AWS Wavelength FAQs

What is AWS Wavelength?

AWS Wavelength combines the high bandwidth and ultralow latency of 5G networks with AWS compute and storage services so that developers can innovate and build a new class of applications. Wavelength Zones are available in co-operation with Verizon in the United States, KDDI in Japan, SK Telecom in South Korea, Vodafone in UK and Germany, and Bell in Canada.

What is a Wavelength Zone?

Wavelength Zones are AWS infrastructure deployments that embed AWS compute and storage services within telecommunications providers’ data centers at the edge of the 5G network, so application traffic can reach application servers running in Wavelength Zones without leaving the mobile providers’ network. This prevents the latency that would result from multiple hops to the internet and enables customers to take full advantage of 5G networks. Wavelength Zones extend AWS to the 5G edge, delivering a consistent developer experience across multiple 5G networks around the world. Wavelength Zones also allow developers to build the next generation of ultra-low latency applications using the same familiar AWS services, APIs, tools, and functionality they already use today.

Who should use AWS Wavelength?

You should use AWS Wavelength when you need to deploy high-performance applications accessed by mobile end-users and devices requiring ultra-low-latency. AWS customers who want to build public applications like game streaming and augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) services can use Wavelength to reach end-users with millisecond-level connections, optimizing the user experience and application performance.

AWS enterprise customers can use Wavelength to deliver low-latency solutions for use cases such as Internet of Things (IoT), live media production, and industrial automation. Customers with edge data processing needs such as image and video recognition, inference, data aggregation, and responsive analytics can use Wavelength to perform low-latency operations and processing right where their data is generated. This reduces the need to move large amounts of data for processing in centralized locations.

Why should I use AWS Wavelength?

AWS Wavelength lets you go from the device on the 5G network to your application’s resources on the AWS cloud with the fewest network hops because compute and storage are hosted directly within the telco providers’ 5G networks. This reduces latency caused by network congestion or longer routes, which would be required to access application resources outside of the 5G network.

This enables new classes of compute-intensive, latency sensitive applications latency. For example, a fleet of autonomous cars interacting with road sensors to prevent crashes, smart industrial robots assessing and reacting to plant conditions in a dangerous manufacturing environment, or retailers serving personalized promotions to shoppers’ mobile phones in real time as they pass product displays.

Wavelength brings the power of AWS to the network edge to enable latency sensitive use cases requiring near real-time responses. Processing at the network edge can help avoid transmitting large volumes of data over the network provider’s infrastructure, and offload processing from mobile device hardware.

How should I think about when to use AWS Wavelength, AWS Local Zones, or AWS Outposts for applications requiring low latency or local data processing?

AWS helps customers deliver a consistent experience to support applications with low latency or local data processing requirements wherever they are deployed.

AWS Wavelength is designed to deliver ultra-low latency applications to 5G devices by extending AWS infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools to 5G networks. Wavelength embeds storage and compute inside telco providers’ 5G networks to help developers build new applications for 5G end-users requiring ultra-low-latency, such as IoT devices, game streaming, autonomous vehicles, and live media production.

AWS Local Zones are a new type of AWS infrastructure designed to run workloads requiring ultra-low-latency in more locations, including video rendering and graphics intensive, virtual desktop applications. Not every customer wants to operate their own on-premises data center, while others may want to get rid of their local data center entirely. Local Zones allow customers to take advantage of all the benefits of running compute and storage resources closer to end-users, without the need to own and operate their own data center infrastructure.

AWS Outposts is designed for workloads that must remain on-premises due to latency requirements, but where customers want that on-prem workload to run seamlessly with their AWS workloads. AWS Outposts are fully managed and configurable compute and storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware, which allows customers to run compute and storage on-premises while seamlessly connecting to AWS’s broad array of cloud services.

What are examples AWS Wavelength workloads?

Emerging interactive applications like game streaming, live video and event streaming, and machine learning (ML) video inference. These workloads require compute and storage close to the edge to ensure ultra-low latency for end-users and devices connecting through mobile networks. In addition, use cases like industrial automation, smart cities, IoT, and autonomous vehicles require data processing and retrieval to occur close to the edge to deliver on the application performance requirements. These use cases can all benefit from AWS Wavelength and Wavelength Zones.

How do I get started with AWS Wavelength?

Wavelength Zones are extensions of an AWS Region, allowing you to use the same AWS tools and capabilities you do today while minimizing the need to re-architect your application to reduce latency. If you have an existing application, all you need to do is select your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) in the VPC console. In the Actions menu, choose to create a subnet in a Wavelength Zone. By default, the Carrier Gateway wizard enables Wavelength Zones for all carriers and locations available in the Region, or you can choose specific ones. The wizard helps you set up subnets for each Wavelength Zone. You can then launch Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances in the new subnets and run containerized applications on Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS). If you do not have a VPC, the easiest way to get started is to select the Create VPC wizard in the VPC console.

What AWS services are available with AWS Wavelength?

You can create Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes, and Amazon VPC subnets and carrier gateways in Wavelength Zones. You can also use services that orchestrate or work with EC2, EBS, and VPC. These include Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling, Amazon EKS clusters, Amazon ECS clusters, Amazon EC2 Systems Manager, Amazon CloudWatch, AWS CloudTrail, and AWS CloudFormation. The services offered with Wavelength are part of a VPC connected over a reliable, high bandwidth connection to an AWS Region for easy access to services including Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS).

Can I reserve capacity for Amazon EC2 in a Wavelength Zone?

You can use On-Demand Capacity Reservations to reserve capacity for your Amazon EC2 instances in a Wavelength Zone.

What pricing models are supported in Wavelength Zones for Amazon EC2?

There are two ways to pay for Amazon EC2 instances in Wavelength Zones: On-Demand and Savings Plans.

What Amazon EC2 instance types are available?

Wavelength supports the following instances types for edge workloads: t3.medium, t3.xlarge, and r5.2xlarge for applications requiring cost-effective general purpose compute; g4dn.2xlarge for applications requiring GPUs such as game streaming and ML inference at the edge. All EC2 instances are EBS-based. Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) and Snapshots of EBS volumes are stored in the parent Region. EC2 Instances are only offered On-Demand; you cannot buy Reserved Instances in a Wavelength Zone.

Can I use Wavelength Zones to deliver applications to 4G/LTE devices?

Yes. Applications running on 4G/LTE mobile phones and devices connected over 4G/LTE networks can access applications servers on Wavelength Zones. These applications also benefit from accessing compute infrastructure co-located within the mobile network. 

How do I see my usage in Wavelength Zones?

You can use the AWS Cost Explorer to filter usage by Availability Zone, including Wavelength Zones.

How can I receive support for AWS services running in AWS Wavelength?

Create a case with AWS Support to get help with AWS services running in Wavelength Zones.

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