Today, many organizations use cloud platforms and services to build workflows much more efficiently and faster. Companies may need to deal with sensitive data, and exposure to the public network can attract a digital threat. Therefore, a private connection is required to execute cloud services to enhance security and prevent potential threats. In this regard, Azure ExpressRoute can be very helpful as a secure connection service. It is a connectivity or service that enables users to connect with Microsoft Cloud to use various Microsoft services. This blog will discuss Azure ExpressRoute, how it works, connectivity options, and how to create an ExpressRoute.
Azure ExpressRoute is a Microsoft service that helps us to enhance our on-premise network to the MS Cloud using a secure private connection. However, Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute establishes a secure VPN (virtual private network) between the user and Microsoft Cloud. It allows users to access Microsoft Cloud services through connecting. There are multiple types of links available to connect your networks. These include peer-to-peer Ethernet networks, virtual cross-networks, and IPVPN– any-to-any network using a co-location amenity. Moreover, Azure Express Route connectivity is highly reliable, much faster, and highly secure. In other words, the Azure Express route is a connectivity provider between users and MS Cloud.
After going through the Azure ExpressRoute connection service definition, we will examine how MS Azure ExpressRoute works. Also, we will discuss how the multiple components of Expressroute act closely to establish a secure link between the on-premise system and MS Cloud. Let us start to know it.
The Azure Express Route service performs functions across the global data centers in multiple regions. It closely works with express route partners to offer edge service and approved and valid connectivity. It helps to work using a partner-managed router. It will help to expand the private networks to the MS Cloud.
The ExpressRoute partner helps establish connectivity to a terminus to a location applied by the MS Edge router. These links built through an Express Route partner and edge service help users much. They establish a direct link between the on-premise and virtual networks through an endpoint.
The on-premise user’s network is linked to the ExpressRoute provider’s edge routers. Further, this router acts as an access point for MS Cloud.
The below image represents the same thing.
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Azure ExpressRoute allows you to build connectivity between on-premises networks and Microsoft Cloud. It provides this link through a private connection. Using Express Route, you can build multiple connections with MS Cloud services like MS Azure, Dynamics 365, and MS Office 365. It offers these links in many ways, and they don’t go public anytime as these are private networks. Let us discuss the various Express Route connectivity models:
You can link your on-premises data centers with Microsoft Cloud using a point-to-point Ethernet network model. This network model can also provide Layer 2 or managed Layer 3 connectivity between your website/on-premise data center and MS Cloud.
If an organization has multiple branches and they all are linked to the same network, then the same can be linked with MS Cloud using this model. In the any-to-any network model of Azure Express Route, all the data centers/sites will be linked to the cloud platform. This cloud platform will work as another branch or a part of the network.
Microsoft allows you to connect to its global cloud network directly using a peering location that is strategically allocated. It is because Microsoft manages multiple peering sites globally under its network.
If your company has a data center at a co-location facility, you can connect to the cloud through virtual cross-connection. Further, these co-location service providers can also provide any cross-connections, Layer 2 or Layer 3, between the MS Cloud and the data center at the co-location facility.
To create and use Azure Express Route, you must have valid login credentials to access the Azure portal. Let us know the steps to develop ExpressRoute in Azure.
Stage-1: Open the Microsoft Azure portal and log in to the portal with valid details.
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Stage-2: Search for the Express route by navigating to the portal and clicking the “Create” option to build a new resource.
Stage-3: Then move to the "Networking" tab in that section and choose the Create ExpressRoute Circuit.
Stage-4: Then choose the details of the resource group name, region, and instance from the page - Create Azure ExpressRoute.
Stage-5: Select “Next: Configuration” from the Create page and insert the necessary details.
Stage-6: Select the Review + Create tab to review and validate your entered details.
Stage-7: After this, your ExpressRoute will be deployed. You can easily configure your on-premise or virtual data center to the Express Route you created.
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The following are the various essential features of Azure Express Route:
Microsoft Azure Express route offers multiple data plans, which include metered and unlimited. If you choose the unlimited data plan, you can freely transfer outbound data that is chargeable in the metered data plan. However, both data plans offer free inbound data transfers. Different regions across the globe have other data plans to subscribe to.
You will get a local tier in both data plans; metered and unlimited. But you will get premium and standard pricing tiers within the unlimited data plan. The Zone-1 of MS ExpressRoute includes countries like Canada, the USA, and some European areas. The metered plan pricing system based on express route bandwidth in this zone is USD 55/month for every 50 Mbps in the local tier. The premium tier pricing system includes USD 6,400/month for each 10 GBPS data usage.
Moreover, the unlimited data plan consists of data charges from 1 GBPS bandwidth. This data plan charge in the local tier starts from USD 1,200/month for 1 GBPS, and for the premium plan users, it is US $ 4,300/month for 10 Gbps.
Thus, you have seen how Azure ExpressRoute works. Companies need safe and secure connectivity to access cloud services to exchange and share data. Private connectivity allows much safety of data transfer over a public internet platform. Hence, the express route offers the best solution in this regard. Multiple connection models and pricing systems are available for users based on their needs. I hope you enjoyed this learning and gained some knowledge.
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Azure ExpressRoute enables its users to extend their local networks to the MS Cloud network through a secure private connection. It is possible through a connectivity provider. Having a private link, ExpressRoute offers great reliability, high speed, and security.
MS Azure ExpressRoute builds a highly dedicated and secure private connection between the user’s on-premise data center and Azure Cloud. On the other hand, Azure VPN builds a Virtual Private Network between the user’s on-premise structure and the Azure platform.
Azure Express Route offers multiple connection speeds based on different pricing and subscriptions. These speeds range from 50 Mbps to 10 Gbps, extending upto 100 Gbps.
The MS Azure Express Route follows Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) to build the link between Microsoft Cloud and your on-premise networks.
All you need is a Microsoft Azure account which is active and valid. These credentials will help you log in to the account and create an ExpressRoute circuit.