Alibaba Cloud Express Connect

This article provides step-by-step instructions for connecting to Alibaba Cloud Express Connect on Equinix Fabric.

Integrate with Alibaba Express Connect Video

Alibaba Cloud Express Connect connects on-premise Equinix data centers to the Alibaba Cloud through a dedicated partner backbone network. Express Connect also helps you mitigate network instability and data breaches.


  • An account on Alibaba Cloud Express Connect console
  • Your Alibaba account ID from the Alibaba Cloud Express Connect console
  • An Equinix Customer Portal (ECP) account

  • An Equinix Fabric account

To connect to Alibaba Express Connect through a dedicated cross connect (Single Mode Fiber), users must submit an order through the Alibaba cloud portal.

Connect to Alibaba Cloud Express Connect

  1. Log in to Equinix Fabric.

  2. From the Connections menu, select Create Connection.

  3. In the Frequent Connections section, locate the Alibaba Cloud card and click Select Services.

  4. On the Alibaba Cloud Express Connect V2 card, click Create Connection.

  5. Review the steps for creating the connection and click Create a Connection to Alibaba Cloud Express Connect V2.

  6. In the Origin section, click Port.

  7. Select a location.

  8. From the displayed port cards for that location, select an a-side port.

  9. In the Destination section, click a location.

  10. Click Next.

    A notification might be displayed to warn you about additional costs and latency. To proceed, click Okay.

  11. In the Connection Information section, enter:

    • Express Connect – The name for your connection

    • VLAN ID – Your VLAN ID

  12. In the Account ID field, enter your Alibaba Cloud account ID.

  13. In the Purchase Order Number field, enter your PO number.

  14. In the Connection Speed section, select a Billing Tier and Speed combination.

  15. Click Next.

  16. Review your order. Click Design Summary to download a PDF.

  17. Click Submit Order.

  18. The order confirmation page includes the unique ID for your connection. Copy the ID.

  19. Go to Connections Inventory to verify that the VLAN ID assigned to your connection is the same VLAN ID associated with your VBR on your Alibaba Console.

Note: Charges begin as soon as the connection request is submitted.

Tip: You can use Fabric's API to automate or integrate this procedure. For more information, see Equinix Fabric API - Connect to Alibaba.

Accept the Connection in the Alibaba Cloud Console

Access the Alibaba Cloud console to accept the connection and pay for it.

  1. Log into the Alibaba Express cloud console.

  2. From the left navigation bar, choose Physical Connections to see the connection you created in Fabric.

  3. Click Accept and Pay.

  4. Review the payment details, and select a duration.

  5. Click Buy Now.

  6. Accept the Alibaba service agreements and click Pay.

  7. Click Purchase.

Create the Virtual Border Router (VBR) on Alibaba

  1. In the Alibaba Express cloud console, click your new connection.

  2. Click Create VBR.

  3. Enter a name for the VBR.

  4. Select the Shared Physical Connection that was provision through Equinix Fabric.

  5. Enter the IPv4 address for the Alibaba Gateway.

  6. Enter the IPv4 address for the customer device on the a-side of the connection.

  7. Enter the subnet mask.

  8. Click OK.

De-provision Connection from Fabric

  1. Delete the VBR in the Alibaba cloud console.

  2. In Equinix Fabric, go the Connections Inventory and click the connection.

  3. Click Delete Connection.

Express Connect Components

Express Connect consists of these components:

  • Physical connection – A dedicated or shared connection built from your on-premises network to Alibaba Cloud access points.

    • Dedicated connection – Uses an Alibaba Cloud dedicated physical port and a leased line provided by a third-party service provider to connect an on-premises data center to an Alibaba Cloud access point. You can apply for a physical connection interface by using the Express Connect console.

    • Shared connection – Uses a leased line and the network provided by a third-party service provider to connect an on-premises data center to Alibaba Cloud. The service provider establishes the link between their access point and an Alibaba Cloud access point that can be shared by multiple tenants.

  • Virtual Border Router (VBR) – A gateway that provides communication between a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and an on-premises data center.


Alibaba Cloud Express Connect is available in selected Equinix IBX data centers:

  • APAC – HK2, SG3, SY1, and TY

  • AMER – SVS, DC11

  • EMEA – FR4, LD6, DX1

Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN)

CEN is a highly available network built on the high-performance and low-latency global private network provided by Alibaba Cloud. By using CEN, you can establish private network connections between VPC networks in different regions, or between VPC networks and on-premises data centers.

CEN consists of these components:

  • CEN instances – Basic network resources that are created and managed by users.

  • Networks – Attached to CEN and interconnected. Supported networks include VPC, VBR, and Cloud Connect Network (CCN).

  • Bandwidth packages – Required for cross-region communications. You must purchase a bandwidth package for the specified areas.


For more information, see Express Connect in the Alibaba Cloud Document Center.