Alibaba Cloud provides a lot of connectivity options to you to connect a VPC to the Internet, other VPCs, and local data centers.

Connect to Internet

The following table lists the products or functions that you can use to connect a VPC to the Internet.
Product Function Benefit
ECS public IP

The public IP allocated by Alibaba Cloud when creating an ECS instance of the VPC network. With this public IP, the ECS instance can access the Internet (SNAT) and also can be accessed from the Internet (DNAT). However, you cannot unbind the public IP from the ECS instance.

None.

Elastic IP Address (EIP) With an EIP, the ECS instance can access the Internet (SNAT) and also can be accessed from the Internet (DNAT).

You can bind and unbind an EIP from an ECS instance at any time.

NAT Gateway NAT Gateway is an enterprise-class Internet gateway, supporting multiple ECS instances accessing the Internet with one EIP (SNAT) and being accessed from the Internet (DNAT).
Note Compared to Server Load Balancer, NAT Gateway itself does not provide the traffic balancing function.

The core difference between NAT Gateway and EIP is that NAT Gateway supports Internet access of multiple ECS instances but EIP can only be used by an ECS instance.

Server Load Balancer

Port-based load balancing, Server Load Balancer provides Layer-4 (TCP and UDP protocols) and Layer-7 (HTTP and HTTPS protocols) load balancing. Server Load Balancer can forward the client requests from the Internet to the backend ECS instances.

Note The ECS instance without a public IP cannot access the Internet (SNAT) through Server Load Balancer.

In DNAT, Server Load Balancer supports forwarding an Internet request to multiple ECS instances.

Server Load Balancer is a traffic distribution control service that distributes the incoming traffic among multiple ECS instances according to the configured forwarding rules. It expands application service capabilities and enhances application availability.

Connect to a VPC

The following table lists the products or functions that you can use to connect a VPC to another VPC.
Product Function Benefit
VPN Gateway

VPN Gateway allows you to create an IPsec-VPN connection to build an encrypted communication between two VPC networks.

For more information, see Configure a VPC-to-VPC connection.

  • Low cost, secure and simple configuration. However, the quality of the network depends on the Internet.

  • IPsec-VPN supports IKEv1 and IKEv2 protocols. Any device that supports these two protocols can connect to Alibaba Cloud VPN Gateway. Supported devices include: Huawei, H3C, Cisco, ASN, Juniper, SonicWall, Nokia, IBM, and Ixia.

Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN)

CEN allows you to connect VPCs in different regions and different accounts to build an interconnected network.

For more information, see Tutorial overview.

  • Simple configuration, and automatic route learning and distribution.

  • Low latency and fast speed.

  • The networks (VPC/VBR) attached to a CEN instance are all connected with each other.

  • The network connection in the same region is free of charge.

Connect to a local IDC

The following table lists the products or functions that you can use to connect a VPC to a local IDC.
Table 1. Private network connection
Product Function Benefit
Express Connect

Express Connect allows you to connect to a local IDC with a dedicated physical connection.

For more information, see Connect a local data center to a VPC through a physical connection.

  • Based on the backbone network, low latency.

  • The leased line access features higher security and reliability, faster speed, and lower latency.

VPN Gateway
  • VPN Gateway allows you to create an IPsec-VPN connection to connect a VPC to a local IDC.

  • Connect multiple local sites

    The VPN-Hub function of VPN Gateway allows you to connect multiple local sites to the VPC. The connected sites can communicate with the VPC, but also can communicate with one another.

  • Remote access

    VPN Gateway allows you to create an SSL-VPN connection to let clients access the VPC from a remote computer.

  • Low cost, secure and simple configuration. However, the quality of the network depends on the Internet.

  • IPsec-VPN supports IKEv1 and IKEv2 protocols. Any device that supports these two protocols can connect to Alibaba Cloud VPN Gateway. Supported devices include: Huawei, H3C, Cisco, ASN, Juniper, SonicWall, Nokia, IBM, and Ixia.

  • SSL-VPN connection supports connecting a VPC from a remote computer using the Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems.

Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN)
  • Connect to a local data center

    CEN allows you to attach the VBR associated with alocal data center to a CEN instance to build an interconnected network.

  • Connect to multiple VPC and local networks

    CEN allows you to attach multiple networks (VPC/VBR) to a CEN instance. All the attached networks are all connected with each other.

  • Simple configuration, and automatic route learning and distribution.

  • Low latency and fast speed.

  • The networks (VPCs/VBRs) attached to a CEN instance are connected with each other.

  • The network connection in the same region is free of charge.

Smart Access Gateway
  • Smart Access Gateway allows you to connect local branches to the Alibaba Cloud to build a hybrid cloud for large organizations.

  • Connect local branches.

  • Highly automated configuration, out-of-box experience, and automatically and quickly adapts to network topology changes.

  • Access is provided from a nearby cities through the Internet. Additionally, multiple local branches can access Alibaba Cloud using the Smart Access Gateway devices with master-slave links.

  • The local branches and the Alibaba Cloud are connected through an encrypted private network and encryption authentication is implemented during the Internet transmission.