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Amazon Gains More Direct Connections, Security Options

Amazon Web Services in August launched AWS Direct Connect, an option that lets customers build a dedicated network link from a datacenter or collocation facility to an Amazon facility, which it calls an AWS Region.

Amazon added this option to customers who were concerned about privacy, network costs and those who were seeking better connectivity than the Internet provides, the company said at the time. But the connectivity was limited to one location: an Equinix collocation facility in Virginia.

This week Amazon has added four new AWS Direct Connect regions that include Northern California (Equinix in San Jose and CoreSite One Wilshire in Los Angeles), EU West (TelecityGroup Docklands in London), Singapore (Equinix) and Tokyo (Equinix).

While Amazon's AWS Region in the EU is in Ireland and the Northern California AWS Region is in Silicon Valley, the additions of London and Los Angeles are intended for "additional flexibility when connecting to AWS from those cities," said AWS evangelist Jeff Barr in a blog post.

Separately, Amazon customers who want added security beyond what Amazon offers can now use a variety of security gateways offered by Check Point Software. Check Point, an Amazon partner, last week said it is providing its security gateways as Amazon Machine Images, or AMIs, to customers looking to extend such services as intrusion detection, data loss prevention, firewall, VPN and URL filtering.

While Amazon offers its own VPN access and encryption, Check Point said the availability of these added security options should appeal to customers leery of using the cloud for sensitive data.

"As customers bring their servers and applications and their own IT stack [to the cloud], there's security that needs to be done that Amazon just doesn't provide," said Fred Kost, Check Point's head of marketing. For example, some customers require added access control mechanisms or want to watch for intrusions, Kost said.

Those with perpetual licenses can extend them to Amazon. Check Point also offers some of its gateways on a subscription basis.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 01/12/2012 at 1:14 PM


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