About ExpressRoute Direct (Preview)

ExpressRoute Direct provides customers with the ability to connect directly into Microsoft’s global network at peering locations strategically distributed across the world. ExpressRoute Direct provides dual 100 Gbps connectivity, which supports Active/Active connectivity at scale.

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 required dedicated and isolated connectivity like: Banking, Government, and retail
  • Granular control of circuit distribution based on business unit


ExpressRoute Direct is currently in Preview.

This Public Preview is provided without a service level agreement and should not be used for production workloads. Certain features may not be supported, may have constrained capabilities, or may not be available in all Azure locations. See the Supplemental Terms of Use for Microsoft Azure Previews for details.

Enroll in the Preview

Before using ExpressRoute direct, you must first enroll your subscription in the preview. To enroll, send an email to ExpressRouteDirect@microsoft.com with your subscription ID. ExpressRoute Direct is an enterprise-grade feature. Provide additional details:

  • Scenarios you're looking to accomplish with ExpressRoute Direct
  • Location preferences - see Partners and peering locations for a complete list of all locations
  • Timeline for implementation
  • Any other questions

ExpressRoute using a service provider and ExpressRoute Direct

ExpressRoute using a service provider ExpressRoute Direct
Utilizes service provider to enable fast onboarding and connectivity into existing infrastructure Requires 100 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-10 Gbps Circuits SKUs from 5 Gbps to 100 Gbps (5 Gbps, 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps)
Optimized for single tenant Optimized for single tenant/Cloud Service providers/multiple business units

ExpressRoute Direct circuits

Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute lets you extend your on-premises networks into the Microsoft cloud over a private connection facilitated by a connectivity provider. With ExpressRoute, you can establish connections to Microsoft cloud services, such as Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365.

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

The functionality in most scenarios is equivalent to circuits that utilize 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 ExpressRoute Direct now also support 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps circuit SKUs.

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 allocates an S-Tag at circuit creation and cannot be changed. Each peering on the circuit (Private and Microsoft) will utilize a unique C-Tag as the VLAN. The C-Tag is not 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.




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 accordingly with customer requirements. During preview, there will be no SLA and should be considered only for non-production workloads.

Next steps

Configure ExpressRoute Direct