Direct connect links a hosting provider to the Amazon cloud on a private network connection, bypassing the Internet and its performance issues and security scares.
Amazon announced Direct Connect in August, along with other security services to make enterprises feel safer with AWS.
At that time, Direct Connect was only available in Virginia, connecting to Amazon's US-East AWS data center. Today, Amazon brought direct connect to hosting provider locations in California, Ireland, Singapore and Tokyo.
Amazon also promises that direct connect is cheaper to use than transferring large chunks of data over the Internet. But Amazon isn't making this service as friendly to enterprises as it could. It isn't offering contractual performance promises known as a service-level agreement, notes Computerworld.
In August, Amazon launched another service that gives users their own private piece of Amazon's cloud, known as the Virtual Private Cloud. While applications would still be sharing the actual physical servers and network gear, VPC uses software to trick applications into thinking they have that stuff all to themselves. Enterprises can control their VPC much like they control a private data center.
Between direct connect and VPC, Amazon is trying to compete with so-called "private clouds" being pushed by just about every vendor out there that sells hardware, like IBM, HP, Oracle, and EMC, and many that sell software like Microsoft. Private cloud is a term for setting up a company's own data center so that applications can share hardware, storage and the network.