Connecting To Other Layer 2 Cloud Service Providers (CSPs)

ConnectionConnection is a general term that refers to any solution that results in the ability to pass data from one point to another. Connections can be made with Layer 2 or Layer 3 technology, may involve several parts or components and can be created from the portal or with APIs in a variety of ways. to AWS, Azure and Oracle occurs through API. However, this is not the case with most other Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). When selecting a CSP other than AWS, Azure or Oracle, a standard workflow appears that is similar to the one used for AWS and Azure, but with slight differences. Such differences occur based on terminology, customization and options each CSPs uses.

Layer 2 Create Connection Workflow

On the “Connect” page, click Service Provider, and select the CSP you want. If necessary, use the search field to filter and sort your selection.

Drill down to the specific service profile you want, then click Create a Connection. Remember that charges begin the moment the connection request is submitted.

As with all connection requests, you follow these main steps:

  • Basic information—Select your origin and destination ports
  • Connection details—Enter your connection information and destination details.
  • Speed—Select the connection speed option
  • Review—Make sure the connection summary details are correct, then submit your order

Basic Information

The preview pane shows an empty connection card, which populates as you build your connection request. The local and remote locations display, but default to a local location. Select your primary origin port and destination service provider. Once you have made your selections, click Next to move forward.

Connection Details

In the Connection Information section, add a name and VLAN ID for your primary connections. Depending on the service profile settings, you might be asked to add an authorization keyThe authorization key typically contains alpha-numeric characters and is a unique identifier authorizing Equinix to provision a connection towards the CSPNote: To Equinix, authorization key is a generic term and is NOT encrypted on ECX. CSPs might use a different name to refer to the same key. For example: Azure ExpressRoute calls the authorization key the “service key” while AWS calls it the “account ID” or an additional VLAN ID. Click Next to move forward.

Authentication Key Service

If the service profile you're connecting to has Authentication KeyThe Authentication Key is a unique identifier authorizing Equinix to provision a connection towards the CSP. This Key usually contains alphanumeric characters. Note: to Equinix, an Authentication Key is a generic term and is not encrypted on ECX. Cloud Service Providers might use a different name to refer to the same key. For example: Azure ExpressRoute calls the authorization key the “service key” while AWS calls it the “account ID.” enabled for QinQ ports and you are connecting from a .1q port, connections can be grouped together using an auto-generated Authentication Key (authkey) in a QinQ s-tag fashion. The first connection in that service group will automatically be assigned an Authentication Key at the time of order. The subscriber will need to provide this authkey to the service provider they are connecting to in order to complete the connection.

After the order for the first connection is placed, the connection will be in Pending Approval status until the service provider accepts the connection. You may either wait for approval or contact the service provider directly. The service provider will then change the status to Available and the connection will get provisioned. This process only applies to the first connection in a group.

Inventory View

When configuring the subsequent connection, you will be prompted to use an existing service (identified by the authkey) or create a new service (authkey). You can create any number of connections using this method, however, the following limitations will apply:

  • After the first connection in a service group is created, any subsequent connections associated with that same group cannot have a bandwidth tier/speed larger than the first connection
  • All connections within a service group must have the same origin and destination

There is no manual approval required by the Provider for subsequent connections, all these connections will move into Provisioned state in near real-time.

After submitting the connection order, you can find the authkey:

  1. On the subsequent success page in the Next Steps section (green box)
  2. In connection details in your Inventory section of the portal (shown above).

Billing/Pricing Notes related to this feature:

Customers/Subscribers will only be billed for the first connection in a “group”, subsequent connections must, however, meet the following conditions:

  • After the first connection in a service group is created, any subsequent connections associated with that same group cannot have speeds/billing tiers larger than the first connection
  • All connections within a group must have the same origin and destination

Speed

Your connection speed is determined by the CSP service profile settings. The standard speed tiers include 200Mbps, 500Mbps, 1Gbps, 10Gbps, or CSP-approved custom remote connection (RC) speed. Select the speed option you want, and click Next.

Review

The preview pane visually illustrates the connection request details. The connection summary provides the information necessary to make a connection request. Notifications regarding this connection request are sent to the emails listed, and you can add emails as required.

Click Submit Your Order to complete your connection request.

After you submit your order, a success page links you to your “Inventory” page, where you can monitor the connection request.

Tip: To terminate the connection request, go to the “Inventory” page, click the connection card and click Delete Connection.

There is a manual process for this kind of provisioning. An email is sent to the CSP requesting a connection. CSP either approves or rejects the connection. Once the CSP approves the connection, it is provisioned on ECX FabricECX Fabric is an advanced interconnection solution that improves performance by providing a direct, private network connection, and then can be viewed in the Inventory page.