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AWS Global Accelerator - Enhance App Performance

AWS Global Accelerator - Enhance App Performance

AWS Global Accelerator is a useful tool, particularly beneficial for businesses with a global user base. The purpose of this blog is to provide a thorough knowledge of the service and how it may help professionals enhance their cloud computing operations by diving into the notable prerequisites, advantages, and use cases of AWS Global Accelerator.

Given below are the topics we are going to discuss:

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Introduction to AWS Global Accelerator

AWS Global Accelerator is a network service designed to enhance the availability and performance of applications for end-users worldwide. This service enables customers to route traffic across multiple AWS regions, thereby optimizing network AWS Global Accelerator performance. 

Through the Global Accelerator, customers can improve the availability of their applications by detecting and redirecting traffic away from compromised endpoints. Users can employ AWS Global Accelerator in conjunction with various AWS services such as Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon S3 buckets, and Elastic Load Balancers

Additionally, AWS Global Accelerator gives users the option to set up traffic policies that control how traffic is split across various endpoints. These rules can be applied depending on a variety of factors, such as IP address, endpoint health, and geography.

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Prerequisite of AWS Global Accelerator

AWS Global Accelerator is in more demand in today’s digital environment as businesses are expected to build high-performing, always-available apps. The service AWS Global Accelerator assists enterprises in achieving these objectives by boosting the performance and availability of applications running on AWS. The following points elaborate on the necessity of AWS:

Prerequisite of AWS Global Accelerator
  • AWS Account:
    • You need an active AWS account to access and utilize AWS Global Accelerator services.
  • AWS Region:
    • Global Accelerator is available in specific AWS regions. Ensure that you are working in a region where Global Accelerator is supported.
  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) Role:
    • Create an IAM role with the necessary permissions for Global Accelerator. This role is used to grant AWS services access to other AWS resources securely.
  • VPC (Virtual Private Cloud):
    • Global Accelerator requires at least one VPC in your AWS account. Your resources, such as EC2 instances or application load balancers, need to be hosted within a VPC.
  • AWS Elastic IP Addresses:
    • You may need Elastic IP addresses for your resources (like EC2 instances) that will be associated with the accelerator.
  • Application Load Balancer or EC2 Instances:
    • Identify the resources (Application Load Balancers, EC2 instances, etc.) that you want to accelerate. These resources must be set up and configured in your chosen AWS region.
  • Listener Configuration:
    • Define the protocol and ports for listeners that will be associated with the accelerator. This involves specifying the protocols (TCP, UDP) and the corresponding ports.
  • Static Anycast IP Addresses (Optional):
    • You have the option to configure static Anycast IP addresses for your accelerator.
  • DNS Configuration (Optional):
    • If you’re using your own domain, ensure that DNS records are appropriately configured to direct traffic through the Global Accelerator.
  • Security Groups and Network ACLs:
    • Configure security groups and network ACLs to allow traffic to flow between your resources and the Global Accelerator.

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Components of AWS Accelerator

The components of the AWS accelerator are listed below:

1. Anycast IP Addresses: As its name suggests, anycast addresses use multiple servers sharing one IP address that is routed directly to one (green color in this instance) server by client devices. Here you can see that multiple servers share this one IP address (12.34.56.78 for instance), with clients being routed directly to this IP.

2. Accelerator: An accelerator resource created in AWS helps direct traffic towards optimal endpoints within its global network(AWS Edge Locations).

3. DNS name: We know that computers (from phones or laptops to servers) connected to the internet that serve content for major retail websites communicate among themselves using numbers known as IP addresses, known collectively as DNS names.
Amazon Route 53 provides DNS (Domain Name System), which is a globally distributed service that converts human-readable domain names (for example www.amazon.com) to machine-readable IP addresses used to connect computers together. Much like a phone book’s directory mapping between names and numbers, DNS provides clients with easy ways of finding their way to online servers using URLs (Uniform Resource Locators or URLs).

4. Network Zone: A Network Zone is an isolated unit equipped with its own set of physical infrastructure that serves the static IP addresses for your accelerator from an individual IP subnet. By default, Global Accelerator allocates two Anycast IPv4 addresses per Network Zone for usage by clients if one IP becomes inaccessible due to network disruptions or IP blocking by certain client networks; client applications may then retry on one healthy static address from an alternate isolated Network Zone.

5. Listener: A listener receives and processes inbound connections from clients to Global Accelerator according to the ports (or port range) and protocols you define in its configuration file, typically TCP or both TCP and UDP protocols.

6. Endpoint Groups: Each endpoint group corresponds with an AWS Region and contains multiple endpoints within it.

7. Endpoints: These endpoints could include Network Load Balancers, Application Load Balancing solutions, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instances or Elastic IP addresses.

Working of AWS Global Accelerator

The operational procedure for AWS Global Accelerator involves several key steps. Firstly, users must create an accelerator, which comprises a set of static IP addresses linked to AWS Edge Locations across various regions. Next, users establish endpoint groups consisting of resources like Amazon EC2 instances or NLBs, situated in one or multiple AWS Regions, with each group featuring one or more endpoints. 

The service continuously performs health checks on each endpoint in an endpoint group to ensure that only healthy ones receive traffic. After creating the accelerator and endpoint groups and configuring health checks, users can initiate traffic routing to the endpoint groups, using the accelerator’s static IP addresses, with the traffic redirected to the endpoint group with the lowest latency. 

The service offers real-time updates, monitoring the health of every endpoint and modifying traffic routing to direct traffic to healthy endpoints. Additionally, AWS Global Accelerator employs Amazon Route 53 to optimize DNS resolution for the IP addresses associated with an accelerator, ultimately enhancing application availability by routing traffic to healthy endpoints. 

Overall, AWS Global Accelerator is an effective and cost-efficient way for users to improve their application’s performance and elevate the user experience by directing traffic through a global network of AWS Edge Locations.

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AWS Global Accelerator Vs. CloudFront

Here is a comparison table outlining the key variances between AWS Global Accelerator and CloudFront:

FeatureAWS Global AcceleratorCloudFront
PurposeEnhances the performance and availability of applications.
Content delivery network (CDN) for accelerating content delivery.
Use caseIdeal for applications that don’t use HTTP, such as TCP or UDP protocols.ideal for sending static and dynamic material via HTTP/HTTPS.
Endpoint typesSupports IP addresses and Elastic Network Interfaces (ENIs)Supports Amazon S3 buckets, EC2 instances, Lambda@Edge, and custom origins
Load balancingRoutes traffic using anycast IP addresses to the nearest readily accessible, healthy endpoint.Uses a combination of DNS resolution, caching, and dynamic content delivery
Pricing modelAWS Global Accelerator pricing is – Pay-as-you-go, it is based on the amount of traffic processedPay-as-you-go, with pricing based on data transfer and the number of requests
Geographical coverageLimited to AWS RegionsThe global network of edge locations

Advantages of AWS Global Accelerator

AWS Global Accelerator provides a range of advantages to improve application performance, availability, and scalability. Here are some key AWS Global Accelerator benefits:

  • Enhanced Global Performance: AWS Global Accelerator intelligently directs user traffic to the nearest AWS edge location with the lowest latency. This reduces round-trip time (RTT) and significantly enhances application performance, delivering a faster and more responsive experience for users worldwide.
  • Robust High Availability:  Global Accelerator constantly monitors application health and efficiently routes traffic to healthy endpoints. In the event of an endpoint failure, traffic is automatically redirected to the next available and healthy endpoint, ensuring high availability and minimizing disruptions for users.
  • Integrated DDoS Protection: AWS Global Accelerator incorporates built-in protection against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Leveraging AWS Shield, a managed DDoS protection service, it defends applications against large-scale attacks, safeguarding them from downtime and service interruptions.
  • Elastic Scaling: Global Accelerator seamlessly scales in response to application demands. It effortlessly handles sudden traffic spikes and automatically adjusts its capacity to accommodate changing demand. This ensures that applications remain highly available and perform optimally, even during peak load periods.

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Use Cases of AWS Global Accelerator 

AWS Global Accelerator has a variety of use cases that can improve the performance and availability of applications. Some examples of these use cases include:

Use Cases of AWS Global Accelerator
  • Enhancing Multi-Region Applications: Applications that run across multiple AWS Regions can use Global Accelerator to enhance the user experience by directing traffic to the closest healthy endpoint. Global Accelerator also monitors the health of endpoints and can redirect traffic to healthy endpoints if an outage occurs in a Region.
  • Boosting High-Availability Applications: High-availability applications that require quick failover can benefit from the Global Accelerator. With its anycast IP address feature, it can route traffic to multiple endpoints, enabling fast failover in the event of a failure.
  • Accelerating Non-HTTP Applications: Non-HTTP applications like gaming or IoT protocols that demand dependable and quick delivery might be accelerated with Global Accelerator.
  • Optimizing Global Applications: Global Accelerator can improve the performance of applications that have a global user base. Directing traffic to the nearest endpoint can minimize latency and enhance the user experience.
  • Streamlining Traffic Management: Global Accelerator can manage traffic between multiple endpoints, improving the efficiency of application delivery.
  • Supporting Disaster Recovery: As part of a disaster recovery plan, Global Accelerator can offer near-instant failover to a secondary site in the event of a disaster.

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Conclusion

The future of AWS Global Accelerator looks promising, as it continues to be a valuable tool for improving the performance and availability of applications. It is reasonable to expect that AWS will keep advancing and expanding its infrastructure, which should lead to further enhancements and functionalities being incorporated into the Global Accelerator. These continuous improvements are expected to increase the value proposition of Global Accelerator as a crucial asset for companies aiming to enhance their application delivery.

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