Not all Internet connections are equal and for AWS customers who demand the highest level of reliability, security, and consistent performance there is AWS Direct Connect. Direct Connect establishes a dedicated private connection between the customer's premise, be it a data center collocated equipment, or office to the closest AWS data center without using a generic Internet connection to deliver services.
The cdirect connection is often able to provide a more efficient and effective connection that results in increased bandwidth, lower latency, and higher performance at a reduced cost for the network utilization. The AWS Direct Connect service is provided via third party providers worldwide with the single largest provider being data center operator Equinex, which, with the opening of new Direct Connect locations in Dallas, TX and London, UK now offers facilities in 10 connectivity regions.
For the more than 6200 companies making use of Equinix data centers, this means that they can connect to AWS without ever leaving the Equinix network. If they want the maximum in performance and security they can collocate their own equipment or services within the same data centers where Equinix is providing the AWS Direct Connect service. Equinix offers this capability at four of their data centers in North America and three in Europe.
Vendors other than Equinix offer AWS Direct Connect; a complete list can be found here. Other cloud platforms, such as IBM SoftLayer, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, also have similar services available.