Before you apply for an Express Connect circuit, you must choose an access point and contact a connectivity provider for a pre-installation site survey.

Step 1: Choose an access point

Access points are the points of presence (PoPs) of Alibaba Cloud and indicate the geographical locations where 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 choose an access point, take note of factors such as the region, connectivity provider, and port.

  • Region

    We recommend that you select the access point nearest to your data center. The connectivity providers and bandwidth limits vary based on the access point.

  • Connectivity provider
    We recommend that you choose a connectivity provider based on your business requirements. You can lease an Express Connect circuit from China Unicom, China Telecom, China Mobile, or other connectivity providers.
    Note
    • When you install an Express Connect circuit in a data center, you must follow the rules of the colocation provider. For more information about colocation providers, see Locations of access points.
    • 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 connectivity providers other than the preceding ones.
    • If you choose China Unicom, China Telecom, or China Mobile as the connectivity provider, bare fiber is not supported. You must lease lines from these connectivity providers. For more information, contact your connectivity provider.
  • 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. The default port specification is 10 GE. 100BASE-T and 1000BASE-T copper Ethernet ports are also supported. The port rate depends 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 rate of an optical port depends on the negotiated speed of the optical transceiver module. The port rate 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 an optical transceiver module from a third party, you must contact your customer business manager from Alibaba Cloud before you install the Express Connect circuit in the Alibaba Cloud data center.

    • To use optical ports, make sure that the connectivity provider uses optical fiber cables to connect to the access device of Alibaba Cloud.
    • Alibaba Cloud does not host fiber optical transceivers for customers. Therefore, make sure that the connectivity provider uses the supported type of cable to connect to the access device of Alibaba Cloud.

Step 2: Check inventory availability

After you choose an access point, you can check whether the Express Connect circuit that you apply for is available for purchase on the payment page.

  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 for purchase.
    • If the payment page appears after you click Pay, it indicates that the Express Connect circuit is in stock.
      Notice Do not click Confirm Payment.
    • If a message that shows that the activation fails appears after you click Pay, it indicates that the Express Connect circuit that you apply for is out of stock. Select another access point and try again.

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, contact your connectivity provider for details about connecting your data center to Alibaba Cloud. In addition, contact the connectivity provider to perform a site survey.

Notice
  • If the access point is located in mainland China, you must acquire the permissions from Alibaba Cloud before your connectivity provider can 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) instead of the server room dedicated to Alibaba Cloud.
  1. Contact your connectivity provider for details about installing the Express Connect circuit and 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.
    You must provide the required information, such as the name, ID number, and contact information of the engineer to perform 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 connectivity provider to perform the site survey and confirm the charges for the installation.
    For more information about the billing of applying for an Express Connect circuit, see Billing.