Some Express Connect partners have already connected their networks to the access points of Alibaba Cloud. You can choose Express Connect partners if your data center is located outside the access point locations of Alibaba Cloud or your workloads do not demand high bandwidth. An Express Connect partner can create a hosted connection over an installed Express Connect circuit from your data center to a virtual private cloud (VPC) on Alibaba Cloud.

Background information

  • An Express Connect circuit installed by an Express Connect partner is shared by multiple tenants.
  • Shared Express Connect circuits provided by Express Connect partners are already connected to the access points of Alibaba Cloud. You need only to connect your data center to the access point of an Express Connect partner. Therefore, shared Express Connect circuits are best suited for users that demand time efficiency.

    In most cases, when you use a shared Express Connect circuit to connect to Alibaba Cloud, the installation can be completed within one month, while installing a dedicated Express Connect circuit is more time-consuming.

  • Alibaba Cloud offers shared ports. Express Connect partners can create shared ports instead of virtual border routers (VBRs) for tenants to manage their hosted connections. Shared ports belong to tenants.

    Changes brought by shared ports:

    • Express Connect partners are no longer charged initial installation fees, VBR fees, and resource usage fees.
    • Tenants are charged resource usage fees and outbound data transfer fees.

    For more information about the billing of shared Express Connect circuits, see Billing of hosted connections over Express Connect circuits.

  • After an Express Connect partner creates a shared port for a tenant, the tenant must accept the shared port. Then, the tenant can create a VBR for the shared port. Each shared port can be associated only with one VBR.
  • Express Connect partners isolate resources based on the virtual local area network (VLAN) IDs of resources. Therefore, each hosted connection is assigned a VLAN ID. After you create a shared port for a tenant, you must notify the tenant to accept the shared port. Then, the tenant can create a VBR that uses the specified VLAN ID for the shared port. The tenant is not allowed to change the VLAN ID of the VBR.
Important Before you use a shared Express Connect circuit to connect to Alibaba Cloud, you must contact the Express Connect partner to negotiate a contract. The Express Connect partner bears responsibilities for any issues that are not covered by the terms of Alibaba Cloud network service level agreement (SLA).

Connect to Alibaba Cloud by using a shared Express Connect circuit

The following figure shows the workflow of connecting to Alibaba Cloud by using a shared Express Connect circuit.

  • If this is the first time you use a shared Express Connect circuit, you and the Express Connect partner must complete the tasks in the following figure to establish a connection between your data center and Alibaba Cloud. Connect to Alibaba Cloud by using a shared Express Connect circuit 1
  • If your data center is already connected to Alibaba Cloud by using a shared Express Connect circuit, the Express Connect partner must create a shared port for your existing connection and you must accept the shared port. The following figure shows the workflow.
    Note Your service is not interrupted in this process.
    Connect to Alibaba Cloud by using a shared Express Connect circuit 2

Express Connect partners

The following table describes the Express Connect partners of Alibaba Cloud. You can choose an Express Connect partner to set up a hybrid cloud environment between your data center and Alibaba Cloud.

Note In the following table, a check mark (√) indicates that the Express Connect partner is in the specified location and a hyphen (-) indicates that the Express Connect partner is not in the specified location.
Express Connect partner Hong Kong (China) Tokyo Singapore Australia Frankfurt UK Virginia San Jose Ashburn Indonesia India Malaysia
Interxion - - - - - - - - - - -
BT - - - - - - - - - -
PCCW Global - - - - -
Indonet - - - - - - - - - - -
TATA - - - - - - - - -
SingTel - - - - - - - - - - -
NextDC - - - - - - - - - - -
OBS - - - - - - - - - -
RETN - - - - - - - - - - -
Telin - - - - - - - - - -
Colt - - - - - - - - -
Equinix - - - - -
Megaport - - - - - -
Epsilon - - - - - - -
Reliance Communications (RCOM) (the parent company of GCX) - - - - - - - - - - -
Intercloud SAS - - - - - - - - - -
Vodafone - - - - - - - - - - -
DE-CIX - - - - - - - - - - -
Verizon - - - - - - - - - -
HGC - - - - - - - - -
AT&T - - - - - - - - - -
GTT - - - - - - - - - - -
China Unicom (Hong Kong) - - - - - - -
China Unicom (Europe) - - - - - - - - - - -
China Telecom Global - - - - - - - - - -
euNetworks - - - - - - - - - - -
E-Shelter - - - - - - - - - - -
CHIEF Telecom - - - - - - - - - - -
5G Networks - - - - - - - - - - -
HK Boardband - - - - - - - - - - -
Avelacom - - - - - - - - - - -
SBC-RouterX - - - - - - - - - - -
SBKK - - - - - - - - - - -
China Mobile International (CMI) - - - - -
TIME dotCom - - - - - - - - - - -

Example

Your data center is located in Equinix DC11 in Virginia, USA. Your colocation provider is Equinix. You want to use Equinix Cloud Exchange (ECX) to connect your data center to the access point of Alibaba Cloud in the US (Virginia) region. In addition, you want to use a cloud service to connect to resources such as Elastic Compute Service (ECS), Object Storage Service (OSS), Relational Database Service (RDS), and Server Load Balancer (SLB) instances in the China (Beijing) region.

Network topology
Note The bandwidth of cross connections varies by Express Connect partner. For more information, contact your Express Connect partner.
  1. Contact Equinix to lease a shared Express Connect circuit. Contact Equinix to perform a pre-installation survey. Confirm the resources that are required and the fees that are charged for connecting your data center to the ECX platform.
  2. Wait for Equinix to connect your data center to the ECX platform.
  3. Provide Equinix with the ID of your Alibaba Cloud account.
    You can log on to the Alibaba Cloud console, click the profile picture in the upper-right corner of the page, and then click Basic Information in the left-side navigation pane to view Account ID.
  4. Wait for Equinix to create a shared port.
  5. Log on to the Express Connect console to accept the shared port. For more information, see Operation guide for tenants.