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Creating MCR Connections to IBM Cloud Direct Link 2.0

IBM Direct Link lets you seamlessly create private connections between your on-premises and cloud resources. Direct Link Connect with Megaport extends your organization’s data center network and to public clouds to offer better performance, higher throughput, and security to IBM Cloud environments. Direct Link 2.0 replaces the legacy Direct Link 1.0 interface, which will be deprecated at a future date.

When connecting to IBM through a Direct Link Connect with Megaport, the Virtual Cross Connect (VXC) forms the Layer 2 component of the connection. Layer 3 BGP connectivity is established directly between the customer and IBM Cloud.

The benefits of creating an IBM Direct Link through Megaport include:

  • Reduced latency and increased availability
  • Reduced data egress cost
  • Secure connectivity

To set up IBM Direct Link Connect with Megaport, you will:

  1. Create an IBM Direct Link gateway in the IBM console.
  2. Select Megaport as the Direct Link Connect Partner. Once the gateway is created, you will receive a Service Key.
  3. Create a VXC from your MCR in the Megaport Portal to the IBM Direct Link destination of your choice using the IBM Direct Link Connect Service Key.

Design considerations when setting up your Direct Link to IBM Cloud:

  • Redundancy – Megaport supports redundant connections. In each of the Direct Link peering locations, Megaport has established two diverse Direct Links with IBM Cloud. In the Megaport Portal, the Ports are noted as Port 1 and Port 2. A redundant configuration requires two or more VXCs.

  • Local and Global routing options – The Local Routing option provides access to data centers with the same three-letter prefix as the Point of Presence (such as DAL, AMS, and MEL). The Global Routing option is required as an add-on to reach data centers outside of those locations. For details on local and global routing options, see the IBM Cloud documentation.

  • Port speed – Port speed options for IBM Direct Link Connect are 50 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 200 Mbps, 500 Mbps, 1 Gbps, 2 Gbps, or 5 Gbps. For pricing details from IBM, see Pricing for IBM Cloud Direct Link.

  • Megaport-enabled Direct Link 2.0 locations:

    • North America: Ashburn, Chicago, Dallas, San Jose
    • Europe: Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Paris
    • Australia: Sydney
    • Asia: Osaka, Tokyo

To create an IBM Direct Link Connect through Megaport

  1. Log in to the IBM Cloud.
  2. From the main menu, select Interconnectivity.
    IBM Cloud

  3. From the Interconnectivity menu, select Direct Link.
    Direct Link

  4. Select Direct Link Connect.
    Direct Link Connect

  5. Click Order Direct Link.
    Order Direct Link
  6. Specify the Direct Link Name, Resource Group, and Billing option details for this connection.
    For details on these options, see the IBM Documentation.
    Direct Link details
  7. Specify the location details for this connection.
    Location details
  8. Specify the following configuration details:
    • Provider – Select Megaport as the network provider from the drop-down list.
    • Speed – Select a port speed.
    • BGP and connections – IBM will automatically assign an IP subnet for the connection by default.
      Configuration Details
  9. Select the Port location to IBM Cloud.
    Port location
  10. Specify the BGP ASN for the customer device.
    The ASN is the number the customer uses to peer with IBM. Use the default Megaport ASN (133937) for your MCR.
  11. From the Network Connection drop-down, select Classic Infrastructure or VPC.
    Selecting a VPC will require a pre-established VPC to attach to the Direct Link Connect. The VPC is created separately from your IBM portal account.
    Classic or VPC
  12. Acknowledge the terms and conditions and click Create.
    Create Direct Link
  13. After the Direct Link is created, copy the Service key to use in the Megaport Portal to provision a VXC to the IBM Direct Link Connect peering location.
    Copy service key

To create a VXC to the IBM Direct Link Connect

  1. Copy the IBM Cloud Direct Link Service Key and go to the Megaport Portal to provision a VXC to the IBM Direct Link Connect peering location.

  2. In the Megaport Portal, go to the Services page and find the MCR to attach your VXC.
    If you don’t have an MCR, create one following the procedures in Creating an MCR.

  3. Add an IBM Cloud connection for the MCR.
    If this is the first connection for the Port, click the IBM Cloud tile. The tile is a shortcut to the configuration page. Alternatively, click +Connection, click Cloud, and click IBM Cloud.

    Add connection

  4. Select the IBM Direct Link location where the peer will be set up with IBM Cloud and click Next.
    This destination should match the peer location selected in the IBM Cloud. Select IBM Direct Link location

  5. Specify these connection details:

    • Connection Name – Enter the IBM Direct Link Service Key (copied in step 1).

    • Service Level Reference (optional) – Specify a unique identifying number for the VXC to be used for billing purposes, such as a cost center number or a unique customer ID. The service level reference number appears for each service under the Product section of the invoice. You can also edit this field for an existing service.


      Partner managed accounts can apply a Partner Deal to a service. For details, see Associating a Deal With a Service.

    • Rate Limit – This is the speed of your connection. Match the speed you selected for the IBM Direct Link (50 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 200 Mbps, 500 Mbps, 1 Gbps, 2 Gbps, or 5 Gbps).

      Connection details

  6. Click Next.

To set up the peering session between the MCR and the IBM edge device

  1. In the MCR Connection detail window, enter the User CIDR IP address assigned by IBM.
    User CIDR IP address
    You can reference your IP details from the IBM Direct Link gateway, as shown in this example:
    IP details
  2. Click Add BGP Connection.
    Add BGP Connection
  3. Specify these connection details:

    • Local IP – Select the IP address assigned by IBM to the MCR from the drop-down list.

    • Peer IP – Specify the second available IP address assigned by IBM.

    • Peer ASN – Enter the peer ASN assigned by IBM: 13884.

    • BGP Password – Optionally, specify a shared key to authenticate the BGP peer. The shared key length is from 1 to 32 characters.

    • BGP State – Shuts down the connection without removing it. The initial setting will be taken from the setting on the A-End of the MCR. Enabling or shutting down the BGP state does not impact existing BGP sessions. The BGP state only affects new VXCs. This setting overrides the MCR state for an individual connection.
      BGP Connection details

  4. Click Add.

  5. Click Next.
    A summary page appears that includes the monthly cost.

  6. Click Back to make changes or click Add VXC.
    Once you have finished this configuration, you can configure additional VXCs or complete the order.

  7. Click Order.

  8. Click Order Now.
    Order Now

Next, IBM will activate the connection, configure the IBM devices, and complete their end of the Direct Link activation.

The timeline for IBM approval is from 24 to 48 hours. If the 24 to 48 hour Service Level Agreement (SLA) is not acceptable, you can create an IBM Support case and request that it be routed to the IBM Special Network Services (SNS) team. Include the Service Key in your Support case.

To verify the BGP configuration

  1. In the Megaport Portal, select the VXC.
  2. Click the gear icon next to the VXC.
    VXC Details
  3. On the Connection Details page, click Details.
    The Configuration Details page appears.
    Service Status
    The green Service Status indicates that the service is active.
  4. Click Logs. The Service Log page appears.
    Service Log page
    A green check mark indicates that the BGP session is working as expected.

Last update: 2023-05-12