Creating MCR Connections to Alibaba Express

The Alibaba private interconnection service is called Express Connect. Alibaba Express Connect enables customers to create private connections between their remote network environments and their Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) deployments.

When connecting to Alibaba Cloud services through Express Connect with Megaport, the Virtual Cross Connect (VXC) forms the Layer 2 component of the connection and Layer 3 BGP is established directly between the customer and their private environment with Alibaba Cloud VPC.

Benefits of Alibaba Express connections with MCR

  • Enhanced security and higher network performance
  • Scalable connectivity options
  • API integration between Megaport and Alibaba which simplifies the provisioning of connections for a fast and seamless experience
  • Connect to Alibaba Cloud on-ramp locations through any of the global Megaport enabled locations
  • Connect with the Alibaba Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN). For details, see What is Cloud Enterprise Network? in the Alibaba documentation.

Creating a VXC to the Alibaba Cloud

Before you can create a connection to the Alibaba Cloud, you need to have an Alibaba account (you can create one in the Alibaba Console). Your account number is required to create your Megaport VXC.

To get your Alibaba account ID

  • Log in to the Alibaba Cloud Console and retrieve your account ID.
    When logged in, click your avatar icon located in the top right-hand corner and copy your Account ID.
    Alibaba account ID

To create a VXC to your Alibaba Express Connect peer location

  1. In the Megaport Portal, select the MCR to attach your VXC to and click +Connection.
    If you haven’t already created an MCR, see Creating an MCR. Select destination port

  2. Click the Cloud tile and click Next.
    Cloud tile

  3. Select Alibaba Cloud as the provider.
    Alibaba Cloud Computing

  4. Select the target destination for your connection and click Next.

  5. Specify these connection details:

    • Name your connection - The name of your VXC to be shown in the Megaport Portal.

    • Invoice Reference - This is an optional field. It can be any text, such as a PO number or billing reference number.

    • Rate Limit - The speed of your connection in Mbps.

    • Preferred A-End VLAN - Optionally, specify an unused VLAN ID for this connection. This must be a unique VLAN ID on this interface. If you don’t specify a value, Megaport will assign one. Alternatively, you can click Untag to remove the VLAN tagging for this connection. The untagged option limits you to only one VXC deployed on this interface.
      Connection details

  6. Click Next.

  7. Assign a /30 private CIDR. Use the first available IP address to assign to the MCR. Alibaba uses the second available IP address for the BGP neighbor. This example uses 192.168.100.0/30. The first available IP address is 192.168.100.1/30, which is assigned to the MCR. Enter the IP address and click +Add. Alibaba add MCR IP

  8. Click Next.
    BGP configuration

  9. Click +Add BGP Connection.
    Add BGP connection

  10. Specify these connection details:

    • Local IP - Select the IP address assigned to the MCR from the drop-down list. In this example, the local IP address is 192.168.100.1/30.

    • Peer IP - Select the second available IP address in the /30 CIDR. In this example, the peer IP address is 192.168.100.2/30.

    • Peer ASN - Enter 45104, which is the peer ASN for Alibaba. The peer ASN is always 45104.

    • BGP Auth - Optionally, specify a shared key to authenticate the BGP peer. The shared key length is from 1 to 32 characters. You will need to use this key when you configure your BGP peer group in the Alibaba Console.

    • Description - Optionally, enter a description for the connection.

  11. Click Add.

  12. Click Next.

  13. Enter the Account ID copied from your Alibaba Console and click Next.
    Cloud tile

  14. Add the VXC and configure more VXCs or click Order.

  15. After you have completed the order and deployed the VXC in the Megaport Portal, return to the Alibaba Console.

  16. In the Express Connect section, select Virtual Border Router (VBR) and select the Express Connect region. Make sure that the region matches the target destination from the Megaport Portal. It takes a few minutes from the time you deploy the VXC for the connection to appear in the Alibaba Console. The connection status is Waiting confirmation. Confirm ExpressConnect VXC

  17. Click Confirm Creation.

  18. Complete the VBR information.
    Complete the Name and Description fields (do not use spaces).

    Specify the Private IPs to set up BGP between your CE and Alibaba VBR.
    You can use a /30 or /31 represented by the subnet mask. This example uses a /30 subnet mask 255.255.255.252. VBR information

  19. Click OK.
    The status changes to Normal. Your Layer 2 connection has now been established and the Megaport VXC is complete.
    VBR normal

The next steps are to establish BGP in the Alibaba Console by creating a BGP peer group and a BGP peer.

To create a BGP peer group

  1. In the Alibaba Console, under Express Connect, click BGP Group.

  2. Click Create BGP Peer Group in the upper-right corner. Add BGP group

  3. Specify these details:

    • Name - Optionally, enter a name for the group.

    • Peer AS Number - Enter the ASN assigned to the MCR. The MCR ASN is typically 133937, unless you choose to override the ASN when creating the BGP peer in the Megaport Portal. If you have specified an override ASN, enter it here.

    • VBR - Select the VBR connection you just created from the drop-down list.

    • AuthKey - Optionally, specify the BGP authorization key configured in the Megaport Portal.

    • Description - Optionally, enter a group description.

  4. Click Submit.

To create a BGP peer

  1. In the Alibaba Console, click BGP Peer under BGP Group. Add BGP peer

  2. Click Create BGP Peer.

  3. Select the BGP peer group you just created from the drop-down list.

  4. Enter the MCR IP address and the BGP peer ID.

  5. Click Submit.

    The BGP status will change to Established to indicate the BGP configuration is complete.

    You can also confirm the BGP status in the Megaport Portal by selecting the VXC and then the Logs tab.

For more details on setting up BGP groups and peers, see Configure BGP in the Alibaba Document Center.

Additional notes when setting up BGP

  • VBR only supports building BGP peers with a peer on-premises IDC, and still needs to use static routing to communicate with a VPC.

  • The supported BGP version is BGP4.

  • VBR supports IPv4 BGP but does not support IPv6 BGP.

  • Up to eight BGP peers can be created under each VBR.

  • Up to 100 dynamic route entries can be added to a BGP peer.

  • The Alibaba Cloud-side ASN is 45104. The customer side can transmit a 2-byte or 4-byte ASN.


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