Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute

Cost-effective, reliable and resilient connectivity to Azure – via the Janet Network and Microsoft’s Azure connection service, ExpressRoute.

As a research and education organisation, you appreciate the flexibility of cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, for critical services such as compute, networking or storage.

But to enable reliable and resilient access to Azure services – underpinned by a service level agreement from Microsoft – you need to connect via Microsoft’s Azure connection service, ExpressRoute. This lets you access the Azure platform via a fast, private connection.

As a Jisc member, you can activate ExpressRoute in the form of a virtual, private circuit via the Janet Network – letting you extend your on-premise network into the Microsoft cloud, cost-effectively and reliably.

To help ensure reliability, this service is available to organisations with two or more physical connections to the Janet Network.

Benefits of ExpressRoute

Predictable and reliable

ExpressRoute is the only way to access Azure services that is sufficiently resilient and predictable to support an availability service level agreement from Microsoft.

If you were to access Azure without using ExpressRoute – for example via the public internet – your traffic would be subject to performance limitation.

By accessing ExpressRoute via Jisc, you’re also making the most of the world-class Janet Network.

Use existing physical connectivity

If you're a Jisc member, then chances are you already have the underlying physical connectivity in place to facilitate ExpressRoute.

If you access via Jisc, activating ExpressRoute should not mean provisioning new connectivity – which might not be the case with competitors.

Benefit from a competitive price

Partly because you’re using existing physical connectivity, our charges for this service are very competitive. So you get the cost-effective service you expect as a research and education organisation.

Buy via a provider you trust

If you access ExpressRoute via Jisc, you know you are buying a service you can trust – facilitated by an organisation which exists to meet the needs of research and education.

Case study: high-speed link sets new rail college on right track

Read how the National College for High Speed Rail fulfilled their cloud-based digital vision with ExpressRoute.

Download the case study (pdf).

Who is eligible?

This service is available to Jisc members who have two or more physical connections to the Janet Network.

Although Microsoft does support ExpressRoute if you have only one physical connection, we think a diverse pair of connections is a minimum requirement. That’s because, if your business-critical services are in the cloud, you need an alternative physical route in the event that one fails.

As a customer of this service, you also need to have access to Microsoft’s Azure web portal.

Supporting your cloud implementation

We can support organisations looking to plan, implement or evolve their cloud strategy through our professional and managed services

We work with a number of cloud providers to help influence the services and pricing they offer to the education and research community. We regularly review and evaluate cloud services to understand the cost benefit of new technologies, the options available and to sense-check these services against alternative approaches.

The Janet Network is cloud-enabled and ready

Through connectivity to the Janet Network, your organisation already benefits from a number of high-capacity peerings such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google. Jisc also offers netpaths – point-to-point virtual private connections over the Janet Network and beyond. It is likely that for the initial phases of many cloud strategies these existing peering and Jisc’s netpath solutions offer a cost-effective approach using existing Jisc connectivity.

This scalable alternative, when combined with special education and research egress waivers offered by some cloud service providers (such as that offered by AWS for their Direct Connect service), can be used to support organisations in their initial cloud strategies. This approach offers a straightforward implementation whilst exact use cases are built and traffic ingress and egress volumes are yet to be understood.

Members and customers looking to evaluate or mature their cloud strategies should contact the cloud team for access to specialist cloud advice.

Find out more

To find out more about accessing ExpressRoute via the Janet Network, please contact your relationship manager.