Chameleon Experiments using Direct Network Connections to Public Clouds like AWS

Authors: Paul Ruth, Cong Wang RENCI

Modern computer distributed software systems often involve public clouds such as those provided by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Increasingly, these software systems utilize advanced networking capabilities including direct Layer 2 and Layer 3 connectivity to public clouds. Until recently it has been nearly impossible to experiment with these capabilities without a big-budget project and sophisticated support from IT staff from local campuses and regional transit providers.

One step toward democratising direct network access to public clouds is Internet2’s Cloud Connect service that enables local campus IT staff to create direct network connections to Amazon AWS Direct Connect, Google Cloud Platform Dedicated Interconnect, and Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute.  However, smaller experimental projects and prototypes still might not have the funding or institutional will required to demand the attention of campus IT staff.

Chameleon eliminates the need to involve campus IT staff and enables access to direct public cloud network connections to all Chameleon users.  It is now possible for any user to experiment with these advanced cloud networking technologies using Chameleon resources without the need for complicated campus networking configuration. A Jupyter notebook has been added to your Chameleon Jupyter hub environment to show how to utilize this new capability. 


The new Jupyter notebook can be directly accessed here ( If your browser does not link directly to the notebook using this link, you can go to and navigate to the notebook at ~/notebooks/tutorials/networking/CloudConnect.ipynb

We invite anyone interested in learning about these tips and tricks to look at the notebook. If you are interested in deploying an experiment using Cloud Connect, please contact us so that we can set up your project with this capability.

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