EC2 Enhanced Networking with the Elastic Network Adaptor (ENA)
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This short course explores some of the different networking features and components across your AWS infrastructure. It looks at some important networking elements that are essential for a solutions architect to be familiar with at a high level. The main components of the course are set out in the learning objectives listed below.

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Learning Objectives

This course introduces the following topics and what they are used for:

  • Elastic IP Addresses (EIPs)
  • Elastic Network Interfaces (ENIs)
  • EC2 Enhanced Networking with the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA)
  • VPC Endpoints
  • AWS Global Accelerator

Intended Audience

This course is intended for:

  • Those responsible for managing a network infrastructure and optimizing network connectivity within AWS
  • Anyone looking to take the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate exam


In order to get the most from this course, you should have a basic understanding of AWS architecture, as well as the EC2 service.


Hello and welcome to this lecture which will take a look at how to enable enhanced networking features on your EC2 instances with the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA), which is a custom interface used to optimize network performance.

If you are looking to enable enhanced networking features to reach speeds of up to 100 Gbps for your Linux compute instances, then you can do so using an ENA. However, ENAs are only supported on a limited number of instances as shown below, and by instances running kernel versions 2.6.32 and 3.2 and above.

For an up to date list of supported EC2 compute types please visit the following link to AWS documentation.

In addition to 100 Gbps speeds, enhanced networking offers higher bandwidth with increased packet per second (PPS) performance, and a big bonus of enhanced networking is that it is offered at no extra cost. In fact, when launching an instance using Amazon Linux 2 or with the latest version of the Amazon Linux AMI, then the instance will have enhanced networking enabled by default, providing its provisioned with one of the supported instance types mentioned earlier.

Enhanced networking is enabled when the ena module is installed on your instance and that the enaSupport attribute is set. If you wanted to confirm that the ena module is installed on your instance then you can run modinfo ena from the terminal prompt. To check that the enaSupport attribute is also set you can use the AWS CLI and run the following command, replacing the red text ("instance_id") with the appropriate instance_id:

aws ec2 describe-instances --instance-ids instance_id --query "Reservations[].Instances[].EnaSupport"

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.