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Internet2 Cloud Connect Amazon Web Services Offering Now Supports Jumbo Frames

Jun 12, 2019, by Matthew Zekauskas
Tags: Amazon Web Services, Cloud Connect Initiative, Recent Posts

All of Internet2's Cloud Connect ports for the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect offering are now Ethernet jumbo frame enabled.

AWS has long had the ability to use Ethernet jumbo frames within Virtual Private Clouds, but external connectivity was limited to the standard 1500 byte Ethernet frame. 

The research and education community has long used Ethernet jumbo frames, which we collectively defined as 9000 byte frames, to speed throughput of large data transfers. AWS recently enabled private Direct Connect paths to use Ethernet jumbo frames, which they define as 9001 byte frames.

Internet2, working with AWS, has completed updating all its ports to allow jumbo frames to pass. There is now a checkbox in the Cloud Connect portal to enable jumbo frames. New Cloud Connect AWS connections can use them now. Existing Direct Connect connections will need to be updated or torn down and rebuilt to use jumbo frames.

Note that AWS public peerings, including the Internet2 Peer Exchange (I2PX), are still limited to standard 1500-byte Ethernet frames by Amazon.

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A postscript on the difference between R&E MTU of 9000 bytes and AWS MTU of 9001 bytes: the R&E community has long used 9000 bytes as the standard for jumbo frames. We do not recommend changing the value used by R&E — leave it at 9000 to maximize R&E interoperability. However, it is important to set the Layer 3 MTU to be 9001 on the interface that peers with Amazon to prevent MTU black holes; CloudConnect L3VPN will do this for you.