This topic describes the physical connection methods you can use to access Alibaba Cloud through Express Connect. Specifically, you can apply for a dedicated physical line from your service provider or providers, or use Express Cloud Connect (ECC).

Use Express Cloud Connect

You can connect to Alibaba Cloud through ECC and an Internet connection, as shown in the following figure.

Apply for a dedicated physical line

You can apply for a dedicated physical line from your service provider or providers, and connect your on-premises data center to an Alibaba Cloud access point through this dedicated line. This physical connection method needs to occupy a physical port of Alibaba Cloud. The following figure shows the overall connection process.

Differences between the two physical connection methods

Item ECC Dedicated line
User experience ECC provides you with an end-to-end cloud access service, which covers the whole connection process from access equipment debug, connection of user-side data centers with Alibaba Cloud-side data centers, and cloud-side configurations. You do not need to apply for a dedicated line from service providers. Multiple parties are involved.
  • SD-WAN technology: high reliability through backup bandwidth and links; simplified operation and maintenance through centralized configuration and monitoring; high security through encrypted links.
  • Alibaba Cloud services: OSS, DTS, RDS, DNS, and NAT.
Connects on-premises data centers and VPCs.
Billing ECC is based on Smart Access Gateway. No initial installation fee, resource occupation fee, or outbound traffic fee is charged. Only ECC service fee is charged. For more information, see Billing of Express Cloud Connect instances An initial installation fee (one-time charge) and a resource occupation fee (on a monthly basis) are charged by Alibaba Cloud.

Other construction and bandwidth rental fees are charged by the service provider. For more information, see Billing of physical connections.

Process For detailed procedures, see Activate Express Cloud Connect. For detailed procedures, see Apply for a physical connection interface.