Virtual Connection Details

Layer 2 Routed Virtual Connections (VCs)

A Layer 2 VC is a construct with sub-interfaces on each end, defined by VLANs. In the current ECX FabricECX Fabric is an advanced interconnection solution that improves performance by providing a direct, private network connection implementation, the VC is provisioned as part of a larger solution when the provider has specified a Layer 2 service profile. Unlike with other components, a user cannot currently define one independently (this functionality will come later). Therefore, any Layer 2 connection to a Layer 2 service profile automatically includes a VC.

Encapsulations Supported

  • 802.1Q (TPID: 0x8100)
  • 802.1ad (TPID: 0x8100, 0x88a8, 0x9100)

The TPID on the frames sent to ECX Fabric on the A-side must match the value specified when the port is ordered. In the case of QnQ this value (TPID) is on the outer tag while the inner tag uses 0x8100.

The TPID on the frames sent to ECX Fabric on the A-side must match the value specified when the port was ordered. In the case of Q-in-Q, this value (TPID) is on the outer tag while the inner tag uses 0x8100, regardless of what was specified.

ECX Fabric can translate between A and Z sides of a VC so that each side can have any VLAN ID and encapsulation each side needs (except where specifically noted below).

Dot1q to Dot1q example where C-Tag does not match A and Z sides

Untagged example: if requested by the user, untagged traffic can be sent to a single destination or RI (with a connector). ECX Fabric pushes a tag while the frames are on the platform, and the Z side can have it delivered with tags, if desired

Dot1q to Q-in-Q example: the A side C-tag will be considered the inner tag and the Z side determines the S-Tag. This is relatively rare except for a couple of providers. Providers can also simplify this for user by naming tags: details for this feature can be found in the section for preparing Layer 2 services for sale

Q-in-Q to Q-in-Q example: S-tag translation can occur, and the inner or C-Tags that sit inside the frame are not visible. ECX Fabric is unaware of them and cannot operate on them

BuyersA buyer is a user who connects to an available service through ECX. A buyer can be an enterprise end customer of the seller service or an aggregator, managed service provider, network service provider or system integrator company that bundles its service offerings with ECX. can set up multiple Layer 2 VCs and connectors in a given metro, on a single or multiple ECX Fabric ports, at their discretion and the business rules imposed by their administrator.

Layer 3 Routed VCs

ECX Fabric has defined policies which mark local preferences on BGPBorder Gateway Protocol. A standardized exterior gateway protocol designed to exchange routing and reachability information between autonomous systems on the internet prefixes based on the received community value from customers.


Although no single VC or connector can exceed the size of the port or port group it resides on, the ECX Fabric will allow users to provision multiple Virtual Connections (VC) and connectors in which the aggregateOn Enterprise Cloud Exchange (ECX), aggregators are Network Service Providers (NSPs) and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who provide multi-tenant services. Aggregators are both buyers of ECX service from Equinix and sellers of value-added services over ECX to their end customers. rate limitA rate limit is a bandwidth control that is placed on a connection or service that limits the amount of traffic that can be sent or received to an amount less than the physical size of the ports. This is also referred to as a policer or “policing” a service, and is typically implemented using a VLAN on a sub-interface.'s greater than the size of the ports they reside on.

While this will not result in dropped traffic by itself, the combined actual and simultaneous usage of all the services could cause drops.

Note: The ECX Fabric SLA is only valid up to the capacity of the ports.

Important: Customers are responsible for the management of their traffic patterns and usage.

Example: User has a single 1G port and has provisioned two services to two separate providers (Blue for 100M, Orange for 500M), and a primary and secondary 500M service to Green that requires redundancy. If the primary and secondary VCs are set to active/active, and all services are sending the maximum amount of traffic, customers might experience random packet drops.