Deane shows you how to
enable enhanced networking
for your EC2 instances

deane-enable-configure-enhanced-networking

I am running an Amazon EC2 instance and I want to enable enhanced networking. What is enhanced networking and when should I use it?

Enhanced networking provides higher bandwidth, higher packet-per-second (PPS) performance, and consistently lower inter-instance latencies.

If your packets-per-second rate appears to have reached its ceiling, you should consider moving to enhanced networking because you have likely reached the upper thresholds of the VIF driver.

Amazon EC2 instances have three different virtual network adapters that can be used.

The vif adapter is available in all instance types. It loads the xen netfront kernel module, which is suitable for low to medium network loads.

The Intel 82599 VF adapter is available in instance types C3, C4, R3, I2, M4, and D2. It loads the kernel module ixgbevf and supports network performance up to 10 Gbps.

The Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) is in available in the P2, R4, m4.16xlarge, and X1 instance types. This adapter loads the kernel module ena and supports speeds up to 20 Gbps.

Adapter

Available in instance types

Kernel module

Windows Drivers

Performance

vif

All

Xen-netfront

Citrix or AWS PV

Low to medium

Intel 82599 VF

C3, C4, D2, I2, R3, and M4 (excluding m4.16xlarge)

ixgbevf

Intel 82599 VF

Up to 10 Gbps

Elastic Network Adapter

P2, R4, X1, and m4.16xlarge

ena

ena

Up to 20 Gbps

Note: For the latest available instance types and adapters, see Enhanced Networking on Linux and Enabling Enhanced Networking with the Intel 82599 VF Interface on Windows Instances in a VPC.

If your throughput is near or exceeding ~20 K packets per second (PPS) on the VIF driver, we strongly recommend enhanced networking.

Placement groups are recommended for applications that benefit from low network latency, high network throughput, or both. To provide the lowest latency and the highest packet-per-second network performance for your instances, consider using a placement group.

If you need to reach speeds up to 10 Gbps between instances, you should launch your instances into a placement group with the enhanced networking instance type.

If you need to reach speeds up to 20 Gbps between instances, you should launch instances in a placement group with ENA.

Linux

Depending on your instance and adapter type, follow either the guide for Enabling Enhanced Networking with the Intel 82599 VF interface on Linux instances in a VPC or the guide for Enabling Enhanced Networking with the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) on Linux Instances in a VPC.

After you have completed the steps for enabling enhanced networking and/or the ENA, make sure that you tune your instance to take advantage of the additional bandwidth available to your instance. If you are running Linux, this will require tuning kernel parameters; for more information, see Host Tuning.

Windows

For enhanced networking, follow the guide for Enabling Enhanced Networking with the Intel 82599 VF Interface on Windows Instances in a VPC. The Elastic Network Interface driver is installed on all Amazon AMIs for Windows Server 2008 R2 and newer.

For Elastic Network Interface, follow the guide Enabling Enhanced Networking with the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) on Windows Instances in a VPC.


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Published: 2016-1-27