What is Express Connect

Last Updated: Sep 27, 2017

Express Connect enables the creation of private network channels between different network environments, with more flexible topology, higher communication quality, and enhanced security.

Network environments include:

  • Intranet communication between Virtual Private Clouds (VPC)
  • Intranet communication between physical IDCs and VPCs, also known as a hybrid network

Express Connect offers an intranet-like connection regardless of distance. Whether in the same or different regions, data can easily be transmitted through the intranet over long distances. Furthermore, Express Connect offers a flexible and convenient cooperative development, even across different accounts.

Logical architecture

Based on the 3-layer overlay and switch virtualization technology in the Software Defined Network (SDN) architecture, customers’ physical leased line interfaces are isolated and abstracted into virtual border routers (VBRs). Alibaba Cloud uses tunneling technology to encapsulate customers’ packets in a VSwitch and applies tunnel encapsulation to the leased line, transmitting the packets to target VPC router. The data is then transmitted to the VPC.

Logical Architecture

Public network versus Express Connect

On Alibaba Cloud, each VPC is an isolated network from the external environment by two layers of security.

Network communication between VPCs and between VPCs and physical IDC machine rooms is referred to as across-network communication. Express Connect helps interconnect networks through the intranet. Without Express Connect, cross-network communication can only be achieved through the public network. The following table details feature comparisons between a public network and Express Connect:

Comparisons Public network Express Connect
Communication quality and availability Long-distance public network communication is affected by a variety of factors that make it hard to ensure latency stability and low packet loss rates. Alibaba Cloud’s high-quality infrastructure delivers enhanced link quality and availability:
Delay Variation≤20%
Packet Success Rate≥99.8%
Availability ≥ 99.95%
Packet Loss Rate < 0.2%
Cost You must pay traffic and bandwidth fees for using public networks. Alibaba Cloud provides free bandwidth, and virtual devices can be purchased on demand at affordable prices.
Security Communication data is at a risk of being monitored or stolen on public networks. Express Connect isolates different communication links to enhance security.
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