How to Monitor AWS Direct Connect & Network Performance

Jean-François Lévesque
Jean-François Lévesque Last updated on Apr 15, 2021

Monitor AWS Direct Connect and Site-to-Site VPN Network Performance

In Summary

Continuous AWS Direct Connect monitoring is your key to ensuring the best AWS Direct Connect performance. From detecting outages, to identifying and troubleshooting AWS network issues, we're teaching you how to do it all in minutes using Obkio Network Performance Monitoring!

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

AWS Customers can use the AWS Direct Connect service to connect their on-premise infrastructure with their infrastructure hosted in AWS Cloud. With AWS Direct Connect, customers can privately communicate with their EC2 instances and other services located in private VPC Subnets. This can also be done with AWS Site-to-Site VPN but without the benefit of the cost reduction and enhanced network performance that AWS Direct Connect can offer.

Today, we will explain why and how to monitor the network performance of AWS Direct Connect between on-premise infrastructure up to the AWS Cloud. You can follow the exact same steps to do it with the AWS Site-to-Site VPN configuration.

Why Configure AWS Network Monitoring?
Why Configure AWS Network Monitoring?

You probably already have some kind of monitoring system that probes your devices and alerts you if the device is down or if the CPU is too high. That's a good thing and you must keep it.

However, what happens if your provider has some kind of issues such as network congestion that causes packet drops? The sooner you know, the faster you will start working on fixing the issue, therefore reducing the time it affects your customers or end-users.

Without a good AWS network monitoring tool, you just keep experiencing intermitent issues you don't really understand and can't measure. Measuring things is the first step to making them better. Learn more on the differences between Fault Monitoring and Performance Monitoring.

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Learn how to identify and diagnose Internet problems and Internet connectivity issues in your network using Network Monitoring and Traceroutes.

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AWS Direct Connect Monitoring Setup
AWS Direct Connect Monitoring Setup

Now we're going to teach you how to set up AWS Direct Connect monitoring using Obkio. The setup only takes a few minutes and allows you to continuously monitor AWS Direct Connect performance.

1. Choose a Network Monitoring Software
1. Choose a Network Monitoring Software

To continuously monitor AWS Direct Connect performance, we recommend using a Network Monitoring software, like Obkio to do the work for you.

A network monitoring software can continuously monitor end-to-end network performance and identify AWS network issues for you. With Obkio's Cloud network monitoring features, you have your very own AWS network monitor.

You can get started with Obkio’s free trial, or choose an Obkio plan and follow our Getting Started Documentation.

Start Monitoring AWS
Start Monitoring AWS

Start monitoring AWS network performance and troubleshooting network problems in 15 minutes with Obkio!

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2. Deploy AWS Monitoring Agents
2. Deploy AWS Monitoring Agents

As with every Obkio monitoring setup, you need to deploy some agents. If you are not familiar with our Agents, you can find more details at The Monitoring Agent - Introduce a key player to your team.

Since we want to monitor the network performance between AWS Cloud and the on-premise infrastructure, we will deploy two agents:

  • AWS Cloud Agent: We recommend the Software (Linux, Windows, Docker) agent that can be installed on your favorite Linux distribution, including Amazon Linux and Amazon Linux 2.
  • On-Premise Agent: If you have Linux servers, the Software version is perfect. If you have an Hyper-V or VMware environment, the Virtual Appliance is ideal. Otherwise, we have Hardware agents that are very easy to deploy.

Screencapture Network Monitoring Session Graph

3. Monitoring Agent Configurations
3. Monitoring Agent Configurations

Once the agents are installed, two configurations are required in the App:

  1. The agents must be in the same Network. When two agents are in the same Network, they will communicate using private IPs instead of Public IPs.
  2. A Network Monitoring Template must be configured to create the network performance monitoring session.

End-to-End AWS Network Monitoring Results
End-to-End AWS Network Monitoring Results

That's it! It's as simple as that. Now, the agents will send packets to each other every 500ms to measure AWS Direct Connect metrics and network metrics such as latency, jitter, packet loss and VoIP Quality with MOS Score.

Continuous AWS monitoring allows you to detect AWS and network outages within 5 seconds and network degradation within a minute. It is also possible to go back in time and see the exact network performance for every minute of the previous week. Traceroutes are also executed periodically in both directions to identify hop-by-hop issues and to keep track of the historial latency between hops. With all these features, it will be much easier to identify and troubleshoot network issues.

This monitoring setup also allows you to schedule speedtests between the agents to monitor network speed and test the available throughput on the connection between the on-premise infrastructure and the AWS Cloud.

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Expand the AWS Monitoring Setup
Expand the AWS Monitoring Setup

Now that you have the monitoring setup in place, it is very easy to install more agents in branch offices, datacenters and other clouds providers to monitor network performance. There are also Public Monitoring Agents available to monitor performance to your favorite service provider on the Internet.

You can also learn how to use Obkio's AWS Agent to monitor the performance of Amazon Chime, or other unified communication applications in our UC Monitoring collection.

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