Designlet: Implementing Express Connect Connectivity with Alibaba Cloud VMware Service


This document provides recommendations and guidelines on connecting Alibaba Cloud VMware Service with Express Connect.

Express Connect lets you establish high bandwidth, reliable, secure, and private connections between different networks. Dedicated physical connections link on-premises data centers with Alibaba Cloud, which improves network topology flexibility and cross-network connectivity performance.

You must be aware of several prerequisites and considerations before configuring the network.

Refer to the table below to summarise the use case, considerations, and other details to see if IPSec VPN meets your requirements.

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Scope of the Document

Learn about configuring Express Connect in Alibaba Cloud. Understand pre-requisites, use-case, and design considerations. Readers are expected to have fundamental knowledge about networking and the public cloud.

Summary and Considerations

Use Case

If customers are required to have high-speed, low latency connectivity between on-prem and Alibaba Cloud can use the Express Connect Service.

Express Connect offers a peak bandwidth of 100Gbps, an ideal connectivity option for hosting streaming services, distributed low latency application deployments, and workload migration.


  • Connection, A physical Connection between On-Prem and Alibaba Cloud VPC

  • Customer-Premises-Equipment (CPE), Access point on On-Prem Side

  • Virtual Border Router (VBR), a router between the customer-premises equipment (CPE) in a data center and an access point of Alibaba Cloud. 

  • Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN) is a highly available network built on the global private network of Alibaba Cloud. CEN supports high performance and low latency. CEN uses transit routers to establish cross-region connections between virtual private clouds (VPCs). This enables VPCs to communicate with data centers and formulates flexible, stable, and enterprise-class networks in the cloud.

  • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is a private network dedicated to your use. You have complete control over your VPC. For example, you can specify the CIDR block and configure route tables and gateways. In a VPC, you can deploy Alibaba Cloud resources, such as Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instances, ApsaraDB RDS instances, and Server Load Balancer (SLB) instances.

Types of Connection and Bandwidth

  • Exclusive, Dedicated connection line between On-Prem and Alibaba Cloud Site. Bandwidth range: 1 GE to 100 GE

  • Shared, Shared connection line between on-prem and Alibaba cloud site. Bandwidth range: < less than 1 GE

  • Cloud Hosting, is an end-to-end hybrid cloud service provided by Alibaba cloud. Bandwidth range: 50 Mbps to 10 GE


  • Submit a request with the service provider to establish a physical connection line

  • Create VBR

  • Attach VBR and VPC to CEN 

General Considerations/Recommendations

  • Select the type of physical connection and bandwidth as appropriate.

  • Overall time to complete the physical connection procurement depends upon the region and service providers.

Document Reference

Alibaba Cloud Express Connect

Last Updated

June 2022


Planning and Implementation

Consider following steps while planning and implementing the Express Connect Solution.

  1. Before applying for a dedicated Express Connect circuit, you must select an access point, check the stock, and contact your connectivity provider to complete the pre-installation site survey.

  1. Create a connection over an Express Connect circuit in the Express Connect console. For more information, see Create a dedicated connection over an Express Connect circuit.

  2. Connect your data center to Alibaba Cloud through the Express Connect circuit.

Authors and Contributors

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