About ExpressRoute Direct

ExpressRoute Direct gives you the ability to connect directly into Microsoft’s global network at peering locations strategically distributed around the world. ExpressRoute Direct provides dual 100 Gbps or 10-Gbps connectivity, which supports Active/Active connectivity at scale. You can work with any service provider for ER Direct.

Key features that ExpressRoute Direct provides include, but aren't limited to:

  • Massive Data Ingestion into services like Storage and Cosmos DB
  • Physical isolation for industries that are regulated and require dedicated and isolated connectivity like: Banking, Government, and Retail
  • Granular control of circuit distribution based on business unit

Onboard to ExpressRoute Direct

Before using ExpressRoute Direct, you must first enroll your subscription. To enroll, run the following commands using Azure PowerShell:

  1. Sign in to Azure and select the subscription you wish to enroll.

    Select-AzSubscription -Subscription "<SubscriptionID or SubscriptionName>"
  2. Register your subscription for Public Preview using the following command:

    Register-AzProviderFeature -FeatureName AllowExpressRoutePorts -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.Network

Once enrolled, verify that Microsoft.Network resource provider is registered to your subscription. Registering a resource provider configures your subscription to work with the resource provider.

  1. Access your subscription settings as described in Azure resource providers and types.

  2. In your subscription, for Resource Providers, verify Microsoft.Network provider shows a Registered status. If the Microsoft.Network resource provider isn't present in the list of registered providers, add it.

If you begin to use ExpressRoute Direct and notice that there are no available ports in your chosen peering location, please log a support request to request more inventory.

ExpressRoute using a service provider and ExpressRoute Direct

ExpressRoute using a service provider ExpressRoute Direct
Uses service providers to enable fast onboarding and connectivity into existing infrastructure Requires 100 Gbps/10 Gbps infrastructure and full management of all layers
Integrates with hundreds of providers including Ethernet and MPLS Direct/Dedicated capacity for regulated industries and massive data ingestion
Circuits SKUs from 50 Mbps to 10 Gbps Customer may select a combination of the following circuit SKUs on 100-Gbps ExpressRoute Direct:
  • 5 Gbps
  • 10 Gbps
  • 40 Gbps
  • 100 Gbps
Customer may select a combination of the following circuit SKUs on 10-Gbps ExpressRoute Direct:
  • 1 Gbps
  • 2 Gbps
  • 5 Gbps
  • 10 Gbps
Optimized for single tenant Optimized for single tenant with multiple business units and multiple work environments

ExpressRoute Direct circuits

Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute allows you to extend your on-premises network into the Microsoft cloud over a private connection made easier by a connectivity provider. With ExpressRoute, you can establish connections to Microsoft cloud services, such as Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft 365.

Each peering location has access to Microsoft’s global network and can access any region in a geopolitical zone by default. You can access all global regions with a premium circuit.

The functionality in most scenarios is equivalent to circuits that use an ExpressRoute service provider to operate. To support further granularity and new capabilities offered using ExpressRoute Direct, there are certain key capabilities that exist on ExpressRoute Direct Circuits.

Circuit SKUs

ExpressRoute Direct supports massive data ingestion scenarios into Azure storage and other big data services. ExpressRoute circuits on 100-Gbps ExpressRoute Direct now also support 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps circuit SKUs. The physical port pairs are 100 Gbps or 10 Gbps only and can have multiple virtual circuits. Circuit sizes:

100-Gbps ExpressRoute Direct 10-Gbps ExpressRoute Direct
Subscribed Bandwidth: 200 Gbps Subscribed Bandwidth: 20 Gbps
  • 5 Gbps
  • 10 Gbps
  • 40 Gbps
  • 100 Gbps
  • 1 Gbps
  • 2 Gbps
  • 5 Gbps
  • 10 Gbps

Technical Requirements

  • Microsoft Enterprise Edge Router (MSEE) Interfaces:

    • Dual 10 Gigabit or 100-Gigabit Ethernet ports only across router pair
    • Single Mode LR Fiber connectivity
    • IPv4 and IPv6
    • IP MTU 1500 bytes
  • Switch/Router Layer 2/Layer three Connectivity:

    • Must support 1 802.1Q (Dot1Q) tag or two Tag 802.1Q (QinQ) tag encapsulation
    • Ethertype = 0x8100
    • Must add the outer VLAN tag (STAG) based on the VLAN ID specified by Microsoft - applicable only on QinQ
    • Must support multiple BGP sessions (VLANs) per port and device
    • IPv4 and IPv6 connectivity. For IPv6 no extra subinterface will be created. IPv6 address will be added to existing subinterface.
    • Optional: Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) support, which is configured by default on all Private Peerings on ExpressRoute circuits

VLAN Tagging

ExpressRoute Direct supports both QinQ and Dot1Q VLAN tagging.

  • QinQ VLAN Tagging allows for isolated routing domains on a per ExpressRoute circuit basis. Azure dynamically gives an S-Tag at circuit creation and cannot be changed. Each peering on the circuit (Private and Microsoft) will use a unique C-Tag as the VLAN. The C-Tag isn't required to be unique across circuits on the ExpressRoute Direct ports.

  • Dot1Q VLAN Tagging allows for a single tagged VLAN on a per ExpressRoute Direct port pair basis. A C-Tag used on a peering must be unique across all circuits and peerings on the ExpressRoute Direct port pair.


Set up ExpressRoute Direct

Diagram of the ExpressRoute Direct set up workflow.

Delete ExpressRoute Direct

Diagram of the ExpressRoute Direct delete workflow.


ExpressRoute Direct provides the same enterprise-grade SLA with Active/Active redundant connections into the Microsoft Global Network. ExpressRoute infrastructure is redundant and connectivity into the Microsoft Global Network is redundant and diverse and scales correctly with customer requirements.


For details on how ExpressRoute Direct is billed, see ExpressRoute FAQ. For pricing details, see ExpressRoute pricing.

Next steps

Learn how to configure ExpressRoute Direct.