Creating MCR Connections to IBM Cloud Direct Link

IBM Direct Link lets you create private connections between their remote network environments and their IBM Cloud deployments.

When connecting to IBM through a Direct Link 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 with Megaport, you need to open a ticket with IBM to create the Direct Link with Megaport as the provider, and then you need to create a VXC from your MCR to the Direct Link.

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/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 doc site.

  • 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.

  • The Megaport-enabled Direct Link locations are:

    • North America: Ashburn, Dallas, San Jose, Toronto, Chicago
    • Europe: Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Stockholm
    • Australia: Melbourne, Sydney
    • Asia: Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong

To create a ticket with IBM for the Direct Link Connect through Megaport

  1. Log in to the IBM Cloud.
  2. Click the main menu in the IBM Cloud and select Infrastructure.
    IBM Cloud

  3. Select Direct Link > Connect.
    Direct Link

  4. Name your Direct Link in the IBM Cloud and select your peering location, Megaport as the network provider, a port speed, a routing option (Local or Global), and a BGP autonomous system number (ASN). The ASN is the number the customer uses to peer with IBM. Use the default ASN, 64999, assigned by IBM. When you complete the IBM ticket request, you will use the ASN 133937 for MCR.
    Direct Link details

  5. Click Next.

  6. Acknowledge the terms and conditions.
  7. Click Create.

You are provided with an IBM Cloud Ticket number.

  • Open the assigned ticket in the IBM Cloud and request BGP peering addresses for the connection between the MCR and IBM. For example:
    Please assign BGP peering IP addresses and approve the use of Megaport ASN 133937 
    to be used on the Direct Link Connect as detailed in this ticket.
    
    10.254.x.xx/30 subnet   
    IBM Cloud IP Address: 10.254.x.xx/30  
    Remote Peer IP Address: 10.254.x.xx/30  
    IBM Cloud ASN: 13884      
    Remote Peer ASN: 133937
    

IBM will update the ticket with the BGP peering IP addresses and confirm the ASNs.

After IBM assigns the IP addresses and approves the Megaport ASN 133937, you can provision the Direct Link Connect on the MCR.

To create a VXC to the IBM Direct Link Connect

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

  2. In the Megaport Portal, find the MCR to attach your VXC and click +Connection.
    If you don’t have an MCR, create one following the procedures in Creating an MCR. Add connection

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

  4. Select IBM Cloud as the provider.

  5. 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. Direct Link details

  6. Specify these connection details:

    • Name your connection – Enter the IBM Cloud ticket number.

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

    • Rate Limit – This is the speed of your connection in Mbps. Select a speed in 1 Mbps increments, up to the MCR rate size. In most cases, match the speed created in the IBM Cloud.

  7. Click Next.

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

  1. After IP Addresses, enter your local IP address assigned by IBM.

    Add connection

  2. Click +Add.

  3. Click +Add BGP Connection.

  4. 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 Auth - Optionally, specify a shared key to authenticate the BGP peer. The shared key length is from 1 to 32 characters.

  5. Click Add.

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

  7. Click Back to make changes or click Add VXC.

Once you have finished this configuration, you can configure additional VXCs or complete the order.

To verify the BGP configuration

  1. In the Megaport Portal, select the VXC.

  2. Select the Details tab.

Next steps

  • Update the IBM ticket detailing that you have created the connection from Megaport.

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

  • IBM will update the ticket when completed.


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