EC2 Enhanced Networking with the Elastic Network Adaptor (ENA)
Start course
3h 55m

This section of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional learning path introduces you to the core networking concepts and services relevant to the SAP-C02 exam. We start with an introduction to the AWS Virtual Private Network (VPC) and networking services. We then understand the options available and learn how to select and apply AWS networking, DNS, and content delivery services to meet specific design scenarios relevant to the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional exam. 

Want more? Try a Lab Playground or do a Lab Challenge

Learning Objectives

  • Get a foundational understanding of VPCs, their security, and connectivity
  • Learn about VPC sharing using the AWS Resource Access Manager
  • Discover inter-regional and intra-regional communication patterns in AWS
  • Learn about AWS Direct Connect, along with its implementation, configuration, and connectivity options
  • Understand routing in AWS, including static and dynamic routing
  • Understand the basics of networking, including Elastic IP addresses, Elastic Network Interfaces, networking with EC2, VPC endpoints, and AWS Global Accelerator
  • Learn about the DNS and content delivery services Amazon Route 53 and Amazon CloudFront

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

Danny has over 20 years of IT experience as a software developer, cloud engineer, and technical trainer. After attending a conference on cloud computing in 2009, he knew he wanted to build his career around what was still a very new, emerging technology at the time — and share this transformational knowledge with others. He has spoken to IT professional audiences at local, regional, and national user groups and conferences. He has delivered in-person classroom and virtual training, interactive webinars, and authored video training courses covering many different technologies, including Amazon Web Services. He currently has six active AWS certifications, including certifications at the Professional and Specialty level.