October 10, 2023

AWS Multicast: Examining Your Options

Thinus Swart
Thinus has been interested in computers and technology ever since the day he painstakingly typed out every line from a library book about BASIC games into a ZX Spectrum as a young child. From there, he's been employed as a developer, a network admin, a database admin, and a Linux admin, all in the pursuit of building up his knowledge. He considers himself a 'jack-of-all-trades, master of some'. He is currently employed as a cybersecurity specialist at a large financial services company in South Africa, making full use of his Splunk Architect certification to analyze the terabytes of data that a company of that size can generate daily.
Want to stay up to date with swXtch.io? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Multicast is a type of service that allows the user to send data to multiple receiver destinations simultaneously. A great example is a sports event broadcast that is sent to multiple networks or channels at the same time. Multicasting also allows financial service companies to distribute trading data and news quickly to multiple clients at the same time.

Multicasting allows a sender to send a stream of traffic to multiple receivers at the same time in a multicast group. It's commonly used for applications such as video streaming, audio streaming, online gaming, and content distribution.

Multicast services are highly scalable and ideal for applications with a large number of recipients. Additionally, these services can also be customized to meet application service–specific requirements, such as group configurations, quality of service (QoS) parameters, and delivery of data to specific recipients. Key parameters, such as traffic volumes, latency, and packet loss, aid in identifying and troubleshooting the issues in real time.

In this article, you'll compare two multicast solutions, evaluating features such as quality, scalability, and of course, cost. By the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Transit Gateway and cloudSwxtch, helping you determine which option best aligns with your needs.

What Is AWS Transit Gateway?

The AWS Transit Gateway is a fully managed network transit hub that offers a centralized method of traffic routing between networks. It improves network performance and streamlines network architecture by enabling clients to connect their Amazon Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) and on-premise networks through a single, centralized gateway.

In addition, it simplifies network management and eliminates the need for intricate routing setups. For this reason, AWS Transit Gateway is a great choice for multicast applications.

What Is cloudSwXtch?

cloudSwXtch is primarily known as a virtual overlay network that lets you build high-performance networks on top of your cloud infrastructure without needing to change your application code. As part of its feature set, it also offers multicast services that can significantly enhance network performance and efficiency. These multicast services enable businesses to efficiently transmit large amounts of data to multiple recipients without causing network congestion or reducing the quality of the transmission. It supports multicasting to all the major cloud providers, including Amazon, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Google, and Azure.

One of the key benefits of cloudSwXtch multicast services is their ability to scale to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. Whether a business is transmitting data to a small group of recipients or broadcasting to a large audience, cloudSwXtch multicast services can handle the load, ensuring that all recipients receive the data at the same time and at a high quality.

cloudSwXtch multicast services are also used in financial markets for real-time data distribution. Its multicast services are a powerful tool for businesses looking to efficiently transmit large amounts of data to multiple recipients.

With the ability to scale to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, cloudSwXtch multicast services are particularly useful in the broadcast and media industry and financial markets.

Comparing AWS Transit Gateway and cloudSwXtch

Both AWS Transit Gateway and cloudSwXtch are tools that offer more than just multicasting; however, this article aims to specifically compare the multicasting capabilities of both offerings with one another. For starters, compare the two tools based on their quality, specifically as it relates to reliability and availability.


From a quality perspective, there are several factors to consider.

AWS Transit Gateway is a fully managed service provided by AWS that enables customers to connect multiple Amazon VPCs and on-premise networks together using a central hub. Amazon offers management tools via the standard management console or a command line interface (CLI). Peering is easily enabled, and you can even configure peering between multiple transit gateways, either in the same region or interregion, allowing you to save money by sharing resources between AWS regions.

With monitoring tools like CloudWatch and Flow Logs, problems like packet loss are easily detected.

Additionally, the AWS Transit Gateway is designed for high availability. It provides failover capabilities and built-in redundancy to ensure continuous network connectivity.

Finally, when the AWS Transit Gateway is integrated with other AWS services, such as AWS Direct Connect and AWS VPN, you have a complete solution for tying on-premise networks and VPCs to the AWS Cloud. This means customers can take full advantage of AWS services and capabilities while still keeping control over their network design.

In comparison, cloudSwXtch provides multicasting capabilities over the AWS (or other vendor's) cloud infrastructure. cloudSwXtch is designed to provide high-performance multicast services with low latency and high availability. Because cloudSwXtch uses your AWS infrastructure (or another cloud provider's infrastructure), the quality in terms of network reliability is effectively the same.

The difference in quality stems from the fact that cloudSwXtch multicast features are designed in such a way that you do not need to implement major code changes to your multicast applications to make the switch between on-premise operations and cloud operations.


Because the AWS Transit Gateway integrates well with your AWS infrastructure, features such as scaling across multiple gateways are relatively easy to configure. Customers can simply add or delete VPCs and on-premise networks using the AWS Transit Gateway without having to modify the design of their network.

Again, because cloudSwXtch is built on the same cloud infrastructure as the rest of your cloud environment, scaling is only limited by your infrastructure. Both horizontal and vertical scaling are well supported, and your scaling capabilities are only limited by the cloud resources you can afford to give to your cloudSwXtch network.

Unique Features

Up to this point, cloudSwXtch and the AWS Transit Gateway have been relatively comparable. However, in this section, you'll see some differences between the two offerings in terms of providing a better multicast service.

The AWS Transit Gateway does have some advanced features that integrate nicely with the rest of the AWS infrastructure. For example, automated site-to-site VPN provisioning allows you to quickly get different VPCs up and running from the Transit Gateway Network Manager interface.

In comparison, cloudSwXtch provides advanced monitoring and analytics features, including real-time multicast traffic monitoring and multicast flow visualization. This is done using their own software called wXcked Eye.

Other advanced features, such as Precision Time Protocol (PTP), are supported on your virtual network, which allows for precision clock synchronization across your whole infrastructure. This is useful for applications that require time-sensitive operations, such as processing financial data.

Transit Gateway doesn't allow ingest of multicast traffic from on-premises to the AWS cloud network natively.  If someone has multicast traffic on-premises, they will need to use AWS Elemental Media Connect Gateway.  


Amazon's pricing for the Transit Gateway isn't exactly transparent. Pricing could differ considerably depending on the region you're hosting your infrastructure in. Other factors that affect the pricing are as follows:

* Number of connections per hour

* Billed per hour for the number of VPN connections through your gateway

* Data processing charges

These are by no means the only factors that determine pricing for your gateway. You can purchase an Enterprise Support package, but these are billed separately. AWS does offer a free tier for some of its service offerings, but the AWS Transit Gateway is not included in its free tier.

In comparison, the pricing for cloudSwXtch is easier to understand and should make budgeting a simpler process when deciding on a multicast provider. cloudSwXtch is fixed-price based on # of cloudSwXtches deployed.

Prices are only determined by these factors:

* Egress capacity

* Number of connections

Depending on these factors, you are billed at an hourly rate in one of three tiers. Additionally, support packages are purchased separately, but their standard support is effectively free, with a price of $0 USD. This package promises an eight-hour response time to any logged support tickets. If you require premium support, though, you would have to contact them for pricing.

This takes some of the guesswork out of budgeting for your solution, and the pricing becomes considerably more predictable.


Multicast services are a crucial tool for companies wanting to send significant volumes of data to several receivers in an effective manner. By sending a single copy of the data to several receivers, multicast services improve network efficiency and consume less bandwidth. They're a great option for high-bandwidth applications, such as streaming video, live events, and the delivery of financial data.

While the AWS Transit Gateway does offer multicast as part of its feature set, it's also tightly coupled to the rest of the AWS infrastructure offering. So even if you were looking toward AWS as a solution for multicasting your application's data, you would need to invest in and manage many other AWS components to get your setup up and running. Not to mention that the pricing for all these components can be confusing and difficult to budget for. It’s also a closed solution that just runs on the AWS cloud.

cloudSwXtch multicast services are particularly useful in the broadcast and media industry and financial markets, where high-quality data transmission to multiple recipients simultaneously is critical. cloudSwXtch multicast services ensure that all users receive the data simultaneously. You're also able to scale to meet the performance demands that any multicast application might have. It is also a multi-cloud solution, as of this writing deployable in Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and AWS.

In addition to its multicast services, cloudSwXtch also offers a range of automation tools that simplify network deployment processes and ensure that devices are configured correctly and consistently. The cloudSwXtch intuitive interface, automation capabilities, and security features make it an ideal choice for businesses looking to simplify their network management processes and improve their overall network performance.

With cloudSwXtch, the IEX Group created a piece of software to solve a particular problem: How do you leverage your cloud infrastructure to work with your existing on-premise applications without reengineering everything? If you have a multicast application and you're looking to use your cloud infrastructure to leverage it, take a look at cloudSwXtch.

Want to stay up to date with swXtch.io? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Subscribe for updates

We’ll send you product launches and trending articles once a month.