This topic describes how to connect your network to Alibaba Cloud by using Express Connect physical connections. Through Express Connect physical connections, you can enable highly reliable intranet communication between your on-premises data center and Alibaba Cloud VPCs that belong to different regions.

Features of Express Connect

Express Connect provides the following key feature:

Physical connection

You can use a dedicated line leased from a service provider to physically connect your on-premises data center to Alibaba Cloud. After that, you can create a Virtual Border Router (VBR) and router interfaces (RIs) to achieve communication between the on-premises data center and a VPC in Alibaba Cloud.

Access points

If you use a dedicated line to connect an on-premises data center to an Alibaba Cloud VPC, you only need to select an access point that is closest in geographic proximity to your on-premises data center and connect the on-premises data center to the access point. You do not need to build a physical connection between your on-premises data center and Alibaba Cloud VPC. Access points include Alibaba Cloud access points and access points provided by Alibaba Cloud partners.
  • Alibaba Cloud access points

    You can view all access points of Alibaba Cloud in the Express Connect console. If an access point is available in the city where your on-premises data center is located, you can select this access point for the dedicated line connection.

  • Access points of Alibaba Cloud partners

    Some access points are also provided by Alibaba Cloud partners, and are connected with Alibaba Cloud through dedicated physical lines. This means that if no Alibaba Cloud access point is available, you can select an access point provided by one of our partners. You can view the access points of Alibaba Cloud partners in the Express Connect console and contact the Alibaba Cloud partner to obtain the information about your selected dedicated line.

    As a best practice, if no Alibaba Cloud access point or access point provided by an Alibaba Cloud partner is available in the city where your on-premises data center is located, we recommend that you select an access point that is nearest to the city where your on-premises data center is based.

    For example, the following figure shows three on-premises data centers (one in Beijing, one in Langfang, and one in Tianjin) connected to access points.
    • Alibaba Cloud provides access points in Beijing. Therefore, the on-premises data center in Beijing can be connected to an Alibaba Cloud access point in Beijing.
    • No Alibaba Cloud access point is available in Tianjin, but Alibaba Cloud partners provide access points in Tianjin. Therefore, the on-premises data center in Tianjin can be connected to an access point provided by Alibaba Cloud partner.
    • In Langfang, neither Alibaba Cloud access points nor access points are provided by Alibaba Cloud partners are available. However, Langfang is close to Beijing. Therefore, the on-premises data center in Langfang can be connected to an Alibaba Cloud access point in Beijing.
    • Note The lines in yellow are dedicated lines that need to be installed by your service provider.

Access global resources from one point

After you connect your network to one access point, you can connect to Alibaba Cloud VPCs all over the world through this access point.

For example, you want to connect an on-premises data center in Beijing to a VPC in Beijing and a VPC in Shenzhen through a physical connection. To implement that, you only need to use a dedicated line to connect the on-premises data center to an Alibaba Cloud Beijing access point, and create two router interfaces on the VBR to respectively connect to the two VPCs.

Note In the following figure, only the lines in yellow need to be installed by your service provider.