AWS EC2 Network – Enhanced Networking

EC2 Enhanced Networking

  • Enhanced networking results in higher bandwidth, higher packet per second (PPS) performance, lower latency, consistency, scalability and lower jitter
  • EC2 provides enhanced networking capabilities using single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) only on supported instance types
    • SR-IOV is a method of device virtualization that provides higher I/O performance and lower CPU utilization
  • Amazon Linux AMIs and Windows Server 2012 R2 AMI already have the module installed with the attributes set and do not require any additional configurations.
  • It can be enabled for other OS distributions by installing the module with the correct attributes configured
  • Enhanced Networking is supported using
    • Elastic Network Adapter (ENA)
      • The Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) supports network speeds of up to 100 Gbps for supported instance types.
      • The current generation instances use ENA for enhanced networking, except for C4, D2, and M4 instances smaller than m4.16xlarge.
    • Intel 82599 Virtual Function (VF) interface
      • The Intel 82599 Virtual Function interface supports network speeds of up to 10 Gbps for supported instance types.
      • supported instance types: C3, C4, D2, I2, M4 (excl. m4.16xlarge), and R3.

VF Enhanced Networking Key Requirements

  • VPC, as enhanced networking can’t be enabled for instance in EC2-Classic
  • an HVM virtualization type AMI
  • Instance kernel version
    • Linux kernel version of 2.6.32+
    • Windows: Server 2008 R2+
  • Appropriate Virtual Function (VF) driver
    • Linux – should have the ixgbevf module installed and that sriovNetSupport attribute set for the instance
    • Windows- Intel 82599 Virtual Function driver
  • supported instance types: C3, C4, D2, I2, M4 (excl. m4.16xlarge), and R3.

AWS Certification Exam Practice Questions

  • Questions are collected from Internet and the answers are marked as per my knowledge and understanding (which might differ with yours).
  • AWS services are updated everyday and both the answers and questions might be outdated soon, so research accordingly.
  • AWS exam questions are not updated to keep up the pace with AWS updates, so even if the underlying feature has changed the question might not be updated
  • Open to further feedback, discussion and correction.
  1. You have multiple Amazon EC2 instances running in a cluster across multiple Availability Zones within the same region. What combination of the following should be used to ensure the highest network performance (packets per second), lowest latency, and lowest jitter? Choose 3 answers
    1. Amazon EC2 placement groups (would not work for multiple AZs)
    2. Enhanced networking (provides network performance, lowest latency)
    3. Amazon PV AMI (Requires HVM)
    4. Amazon HVM AMI (Requires HVM)
    5. Amazon Linux (Can be on others as well)
    6. Amazon VPC (works only in VPC, can’t enable enhanced networking if the instance is in EC2-Classic)
  2. A group of researchers is studying the migration pattern of a beetle that eats and destroys gram. The researchers must process massive amounts of data and run statistics. Which one of the following options provides the high performance computing for this purpose.
    1. Configure an Autoscaling Scaling group to launch dozens of spot instances to run the statistical analysis simultaneously
    2. Launch AMI instances that support SR-IOV in a single Availability Zone
    3. Launch compute optimized (C4) instances in at least two Availability Zones
    4. Launch enhanced network type instances in a placement group


9 thoughts on “AWS EC2 Network – Enhanced Networking

  1. Can you pls guide on the answer and why ??

    You have a content management system running on an Amazon EC2 instance that is approaching 100% CPU
    utilization. Which option will reduce load on the Amazon EC2 instance?
    A. Create a load balancer, and register the Amazon EC2 instance with it
    B. Create a CloudFront distribution, and configure the Amazon EC2 instance as the origin
    C. Create an Auto Scaling group from the instance using the CreateAutoScalingGroup action
    D. Create a launch configuration from the instance using the CreateLaunchConfiguration action

    1. If it is a CMS with mostly reads, you can go with B. As ideally you would need ELB with Auto Scaling which none of the other options provide.

  2. Hi Jayendra,
    What is the justification for the question #2 ? The answer marked is d but could it be also “a”? what is the reason for choosing “d” ?



    1. high performance computing is the key which can be achieved using enhanced networking and placement group.

  3. Hi jayendrapatil,
    Thank you so much for maintaining this wonderful blog. I have learned a lot from it.
    For Q1 A: placement group supports spreading in multiple AZs now. Will A be considered as a correct answer?


    1. With the old exams the chances are less that this enhancement has been reflected. None of the users have reported changes in the old exam
      With the new exam, it should be reflected as it includes all the latest services and enhancements.

  4. Hi Jayendra,

    We have a t2.xlarge EC2 instance accessed by multiple users to work on their applications. The CPU Utilization and Memory Utilization reaches maximum resulting in slow server performance. If Auto scaling and loadbalancing options are ruled out as per the business requirement, then will configuring Enhanced Networking , help ?

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