Add an Azure ExpressRoute Connection to a Cloud Router

Process overview

The basic steps to adding an Azure connection to a PacketFabric Cloud Router are as follows:

Create an ExpressRoute circuit in the Azure Console

  1. From the Microsoft Azure home page, click Create a Resource.

    screenshot of the create a resource action in the azure portal

  2. Select Networking > ExpressRoute.

    screenshot of the expressroute selection in the azure portal

  3. Under Basics, complete the following fields:

    • Header row

      • Field
      • Description
    • Row 1

      • Subscription
      • Your subscription is created at the account level and determines how you are billed.
    • Row 2

      • Resource group

      • The resource group is like a directory folder. You can use resource groups to perform bulk operations on resources. For example, you can cascade permissions, create copies, delete groups, and so on.

        Each resource can only belong to one group, and the group can only belong to one subscription.

    • Row 2

      • Region

      • Select the Azure region that works best for you. This region represents the availability zone or data center in which a resource is located.

        The region does not need to be the same as the PacketFabric on-ramp. For example, you might want to keep resources that are in a group within the same region or spread them among various regions for redundancy.

        If you would like to select a region close to your on-ramp, PacketFabric is present in the following regions:

        • West US (Silicon Valley)
        • West Central US (Denver)
        • North Central US (Chicago)
        • East US, East US2 (Washington D.C.)
        • South Central US (Dallas)
        • Las Vegas
    • Row 2

      • Name
      • Provide a meaningful name for the circuit.
  4. Under Configuration, complete the following fields:

    • Header row
      • Field
      • Description
    • Row 1
      • Port type
      • Select Provider.
    • Row 2
      • Create new or import from classic
      • Create new.
    • Row 2
      • Provider
      • Select PacketFabric.
    • Row 2
      • Peering location
      • Select from the available locations. This is the PacketFabric on-ramp.
    • Row 2
      • Bandwidth
      • Select your capacity.
    • Row 2
      • SKU

      • Select your service tier.

        The Premium add-on allows connectivity between geopolitical regions, more prefixes, and more virtual network connections. For more information, see Microsoft - What is ExpressRoute premium?

    • Row 2
      • Billing model

      • Select the appropriate billing model.

        This only applies to Microsoft’s billing model. All PacketFabric hosted cloud connections are billed separately and at a flat monthly rate.

        • Metered: Billed according to usage.
        • Unlimited: Pay a flat monthly rate.
    • Row 2
      • Allow classic operations

      • No - This is the default selection, and is appropriate in most situations.

        You would only need to select Yes if you are planning to connect to resources that were deployed under Azure’s classic model. This would include any resources created before 2014 that have not been migrated and/or post-2014 resources that you created through the classic portal.

  5. Under Tags, you can optionally add name/value pairs. Tags allow you to organize resources across resource groups. They can be applied to subscriptions, resource groups, and resources.

    For example, you could use tags to note location (e.g. city: richmond or building: d ) and environments (e.g. environment: test or state: beta ).

  6. Review your selections and click Create.

  7. It might take a few moments for your circuit to deploy. When complete, click Go to resource.

    screenshot of the deployed circuit and the go to resource action

    NOTE: If you do not see the Go to resource action, click Refresh or go to the resources page and re-select the ExpressRoute circuit.
  8. From the ExpressRoute circuit overview page, locate the service key and copy it to your clipboard.

    screenshot of the expressroute overview page


Each service key is unique to a specific circuit. Embedded within the service key is the following information:

Who: PacketFabric
Where: Peering location/on-ramp
How much: Bandwidth

You can use the service key twice: once for the primary connection, and again for the secondary connection.

But because they are so specific, you cannot reuse a service key across multiple regions or recycle them between circuits. For example, you can’t create two hosted connections to two different on-ramp locations using the same service key.

Microsoft begins charging you as soon as the service key is created, regardless of whether you have provisioned your PacketFabric connection.

Create a PacketFabric Cloud Router connection

  1. Log in to the PacketFabric portal and select Network > Cloud Routers.

  2. From the Cloud Router overflow menu, select Create Connection.

    screenshot of the cloud router overflow menu

  3. Select Microsoft Azure.


Complete the following fields and then click Next.

Microsoft Azure On-Ramp and Capacity
This is the Azure on-ramp location you would like to use. This cannot be changed after it is provisioned.
Select the same speed/capacity you set for your ExpressRoute circuit.
Connection Details
Service Key
Enter the Azure service key that you copied from the ExpressRoute circuit overview page.
Connection description
Enter a description for the connection.


Select a billing account and then click Place Order.

The connection should provision within a few minutes.

Next steps

  1. Set up private peering and configure BGP.
  2. Create a VNet gateway in the Azure portal.
  3. Connect your VNet gateway to your ExpressRoute circuit.

For information on completing these steps, see Configure BGP for Azure.

Create an Azure Connection on a Cloud Router - POST