AWS Direct Connect connection Status still ‘available’ when there is an issue with our On-Premise Router

Last Updated on June 30, 2021

When we were setting up a Direct Connect I was wondering why the Direct Connect connection has state of ‘available’ but the router in the Corporate Data Center was off.

During times that there was a problem in the wet segment of our Direct Connect fiber line, the status was still ‘available’.

I got curious and asked AWS Support regarding this.

As it turns out the state of the Direct Connect connection is actually the state of the Customer/Provider POP Router to the AWS DX POP Router.

DX POP = Direct Connect Point of Presence / AWS Direct Connect Locations

To put it in simpler terms its the state of the Cross Connect.

This can happen because of many reasons.

  • The cable is not plugged properly or loose.
  • Incorrect cable type is used by the service provider to patch the port on the AWS edge router.
  • Incorrect SPF type used by your provider or a faulty one is used by either AWS or the provider.
  • A cross connect was not yet established by the provider. This is true for newly provisioned connections.
  • Incorrect patching of the port in the patch panel by the provider towards AWS side by mistakenly patching a wrong port and not following the LOA.
  • A transmitter error or repeater issue at your service provider that is causing the fiber signal level to go below the minimum acceptable level.

There are many more reasons why it will have a status of ‘down’.

When I asked what will happen when there is an issue with on-premise router or the wet segment of the Direct Connect line going to the colocation. The answer was it depends on the provider.

Some providers will reflect the status of the connection to the Cross Connect, some will not reflect the status.

Since the Direct Connect connection status is not a good indicator whether the connection is down or not, what is a better indicator?

A better indicator would be to check the BGP status of your Virtual Interface.

BGP status will be ‘down’ if there is any issues in any part of your connection. BGP status of ‘up’.

What I do now is when the Direct Connect connection is ‘down’ I immediately do the following in parallel.

  • Create an AWS Support Ticket for AWS to check on their end.
  • Create a support ticket with our colocation provider (Equinix, Megaport, etc.) to check on their end.

When the BGP status of my Public/Private/Transit Virtual Interfaces go ‘down’, I immediatey do the following in parallel.

  • Create an AWS Support Ticket for AWS to check on their end.
  • Create a support ticket with our colocation provider (Equinix, Megaport, etc.) to check on their end.
  • Troubleshoot on our router.

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