ExpressRoute prerequisites & checklist

To connect to Microsoft cloud services using ExpressRoute, you need to verify that the following requirements listed in the following sections have been met.

ExpressRoute provides private network connectivity to Microsoft cloud services. Infrastructure and platform services running in Azure often benefit by addressing network architecture and performance considerations. Therefore, we recommend enterprises use ExpressRoute for Azure.

Software as a Service offerings, like Office 365 and Dynamics 365, were created to be accessed securely and reliably via the Internet. Therefore, we only recommend ExpressRoute for these applications in specific scenarios.

Important

Using ExpressRoute to access Azure is recommended for all enterprises. For guidance on using ExpressRoute to access Office 365 visit http://aka.ms/ExpressRouteOffice365.

Azure account

  • A valid and active Microsoft Azure account. This account is required to set up the ExpressRoute circuit. ExpressRoute circuits are resources within Azure subscriptions. An Azure subscription is a requirement even if connectivity is limited to non-Azure Microsoft cloud services, such as Office 365 services and Dynamics 365.
  • An active Office 365 subscription (if using Office 365 services). For more information, see the Office 365 specific requirements section of this article.

Connectivity provider

Network requirements

  • Redundant connectivity: there is no redundancy requirement on physical connectivity between you and your provider. Microsoft does require redundant BGP sessions to be set up between Microsoft’s routers and the peering routers, even when you have just one physical connection to a cloud exchange.
  • Routing: depending on how you connect to the Microsoft Cloud, you or your provider need to set up and manage the BGP sessions for routing domains. Some Ethernet connectivity provider or cloud exchange provider may offer BGP management as a value-add service.
  • NAT: Microsoft only accepts public IP addresses through Microsoft peering. If you are using private IP addresses in your on-premises network, you or your provider need to translate the private IP addresses to the public IP addresses using the NAT.
  • QoS: Skype for Business has various services (for example; voice, video, text) that require differentiated QoS treatment. You and your provider should follow the QoS requirements.
  • Network Security: consider network security when connecting to the Microsoft Cloud via ExpressRoute.

Office 365

If you plan to enable Office 365 on ExpressRoute, review the following documents for more information about Office 365 requirements.

Dynamics 365

If you plan to enable Dynamics 365 on ExpressRoute, review the following documents for more information about Dynamics 365

Next steps