Amazon Web Services has added four locations where enterprises can use its Direct Connect network service to communicate with its cloud, the company said on Tuesday.

The new AWS Direct Connect locations are CoreSite One Wilshire in Los Angeles, TelecityGroup Sovereign House in London and Equinix in Singapore and in Tokyo. The two existing locations are both in the U.S.

Direct Connect works as an alternative to using the Internet to access AWS cloud services. Advantages include more consistent network performance for applications that require real-time data and enhanced privacy for customers who may have security or compliance policies that prevent them from connecting to the cloud using a VPN, according to Amazon.

To connect, enterprises can choose between 1G-bps (bits per second) and 10G-bps Ethernet ports. Companies that want more capacity can provision multiple connections.

One drawback with the network service is that Amazon doesn't offer service level agreements with Direct Connect, at least for now.

To get started with Direct Connect, users have fill in a sign-up form indicating their connection requirements, and then Amazon will contact them. For using Direct Connect, Amazon charges US$0.30 per hour for a 1G-bps port and $2.25 per hour for a 10G-bps port. The company also charges users between $0.02 and $0.045 per gigabyte of data transferred out of its cloud.

In 2012, Amazon is planning to add more Direct Connect locations across the world, but isn't elaborating on a more detailed rollout map.

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