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This help topic defines terminology related to the Megaport network and services.


IEEE 802.1Q is the networking standard that supports virtual LANs (VLANs) on an Ethernet network. The standard defines a system of VLAN tagging for Ethernet frames and the accompanying procedures to be used by bridges and switches in handling such frames. Also informally known as dot1q.


The start of the connection–the Port, MCR, or MVE.

Megaport connections need an A-End and a B-End. The connection starts with an A-End. Most often, the Port is the A-End. The B-End is the other end of the connection: it can be a Port, an Internet Exchange, a Marketplace connection, or a cloud service provider.


Application program interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. An API specifies how software components should interact and APIs are used when programming graphical user interface (GUI) components. The Megaport API allows customers and partners to integrate directly into our platform for automation and service creation (see


The Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) routing table contains a list of MAC address (Layer 2) to IP address (Layer 3) mappings.


An autonomous system (AS) is a collection of connected Internet Protocol (IP) routing prefixes under the control of one or more network operators on behalf of a single administrative entity or domain. ASN refers to autonomous system number and is a unique numerical ID allocated to each AS for use in BGP routing.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud services platform, offering compute power, database storage, content delivery and other functionality to help businesses scale and grow.

AWS Direct Connect

AWS (Amazon Web Services) Direct Connect is a network service that allows customers to establish a dedicated network connection between one of Amazon’s Direct Connect locations and the customer’s data center or colocation environment. Megaport is an AWS Direct Connect partner.


Azure is a Microsoft service. It is an open, flexible, enterprise-grade cloud computing platform accessed via Microsoft’s ExpressRoute service.


A Port, MCR, or MVE establishes the A-End of the connection and the B-End is the other end. The B-End can be a Port for a private VXC, an Internet Exchange, a Marketplace connection, or a cloud service provider.


Bidirectional Forwarding Detection. The BFD protocol detects any path failures between directly connected BGP neighbors, allowing for a faster BGP routing re-convergence time.


Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is a standardized routing protocol designed to exchange route and reachability information among autonomous systems (AS) on the internet.


A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver webpages and other web content to a user based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and a content delivery server. Examples: Akamai, Cloudflare.

cloud computing

A general term for the delivery of hosted services over the internet.


Abbreviation for co-location. The renting of space for housing computer equipment, usually in buildings specially designed to support a high density of computers and network connections, often called data centers, but also known as tele-houses or carrier hotel facilities.

cloud service provider (CSP)

An organization that offers one or more components of cloud computing to businesses or individuals. Typical cloud services are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), or Platform as a Service (PaaS).


Cyclic redundancy check. A type of error detection code used to detect transmission errors in data.

data center (DC)

A large group of networked computer servers typically used by organizations for remote storage, processing, or distribution of large amounts of data.

dark fiber (DF)

Dark fiber (DF) is essentially optical fiber infrastructure that is not in use. It is considered as capacity that has been laid in addition to that required at the initial time of service provisioning for expansion, growth, or resale. It is no longer considered dark once signals are traversing it (lit).


The demarcation point (often abbreviated to demarc and also known as a network boundary point) is the physical point at which the Megaport network ends and the customer network begins. Generally, this is a floor/rack/port assignment for an optical port. For more information, see Letter of Authorization (LOA).

direct customer

Any direct Megaport customer that is not a member of the Megaport PartnerVantage program.


The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical decentralized naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities.


See 802.1Q: IEEE 802.1Q is the networking standard that supports virtual LANs (VLANs) on an Ethernet network. The standard defines a system of VLAN tagging for Ethernet frames and the accompanying procedures to be used by bridges and switches in handling such frames.

Direct Connect (DX)

A method to access Amazon Web Services (AWS) public/private peering.

elastic interconnection

A term that defines a connection that provides businesses the flexibility to vary connectivity service requirements based on demand. Megaport customers can provision an elastic interconnection for as short as a day or as long as they need, with speeds ranging from 1 Mbps to 10 Gbps.


One end of an API communication channel that specifies the URI or URL of a server or service where you can access the resource. Includes any internet-enabled remote computing device that communicates with a TCP/IP network.

ExpressRoute (ER)

An Azure cloud integration option used to extend on-premises networks into the Microsoft cloud over a dedicated private connection. Megaport is a Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute partner.

Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL)

EVPL allows for service multiplexing at the UNI (unlike EPL). This capability allows more than one EVC to be supported at the UNI where the EPL does not allow this. Second, an EVPL need not provide as much transparency of Service Frames as with an EPL (Definition: MEF).

fully qualified domain name (FQDN)

The complete domain name for a specific computer, or host, on the internet.

fast reroute (FRR)

A MPLS and IP resiliency technology to provide fast traffic recovery upon link or router failures for mission critical services. Upon any single link or node failures it is possible to recover impacted traffic in the order of tens of milliseconds.

Google Cloud Interconnect (GCI)

Previously Google Carrier Interconnect.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

A suite of cloud computing services offered by Google.

Global Services Agreement (GSA)

Megaport standard terms. See also the SLA which is a component of the GSA.

hybrid cloud

A cloud computing environment that uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud, and third-party public cloud services with orchestration between the two platforms.

indirect customer

Any Megaport customer that is managed by a member of the Megaport PartnerVantage program. Indirect customers work with partners to set up accounts, order services, and obtain billing and support.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Online services that abstract the user from the details of infrastructure, such as: physical computing resources, location, data partitioning, scaling, security, and backup. According to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), IaaS is the most basic cloud-service model for providers offering cloud computing infrastructure.

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)

An organization that develops and promotes voluntary internet standards, in particular the standards that comprise the internet protocol suite (TCP/IP). IETF has no formal membership or membership requirements. All participants and managers are volunteers with their work usually funded by their employers or other sponsors.

Internet Protocol Security (IPsec)

A protocol suite for secure Internet Protocol (IP) communications that works by authenticating and encrypting each IP packet of a communication session.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

A set of practices for IT Service Management (ITSM).


An Internet Exchange (known as IX or IXP for a given Internet Exchange point) is a physical infrastructure through which internet service providers (ISPs) and content delivery networks (CDNs) exchange internet traffic between their networks (autonomous systems). MegaIX is the Megaport IX product, and AMS-IX is the partner IX product offered in some geographies via the Cloud tile in the Megaport Portal.


A variation in packet transit delay (RTT/RTD/PTD, latency) caused by queuing, contention and serialization effects on a path through the network.

Layer 1 (L1)

Layer 1 of the OSI model conveys the bit stream (electrical impulse, light or radio signal) through the network at the electrical and mechanical level. It provides the hardware means of sending and receiving data on a carrier, including defining cables, cards, and physical aspects. A fiber optic cable/SFP terminations would be considered Layer 1, as well as the physical Port.

Layer 2 (L2)

Layer 2 of the OSI model is the data link layer. This provides node-to-node data transfer (a link between two directly connected nodes). Most Megaport Virtual Cross Connects (VXCs) operate at this layer. Layer 2 is divided into Media Access Control (MAC) layer (controls how devices in a network gain access to medium and permission to transmit), and Logical Link Control (LLC) layer (responsible for identifying network layer protocols and then encapsulating them and controls error checking and frame synchronization).

Layer 3 (L3)

Layer 3 of the OSI model is the network layer. It translates logical network address into physical machine address (IP addressing). Layer 3 routers analyze traffic based on address details and forward appropriately, requiring knowledge of the details generally exchanged in BGP sessions for routing table exchanges.

Letter of Authorization (LOA)

A document that customers need to present to their data center provider to establish the physical cross-connect from their data center services to their Port. The LOA is provided via the Megaport Portal when a customer provisions a new Port.

Describes various methods for using multiple parallel network connections to increase throughput beyond the limit that a single link (one connection) can achieve. In general for link aggregation, physical Ports must reside on a single switch/router.


An optical interface standard for a small form-factor pluggable (SFP) that can deliver 10 Gbps over roughly 10km. Megaport’s standard for delivery of 10 Gbps ports. See LX for the 1 Gbps equivalent. Uses 1310nm wavelength.

label-switched path (LSP)

A path through an MPLS network.


An optical interface standard for a small form-factor pluggable (SFP) that can deliver 1 Gbps over roughly 10km. Megaport’s standard for delivery of 1 Gbps ports. See LR for the 10 Gbps equivalent. Uses 1310nm wavelength.

managed account

An account that receives Megaport services and support through a Megaport partner. The partner can customize the features in the Megaport Portal to limit visibility and features for a managed account.


Sometimes known as an MD5 hash or BGP key. The MD5 algorithm is a widely used cryptographic function producing a string of 32 hexadecimal digits. This is used as a password or key between routers exchanging BGP information.

Megaport Internet

Megaport Internet connections are scalable, on-demand services that allow you to connect to the internet from Ports, MCRs, and MVEs. As part of the MVE provisioning, you create a Megaport Internet connection to provide connectivity and to allow MVE to register and communicate with the SD-WAN overlay network.

Megaport SDN

Megaport’s neutral, software-defined network based global network comprising of cloud service providers, network service providers, and data center operators, accessed via the Megaport Portal or API.

meet-me room (MMR)

A place within a data center, colocation center, or carrier hotel, where telecommunications companies can physically connect to one another and exchange data without incurring local loop fees. Services provided across connections in an MMR can be voice circuits, data circuits, or internet protocol.

Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute

Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute lets customers extend their on-premises networks into the Microsoft cloud over a dedicated private connection. Megaport is a Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute partner.

Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)

A type of data-carrying technique for high-performance telecommunications networks that directs data from one network node to the next based on short path labels rather than long network addresses, avoiding complex lookups in a routing table.


The use of multiple cloud computing services in a single heterogeneous architecture. For example, an enterprise might use multiple cloud providers for infrastructure (IaaS) and software (SaaS) services. One of Megaport core value propositions is enabling multi-cloud connectivity.


Megaport Virtual Edge (MVE) is an on-demand, vendor-neutral Network Function Virtualization (NFV) service that enables branch-to-cloud connectivity on Megaport’s global software-defined network (SDN). MVE provides the edge-computing framework that hosts partner SD-WAN technology directly on Megaport’s global SDN.

net neutrality

The principle that Megaport enables access to all service providers without favoring or blocking others.

network-to-network interface (NNI)

An interface between two networks. Technically used as distinct from UNI to define an interface between provider networks but sometimes used interchangeably between provider and customer network handoffs (Definition: MEF).

Open Systems Interconnection (OSI)

A model that characterizes and standardizes the communication functions of a telecommunication or computing system. Most Megaport products are Layer 2 (or L2) with some of the OSI constructs pushing into Layer 3 (L3) where IP addressing information is exchanged, known as an L2/L3 service.

overlay network

A virtual network of nodes and logical links that are built on top of an existing network. The overlay network augments the underlay and provides traffic orchestration and the ability to enable business and security policies through a management console. The management console also provides visibility into the network.


Platform as a Service vendors offer a development environment to application developers. The provider typically develops toolkit and standards for development and channels for distribution and payment. In the PaaS models, cloud providers deliver a computing platform, typically including operating system, programming-language execution environment, database, and web server without the need to manage any of the underlying operating system or host architecture.

partner account

An account that directly manages the Megaport services, support, and billing for other accounts. The partner can customize the features in the Megaport Portal to limit visibility and features for a managed account.


The Megaport Partner program.


A process by which two internet networks connect and exchange traffic. This allows these two internet networks to directly exchange traffic between each other’s customers, without having to pay a third party to carry that traffic across the internet.


Packet loss rate/packet loss ratio.


A Port is the high-speed Ethernet interface that connects to Megaport’s global software-defined network (SDN). Bandwidth options between Ports range from 1 Mbps to 10 Gbps. 100 Gbps is available in some locations.

provider edge (PE) router

A router between one network service provider’s area and areas administered by other network providers.


Packet transfer delay (one-way latency measure).


802.1Q tunneling (also known as Q-in-Q or 802.1ad) is a technique used by OSI Layer 2 providers for customers. 802.1ad provides for both an inner and an outer tag whereby the outer (sometimes called S-tag for service provider) can be removed to expose the inner (C-tag or customer) tags that segment the data.


(Generally vertical) shafts through which cable baskets are routed. Otherwise known as verticals.

route server (RS)

A route server provides a mechanism for the establishment of BGP routing exchanges in an Internet Exchange (IX or IXP). It simplifies the process of maintaining many peering partners across a network and also contributes to the network visibility and manageability. Route servers are generally deployed in pairs to allow for maintenance windows and general redundancy to support IX stability. Some offer a Looking Glass (LG) functionality to view which peers maintain which routes and allow troubleshooting on network routing choices.


Round-trip time (RTT) is the length of time taken by a data packet to be sent to a destination, including the time it takes for an acknowledgment of that packet to be received back at the origin time. Also known as ping time.

rack units (RU)

A unit of measurement mainly used to describe the height of rack-mounted computer equipment (especially servers and routers) and the racks into which they are fitted. One RU is 1.75 inches or 4.445 centimeters. For example, 42RU indicates a 1.87m height cabinet.


In the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, cloud providers manage the infrastructure and platforms that run the applications and users gain access to client application software. SaaS is sometimes referred to as “on-demand software” and is usually priced on a pay-per-use basis or using a subscription fee.

secure software service edge (SASE)

A security framework combining security and network connectivity technologies into a single cloud-delivered platform to enable secure and fast cloud transformation.

service-level agreement (SLA)

Part of a standardized service contract where a service is formally defined. Particular aspects of the service scope, quality, and responsibilities are agreed between the service provider and the service user. Referred to as the GSA in Megaport terms (Global Services Agreement).

single-mode optical fiber (SMOF)

A fiber cable with only one mode of propagation: a single wavelength of light in the fiber core. Multi-mode optical fiber (MMOF) is less expensive but can only run shorter distances without signal degradation.

software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN)

A software approach to managing wide area networks.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)

A set of rules/protocols governing communications among all devices on the internet. More specifically, TCP/IP dictates how information should be packaged (packetized), sent, and received, as well as how to traverse connected networks to reach its ultimate destination.


Commodity internet capacity. As distinct from IX routes (specific), transit capacity (a generally paid service) indicates the general default route for internet traffic when routes are otherwise unknown at a settlement free peering exchange.

underlay network

A physical infrastructure that provides traditional physical Layer 2 and Layer 3 connectivity between gateways, routes, switches, and so on in a network.


The one-stop partner relationship management (PRM) platform for Megaport PartnerVantage partners. VantageHub includes deal registration, partner enablement, partner marketing, and more.


The PartnerVantage term for the Megaport Portal.

virtual LAN (VLAN)

A partitioned and isolated computer network at the data link layer (OSI Layer 2) on a single physical interface (for example, a Port) used to subdivide a network. LAN is an abbreviation of local area network.

virtualized network functions (VNFs)

Services responsible for handling specific network functions running in virtual machines on top of networking infrastructure.

Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS)

A way to provide Ethernet-based multipoint to multipoint communication over IP or MPLS networks. It allows geographically dispersed sites to share an Ethernet broadcast domain by connecting sites through pseudo-wires.

virtual private network (VPN)

Extends a private network across a public network or internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. VPNs can provide functionality, security and/or network management benefits to the user.

Virtual Cross Connect (VXC)

VXCs are direct Layer 2 Ethernet circuits providing private, flexible, and on-demand connections between any of the locations on the Megaport network with 1 Mbps to 10 Gbps of capacity. Connections of up to 20 Gbps are also available between 100 Gbps Ports within the same metro.


Abbreviation for Cross Connect. A connection scheme between cabling runs, subsystems, and equipment using patch cords or jumpers that attach to networking equipment.

Last update: 2024-04-15