CenturyLink equips AWS Direct Connect re:Invent event with optical, internet services

Las Vegas skyline facing south
This is the fourth year in a row that CenturyLink, through its acquisition of Level 3, will provide private, dedicated network connectivity in support of re:Invent.

CenturyLink is flexing its newly expanded network and services muscles this week as the primary provider of network services to AWS re:Invent 2017 in Las Vegas, which has drawn thousands of in-person and online attendees.

This is the fourth year in a row that CenturyLink, through its acquisition of Level 3, will provide private, dedicated network connectivity in support of re:Invent.

What’s remarkable about the event is the growing scale.

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Since the company began providing services for AWS’ event in 2012, the event has grown to 40,000 on-site attendees and more than 50,000 livestreaming viewers.

“We began supporting this event in 2012 and it was all at the Sands and now it’s grown to five different venues and there’s over 40,000 attendees,” said Chris McReynolds, VP of cloud and data product management for CenturyLink, in an interview with FierceTelecom. “The demands of what they have requested for us have grown in parallel with that.”

To support AWS’ event, CenturyLink aggregates connections to the hub site at the Sands, which is where the major portion of the event is. From there, CenturyLink provides internet access services to support attendees and Amazon’s Wi-Fi access. Additionally, CenturyLink has equipped AWS with network connectivity, including diverse routes, for its East and West hubs.

“We go to a Northern cloud onramp for the East region and a Southern onramp with a diverse path on our long-haul network,” McReynolds said. “Also, we do the same for AWS West.”

McReynolds added that CenturyLink provides additional services to support not only attendees’ internet access but also for AWS’ complementary events.

“AWS has a couple of big needs: internet access to the 40,000 attendees, but they also have their boot camps, hackathons, and livestreaming events that they’re managing through AWS Compute,” McReynolds said.

While the connectivity CenturyLink is offering this week is dedicated to AWS’ event, CenturyLink is going to leave the circuits in place in anticipation of future similar events coming to Las Vegas. These circuits are built with diverse paths to two PoPs.

“Las Vegas has so many different conventions at the Sands and other venues and it’s such diverse and powerful internet connectivity we have built,” McReynolds said. “Even with those internet connections, we connect all of those facilities and take it out with diverse directions to two different internet points of presence and that’s something that should be of value to other conferences.”