Alibaba Cloud Express Connect helps you build internal network communication channels that feature enhanced cross-network communication speed, quality, and security. Express Connect also helps you mitigate network instability and data breaches.

Components

Express Connect consists of the following components:

  • Physical connection: A dedicated connection built from your on-premises network to Alibaba Cloud access points. The following two connection types are available to choose:
    • Dedicated connections

      A physical Ethernet connection that connects on-premises data center to Alibaba Cloud access points. You can apply for the dedicated connection from the console. The connection is dedicated to a single customer. For more information, see Create a dedicated connection.

    • Shared connections

      A physical Ethernet connection that is created by Alibaba Cloud Partners on behalf of customers. Alibaba Cloud Partners have created connections with Alibaba Cloud access points. You can request a hosted connection by contacting a partner. The connection is shared by carriers and customers. For more information, see Create a shared connection.

  • Virtual border Router:A VBR is a gateway that provides communication to a VPC for an on-premises data center.

Benefits

The benefits of Express Connect are as follows:
  • High-speed interconnectivity

    Powered by the network virtualization technology of Alibaba Cloud, Express Connect can connect different network environments so that both ends can directly communicate with each other through an internal network without the need for access to the Internet. A low-latency and high-bandwidth connection within an internal network can be achieved regardless of the distance between the connected network environments.

  • Stability and reliability

    Built on the state-of-the-art infrastructure of Alibaba Cloud, Express Connect guarantees stable and reliable communication between networks.

  • Security

    Express Connect implements cross-network communication at the network virtualization layer, where all data is transmitted through the infrastructure of Alibaba Cloud and tenants are isolated from each other. The risk of data theft is eliminated.

  • Pay-as-you-go billing

    Express Connect provides different bandwidth specifications. You only pay for the resources that you actually used.

Comparison between physical connections of Express Connect and VPN

Item Physical connection VPN
Network quality Physical connections use dedicated lines and internal networks for communication, which features high quality, low latency, and low packet loss. VPNs use the Internet for communication. However, there is a risk of high latency and packet loss.
Security and reliability Physical connections use dedicated lines, which have no risk of data theft and a high level of security. Physical connections can meet the needs of customers with high security requirements, such as finance and government enterprises. VPNs use encrypted communication channels that are based on the Internet and can meet basic security requirements of customers.
Transmission bandwidth A single link supports a bandwidth of up to 100 Gbit/s and can meet the needs of customers with large data volumes.

Equal-cost multi-path routing (ECMP) is supported among multiple physical connections. The bandwidth can be increased to a TB level.

The network bandwidth depends on the bandwidth of the public IP address.