Microsoft ExpressRoute Process Overview

1. Complete the prerequisites.

Create a Microsoft Azure account and set up a virtual network (VNet).

The Azure VNet allows Azure resources and services to communicate with each other.

Review the ExpressRoute network requirements.

The requirements cover redundancy, routing, NAT, QoS, and network security. Do not create the ExpressRoute yet.

Create a PacketFabric account.

Before you can log in, your account is manually reviewed and then approved by the PacketFabric team. You should receive approval within 24 hours.

2. Provision a port and install a cross connect.

Provisioning a port only takes a few minutes. You can then generate an LOA and handle the cross connection installation yourself, or you can have us manage it. For more information, see Cross Connects.

At this point, your network might look roughly like this:

diagram step 2

Note that you are not required to have a Microsoft 365 environment.

3. Create an ExpressRoute circuit from the Azure portal.

When you create the circuit, you are provided a service key.

Microsoft begins billing as soon as the service key is created, which is why we advise that you wait until your cross connect is established first.

diagram step 3

4. Create a PacketFabric Hosted Cloud Connection.

Using the service key generated with your ExpressRoute circuit, create a Hosted Cloud Connection from the PacketFabric portal.

This is also where you establish the VLAN IDs you will use for peering with Azure and Microsoft 365.

diagram step 4

5. (Optional) Repeat step 4 for the secondary circuit connection.

Each service key includes a primary circuit and a redundant secondary circuit connection.

To provision the secondary circuit, simply create another hosted connection. Use the same service key and the same VLAN IDs you specified for the primary circuit.

The secondary circuit will need to land at the same on-ramp location, but it should originate from a different source port.

For more information, see see High Availability and Redundancy in ExpressRoute Connections.

6. Configure peering in the Azure portal.

Use the Private peering VLAN ID you specified in your PacketFabric connection to set up peering with your Azure virtual network.

If you are using Microsoft 365/Office 365, you can use the Microsoft peering VLAN ID to peer with the Microsoft 365 cloud.

diagram step 6

7. Create a virtual network gateway.

Azure VNets have two types of gateways: VPN and ExpressRoute. You will need an ExpressRoute gateway to link your circuit to your virtual network.

diagram step 7

Add a connection to your circuit.

diagram step 8

9. Create route filters for your Microsoft 365 connection.

If you are peering with Microsoft 365, you will need to configure routing to establish a BGP session.

diagram step 9