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ExpressRoute Technical Overview

Updated: August 20, 2014

Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute lets you create private connections between Azure datacenters and infrastructure that’s on your premises or in a co-location environment. With ExpressRoute, you can establish connections to Azure at an ExpressRoute partner co-location facility or directly connect to Azure from your existing WAN network (such as a MPLS VPN provided by a Network Service Provider). In order to configure ExpressRoute, you’ll have to meet the Required Prerequisites.

ExpressRoute connections do not go over the public Internet. ExpressRoute connections offer higher security, more reliability, faster speeds and lower latencies than typical connections over the Internet. In some cases, using ExpressRoute connections to transfer data between on-premises and Azure can also yield significant cost benefits. Use ExpressRoute to extend your network to Azure and unlock hybrid IT scenarios. See the ExpressRoute FAQ for more details.

The figure below shows a logical representation of connectivity between your infrastructure and Azure. You must order a circuit to connect your infrastructure to Azure through a connectivity provider. A connectivity provider can be either a Network Service Provider or an Exchange Provider.

ExpressRoute Connection

In the diagram, a circuit represents a redundant pair of logical cross connections between your network and Azure configured in Active-Active configuration. The circuit will be partitioned to 2 sub-circuits to isolate traffic.
The following traffic is isolated:

  • Traffic is isolated between your premises and Azure compute services. Azure compute services, namely virtual machines (IaaS) and cloud services (PaaS) deployed within a virtual network are covered.

  • Traffic is isolated between your premises and Azure services hosted on public IP addresses. The services that are supported can be found here: Supported Azure Services.

You can choose to enable one or both types of connectivity through your circuit. You will be able to connect to all supported Azure services through the circuit only if you configure both options mentioned above.
Note the following:

  • If you connect to Azure through a network service provider, the networks service provider takes care of configuring routes to all the services. Work with your network service provider to have routes configured appropriately.

  • If you are connecting to Azure through an exchange provider location, you will need a pair of physical cross-connections and on each of them you will need to configure a pair of BGP sessions per physical cross connection (one public peering and one for private peering) in order to have a highly available link.

There are two connectivity options for ExpressRoute. You can select Direct Layer 3 connectivity through an Exchange Provider between your network and services hosted in Azure (compute, storage, media services, websites and other services), or Layer 3 connectivity through a network service provider between your network and services hosted in Azure (compute, storage, media services, websites and other services). Or you can choose both. The tables below outline the bandwidth options and requirements for each type of connection.

 

Properties Connectivity through Network Service Providers Connectivity through Exchange Providers

Supported Service Providers

AT&T, Level 3, Verizon, British Telecom, SingTel, Orange, IIJ

Equinix, Level 3, TeleCity Group

Supported Bandwidth Options

10 Mbps, 50 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 500 Mbps, 1 Gbps

200 Mbps, 500 Mbps, 1Gbps, 10Gbps

Pricing

Pricing Details

Pricing Details

Routing

Managed by the network service provider

Customer managed

High Availability

Network service provider offers redundant connectivity in the same location

Customer must establish a pair of cross connects through the exchange provider

 

Service Provider Atlanta Chicago Dallas New York Seattle Silicon Valley Washington DC Amsterdam London Hong Kong Singapore

AT&T

Available

Available

British Telecom

Available

Available

Equinix

Available

Available

Available

Available

Available

Available

Available

Coming soon

Available

Available

Available

Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ)

Level 3 EVPL Service

Available

Available

Coming soon

Level 3 IP VPN Service

Available

Available

Coming soon

Orange

Coming soon

SingTel

Coming soon

TeleCity Group

Available

Coming soon

Verizon

Available

Available

Coming soon

In order to connect, the following prerequisites are required:

  1. Microsoft Azure

  2. A relationship with a network service provider or an exchange provider from the supported list above through whom connectivity needs to be facilitated. You must have an existing business relationship with the network service provider or exchange provider. You’ll need to make sure that the service you use is compatible with ExpressRoute.

  3. Contact your Microsoft account team. We recommend contacting your Microsoft account team. Your account team can work with you and your service provider to prioritize your request.

  4. Connectivity to the service provider’s infrastructure. You must meet the criteria of at least one of the following items listed:

    • You are a VPN customer of the network service provider and have at least one on-premises site connected to the network service provider’s VPN infrastructure. Check with your network service provider to see if your VPN service meets the need for ExpressRoute.

    • Your infrastructure is co-located in the exchange provider’s datacenter.

    • You have Ethernet connectivity to the exchange provider’s Ethernet exchange infrastructure.

  5. IP addresses and AS numbers for routing configuration.

    • You must use your own public AS numbers for configuring BGP sessions with Azure.

    • You can use private AS numbers. If you choose to do so, it must be > 65000. For more information about AS numbers, see Autonomous System (AS) Numbers.

    • IP addresses to configure routes. A /28 subnet is required. This must not overlap with any IP address ranges used in your on-premises or in Azure.

See Also

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