When you apply for a physical port to connect to an Express Connect circuit, you need to select an Alibaba Cloud access point. This topic describes how to select an optimal access point based on the region where the Express Connect circuit is deployed.

Access points 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, 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.
    • 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. Connectivity providers 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.
    • 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.