EC2 Enhanced Networking with the Elastic Network Adaptor (ENA)
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2h 25m

This section of the Solution Architect Associate learning path introduces you to the core networking concepts and services relevant to the SAA-C03 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 services to meet specific design scenarios relevant to the Solution Architect Associate exam. 

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Learning Objectives

  • Get a foundational understanding of VPCs, their security, and connectivity
  • 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

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.