Introduction - Real-Time Communication on AWS


Telecommunication applications using voice, video, and messaging as channels are a key requirement for many organizations and their end users. These real-time communication (RTC) workloads have specific latency and availability requirements that can be met by following relevant design best practices. In the past, RTC workloads have been deployed in traditional on-premises data centers with dedicated resources.

However, due to a mature and burgeoning set of features, RTC workloads can be deployed on Amazon Web Services (AWS) despite stringent service-level requirements while also benefiting from scalability, elasticity, and high availability. Today, several customers are using AWS, its partners, and open source solutions to run RTC workloads with reduced cost, faster agility, the ability to go global in minutes, and rich features from AWS services.

Customers leverage AWS features such as enhanced networking with an Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) and the latest generation of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances to benefit from data plane development kit (DPDK), single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV), huge pages, NVM Express (NVMe), non-uniform memory access (NUMA) support as well as bare metal instances to meet RTC workload requirements. These Instances offer network bandwidth of up to 100 Gbps and commensurate packets per second, delivering increased performance for network intensive applications. For scaling, Elastic Load Balancing offers Application Load Balancer, which offers WebSocket support and Network Load Balancer that can handle millions of requests per second. For network acceleration, AWS Global Accelerator provides static IP addresses that act as a fixed entry point to your application endpoints in AWS. It has support for static IP addresses for the load balancer. For reduced latency, cost and increased bandwidth throughput, AWS Direct Connect establishes dedicated network connection from on-premises to AWS. Highly available managed SIP trunking is provided by Amazon Chime Voice Connector. Amazon Kinesis Video Streams with WebRTC easily stream real-time two-way media with high availability.

This paper includes reference architectures that show how to set up RTC workloads on AWS and best practices to optimize the solutions to meet end user requirements while optimizing for the cloud. The evolved packet core (EPC) is out of scope for this white paper, but the best practices detailed can be applied to virtual network functions (VNFs).