build on top of the AWS ecosystem with these tools at your fingertips.

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