Middle market organizations are deploying Azure Express Route to provide reliable, low latency connections between their primary office(s) – where their users connect to – and Azure data centers where their critical applications run. Because of the various deployment scenarios, potential complexity, and deployment costs, planning should be thought through before deployment
Key Considerations for Express Route
Below are key some considerations to take into account before embarking on an Express Route deployment journey:
- Reason for the Express Route: Is the Express Route required to meet compliance requirements, for reliable low latency connection or for security? Knowing the business reason leading to the need for Express Route helps with the cost justification over other connectivity options like VPN and Azure Peering Service
- Resources in Azure: What resources are you looking to connect to in Azure (IaaS, PaaS or SaaS)? Azure Express Route provides mechanisms to connect to various Azure services, but the methods and requirements for the connections are different. Knowing the current connection and future needs allow organizations to select appropriate connection sizes and incorporate the appropriate connection requirements.
- Desired redundancy: Azure Express Route is a redundant connection with 99.95% Service Level Agreements (SLAs) from Microsoft. Since the Express Route is a combination of Microsoft services, the dedicated connection and the on-premise connection devices, organizations should account for all these when calculating their desired uptime guarantees.
For additional redundancy, organizations can utilize VPN connections as a backup to Express Route and establish automatic failover and failback between the two solutions.
- Providers and datacenter: The provider you choose to use to connect to Azure through Express Route will influence your onboarding experience. Some providers have additional services that make establishing Express Routes connections and peering seamless.
Different providers also connect to different approved datacenters, so choosing a provider that can connect to a datacenter closest to your corporate offices is key, as this may reduce the costs for running a dedicated line connection and improve the overall latency.
If connecting multiple offices to different data centers, a single provider with a presence in the desired datacenter locations will help reduce the complexity of vendor management and operational challenges.
- Network Expertise: A large dependency of the Express Route connection implementation experience is based around the on-premises deployment. Having available network expertise during the design and implementation stages will help the adoption process to meet timelines, costs and the overall experience.
RSM’s Technology Consulting, Azure and Network teams collaborate and use the considerations above as a guide as they walk clients through the planning, implementation and management phases of Azure Express Route adoption. Learn more about Azure here.