You can apply for a dedicated Express Connect circuit or use a shared Express Connect circuit pre-installed by an Express Connect partner to connect to Alibaba Cloud.

Connection methods

  • Dedicated connections over Express Connect circuits

    You can lease an Express Connect circuit from a connectivity provider to connect to an access point of Alibaba Cloud. Each Express Connect circuit occupies a physical port. You can apply for an Express Connect circuit in the Express Connect console. For more information, see Create and manage a dedicated connection over an Express Connect circuit.

  • Hosted connections over Express Connect circuits

    The networks of Express Connect partners are already connected to the Alibaba Cloud access points. You can use an Express Connect circuit pre-installed by an Express Connect partner to connect to Alibaba Cloud. If you select this method, you must request the Express Connect partner to create a hosted connection. In this case, the Express Connect circuit is shared by multiple tenants. For more information, see Overview.

  • Cloud Hosting

    Cloud Hosting is an all-in-one hybrid cloud service provided by Alibaba Cloud. You can use one or two LC-LC OM3 multimode fiber patch cables to connect to the aggregation switch in the Alibaba Cloud data center. This way, you can access virtual private clouds (VPCs).

Comparison between the solutions

Item Dedicated Express Connect circuit Pre-installed Express Connect circuit Cloud Hosting
Recommended bandwidth 1~100 Gbps <1 Gbps 50 M~10 G
Overall construction period Two to three months Within one month Within two months
Procedure The procedure involves multiple parties:
  • Purchase an Express Connect circuit in the console.
  • Contact the connectivity provider to use the Express Connect circuit to connect your data center to the access point of Alibaba Cloud.
  • Test the devices used for the connection.
  • Complete configurations on Alibaba Cloud.
The procedure involves two parties:
  • Contact an Express Connect partner to connect your data center to the network of the Express Connect partner.
  • Test the devices used for the connection.
  • Complete configurations on Alibaba Cloud.
An all-in-one service that connects your data center to Alibaba Cloud.
Port type Dedicated Shared Shared
Billing Alibaba Cloud charges a one-time initial installation fee and a monthly resource usage fee.

The colocation provider of the Alibaba Cloud access point charges a cable fee.

The colocation provider of your data center charges a cable fee.

The connectivity provider charges fees for the installation service and bandwidth resources. For more information, see Billing.

Alibaba Cloud does not charge an initial installation fee or a resource usage fee.

The colocation provider of your data center charges a cable fee.

The connectivity provider charges fees for the installation service and bandwidth resources.

Contact your customer manager from Alibaba Cloud.
Installation limits at the Alibaba Cloud side
  • To use 40 GE or 100 GE ports, you must provide the corresponding optical transceiver modules.
  • Alibaba Cloud provides optical transceiver modules with 1 GE or 10 GE ports. These optical transceiver modules support a transmission distance of 10 km. To use optical transceiver modules with a transmission distance longer than 10 km, you must purchase them from a third-party service provider.
  • If you purchase optical ports, make sure that the connectivity provider uses fibers to connect to the devices of Alibaba Cloud.
  • If you purchase electrical Ethernet ports, make sure that the connectivity provider uses electrical cables to connect to the devices of Alibaba Cloud.
  • Alibaba Cloud data centers do not support fiber-optic transceivers.
  • Additional permissions are required for installation during lockdowns of Alibaba Cloud data centers.
None None
Installation limits at the colocation provider side Only the Hangzhou-Yuhang-A access point and the access points in the China (Zhangjiakou) region are managed by Alibaba Cloud. The colocation providers of other access points are third-party service providers. The installation rules vary based on the colocation provider. Some China Telecom branches may request permissions to install cables in their data center. In this case, you must contact your connectivity provider to obtain the required permissions.

Some China Telecom branches may request an authorization letter for installing cables in your data center. The authorization letter must be affixed with the seal of your company and that of Alibaba Cloud. To apply for the seal of Alibaba Cloud, contact your customer manager.

None None
Site survey After your application is approved, Alibaba Cloud will help engineers perform the site survey within two business days. None None
Service Level Agreement (SLA) provided by Alibaba Cloud for fiber pigtail installation
  • Data centers within the Chinese mainland: two business days.
  • Data centers outside the Chinese mainland: two to four business days.
  • During lockdowns of Alibaba Cloud data centers: eight business days.
N/A N/A