Create ExpressRoute Direct using the Azure portal

This article shows you how to create ExpressRoute Direct using the Azure portal. ExpressRoute Direct lets you connect directly into Microsoft’s global network at peering locations strategically distributed across the world. For more information, see About ExpressRoute Direct.

Before you begin

Before using ExpressRoute Direct, you must first enroll your subscription. To enroll, please do the following via 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 the 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 that the Microsoft.Network provider shows a Registered status. If the Microsoft.Network resource provider is not present in the list of registered providers, add it.

Create ExpressRoute Direct

  1. In the Azure portal menu, or from the Home page, select Create a resource.

  2. On the New page, in the Search the Marketplace field, type ExpressRoute Direct, then select Enter to get to the search results.

  3. From the results, select ExpressRoute Direct.

  4. On the ExpressRoute Direct page, select Create to open the Create ExpressRoute Direct page.

  5. Start by completing the fields on the Basics page.

    Basics page

    • Subscription: The Azure subscription you want to use to create a new ExpressRoute Direct. The ExpressRoute Direct resource and ExpressRoute circuits must be in the same subscription.
    • Resource Group: The Azure resource group in which the new ExpressRoute Direct resource will be created in. If you don't have an existing resource group, you can create a new one.
    • Region: The Azure public region that the resource will be created in.
    • Name: The name of the new ExpressRoute Direct resource.
  6. Next, complete the fields on the Configuration page.

    Screenshot that shows the 'Create ExpressRoute Direct' page with the 'Configuration' tab selected.

    • Peering Location: The peering location where you will connect to the ExpressRoute Direct resource. For more information about peering locations, review ExpressRoute Locations.
    • Bandwidth: The port pair bandwidth that you want to reserve. ExpressRoute Direct supports both 10 Gb and 100 Gb bandwidth options. If your desired bandwidth is not available at the specified peering location, open a Support Request in the Azure portal.
    • Encapsulation: ExpressRoute Direct supports both QinQ and Dot1Q encapsulation.
      • If QinQ is selected, each ExpressRoute circuit will be dynamically assigned an S-Tag and will be unique throughout the ExpressRoute Direct resource.
      • Each C-Tag on the circuit must be unique on the circuit, but not across the ExpressRoute Direct.
      • If Dot1Q encapsulation is selected, you must manage uniqueness of the C-Tag (VLAN) across the entire ExpressRoute Direct resource.


      ExpressRoute Direct can only be one encapsulation type. Encapsulation cannot be changed after ExpressRoute Direct creation.

  7. Specify any resource tags, then select Review + create to validate the ExpressRoute Direct resource settings.

    Screenshot that shows the 'Create ExpressRoute' page with the 'Review + create' tab selected.

  8. Select Create. You will see a message letting you know that your deployment is underway. Status will display on this page as the resources are created.

Generate the Letter of Authorization (LOA)

  1. Go to the overview page of the ExpressRoute Direct resource and select Generate Letter of Authorization.

    Screenshot of generate letter of authorization button on overview page.

  2. Enter your company name and select Download to generate the letter.

    Screenshot of letter of authorization page.

Change Admin State of links

This process should be used to conduct a Layer 1 test, ensuring that each cross-connection is properly patched into each router for primary and secondary.

  1. On the ExpressRoute Direct resource Overview page, in the Links section, select link1.

    Link 1

  2. Toggle the Admin State setting to Enabled, then select Save.

    Admin State


    Billing will begin when admin state is enabled on either link.

  3. Repeat the same process for link2.

Create a circuit

By default, you can create 10 circuits in the subscription where the ExpressRoute Direct resource is. This number can be increased by support. You are responsible for tracking both Provisioned and Utilized Bandwidth. Provisioned bandwidth is the sum of bandwidth of all circuits on the ExpressRoute Direct resource. Utilized bandwidth is the physical usage of the underlying physical interfaces.

  • There are additional circuit bandwidths that can be utilized on ExpressRoute Direct only to support the scenarios outlined above. These are: 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps.

  • SkuTier can be Local, Standard, or Premium.

  • SkuFamily must be MeteredData only. Unlimited is not supported on ExpressRoute Direct.

The following steps help you create an ExpressRoute circuit from the ExpressRoute Direct workflow. If you would rather, you can also create a circuit using the regular circuit workflow, although there is no advantage in using the regular circuit workflow steps for this configuration. See Create and modify an ExpressRoute circuit.

  1. In the ExpressRoute Direct Settings section, select Circuits, and then select +Add.

    Screenshot shows the ExpressRoute Settings with Circuits selected and Add highlighted.

  2. Configure the settings in the Configuration page.

    Configuration page - ExpressRoute Direct

  3. Specify any resource tags, the select Review + Create in order to validate the values before creating the resource.

    Review and create - ExpressRoute Direct

  4. Select Create. You will see a message letting you know that your deployment is underway. Status will display on this page as the resources are created.

Next steps

After you've created the ExpressRoute Circuit, you can link virtual networks to your ExpressRoute Circuit.