Before you apply for an Express Connect circuit, you must specify an access point and contact a network carrier to request a pre-installation site survey.

Step 1: Select an access point

Access points which are deployed in points of presence (PoPs) of Alibaba Cloud are the geographical locations from which Express Connect circuits are connected to Alibaba Cloud. Two access devices are deployed at each access point. Each region contains one or more access points. You can connect your data center to a virtual private cloud (VPC) through an access point that meets your requirements. For more information about access points, see Locations of access points.

When you select an access point, take note of factors such as the region, network carrier, and port.

  • Region

    We recommend that you select the access point that is nearest to your data center. The network carriers and bandwidth limits of different access points may vary.

  • Network carrier
    We recommend that you select a network carrier based on your business requirements. You can lease an Express Connect circuit from China Unicom, China Telecom, China Mobile, or other network carriers.
    Note
    • Most access points of Alibaba Cloud are deployed in data centers owned by network carriers or third-party service providers. When you install an Express Connect circuit in one of these data centers, you must follow their regulations. The data center in the China (Zhangjiakou) region and the data center where the Hangzhou-Yuhang-A access point is deployed are owned and managed by Alibaba Cloud.
    • You are not allowed to install Express Connect circuits in data centers of China Unicom, China Telecom, and China Mobile if the Express Connect circuits are leased from network carriers other than the preceding ones.
    • China Unicom, China Telecom, and China Mobile do not support connections through bare fiber cables. For more information, contact your network carrier.
  • Port

    You can use a copper Ethernet port or an optical port.

    • The switches in the access points of Alibaba Cloud support RJ-45 copper Ethernet ports. By default, Alibaba Cloud provides 10 GE ports. 100BASE-T and 1000BASE-T copper Ethernet ports are also supported. The port rate varies based on the port specification.
    • Optical ports are known as bare optical fibers. Network carriers use optical cables of the transmission network to connect to Alibaba Cloud. The speed of an optical port depends on the negotiated speed of the optical transceiver modules on both ends of the connection. The speed can be 1 Gbit/s, 10 Gbit/s, 40 Gbit/s, or 100 Gbit/s.
    Note
    • Different access points provide different port specifications. We recommend you check the port specifications available for purchase before you apply for an Express Connect circuit.
    • By default, Alibaba Cloud provides optical transceiver modules with 1 Gbit/s and 10 Gbit/s ports. This type of optical transceiver module supports a maximum transmission distance of 10 km. If you want to use optical transceiver modules with 40 Gbit/s and 100 Gbit/s ports or optical transceiver modules that support a maximum transmission distance of greater than 10 km, purchase them from a third party.
    • If you purchase optical ports, make sure that the network carrier uses optical fiber cables to connect to the access device of Alibaba Cloud.
    • Alibaba Cloud data centers do not support fiber-optic transceivers. The company in charge of the installation cannot install fiber-optic transceivers in data centers of Alibaba Cloud.

Step 2: Check inventory availability

After you select an access point and specify other required parameters on the buy page of an Express Connect circuit, you can navigate to the payment page and check whether the Express Connect circuit that you apply for is available.

  1. Go to the Express Connect-Port Initialization for Physical Connection page.
  2. Set the parameters such as Access Point, Port Specification, and Port Type. Then, click Buy Now.
  3. On the Confirm Order page, select Express Connect-Port Initialization for Physical Connection Agreement of Service and click Pay.
  4. On the page that appears, check whether the Express Connect circuit that you apply for is available.
    • If the payment page appears after you click Pay, it indicates that the Express Connect circuit is available.
      Notice Do not click Confirm Payment.
    • If an activation failure message appears after you click Pay, the Express Connect circuit that you apply for is out of stock. You must select another access point.

Step 3: Perform a site survey

After you verify that the specified access point is available and obtain the information about the location of the access point, consult your network carrier for details about connecting your data center to Alibaba Cloud. In addition, contact the network carrier to perform a site survey.

Notice
  • If the access point is located in mainland China, you must acquire the permissions from Alibaba Cloud before you contact your network carrier to perform a site survey in the data center of Alibaba Cloud.
  • If the access point is located outside mainland China, you do not need permissions from Alibaba Cloud. The engineer in charge of the installation must be authorized by the data center where the access point is deployed to perform the site survey. The site survey is performed in the meet-me room (MMR) of the data center instead of the machine room dedicated to Alibaba Cloud.
  1. Consult your network carrier for details about installing the Express Connect circuit and contact the network carrier to connect the Express Connect circuit to the specified access point.
  2. After you confirm the installation, submit a ticket to apply for the permissions to enter the Alibaba Cloud data center and perform a site survey. Submit a ticket.
    You must provide the name, ID number, and contact information of the engineer that performs the site survey.
  3. After the permissions are granted, Alibaba Cloud will assist the engineer to complete the site survey within two business days.
  4. Contact your network carrier to perform the site survey. Then, confirm the charges for the installation.
    For more information about the billing of dedicated Express Connect circuits, see Billing.