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Cloud Access

Cloud Access Overview

Internet2's Cloud Access is a combination of Cloud Exchange and Cloud Connect.

Cloud Exchange

The Cloud Exchange provides Layer 3 routed access to Amazon, Google, and Microsoft via direct peering with these providers. Consider using the Cloud Exchange when accessing cloud providers if your applications don't require your campus private network to be extended into the cloud. Additionally, if your application requires network layer encryption implemented with VPN tunneling, the Cloud Exchange can provide multiple high capacity paths for your tunnels into these cloud providers.

Cloud Connect

Using your regional's infrastructure in conjunction with the Internet2 Network, you can reach cloud resources, including Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, Amazon AWS Direct Connect and Google Cloud Platform Dedicated Interconnect. The robust regional and national networks allow access to these cloud providers available in the locations on the map (please see below). Depending on your preference, you can implement either a Layer 2 or Layer 3 solution. Additionally, you will need to subscribe to the cloud provider’s service. Internet2 offers the option to procure AWS or GCP through the NET+ program. For Microsoft, contact your representative directly.

Cloud Connect Provider Access Site Status

Pilot Project

Through June 30, 2019, Internet2 is offering Cloud Connect on a pilot basis. During the next year, Internet2 along with the community will be implementing and testing Cloud Access. Several regionals and higher education institutions are implementing the service now and together, we are learning valuable lessons for the community. We welcome your input. Please send your feedback to

Cloud Connect supports both Layer 2 or Layer 3 solutions

Internet2 connectors can use their connection points on the Internet2 packet network to establish packet connectivity at either Layer 2 or Layer 3 to Cloud providers. In both cases, the connector or member can establish BGP peerings over these private pathways between the connecting  institution and the service provider who will see these connections presented as vlans. An Internet2 connector needs to be able to pass VLANs from the Internet2 connection point to the connecting institution. For an institution’s L2 VLANs, the limit on the total number of VLANs, some of which may use "QinQ" stacked tags, is higher than the L3VPN case.

Internet2 creates a Layer 3 VPN using a virtual routing and forwarding instance (VRF) per institution. For resiliency purposes, there are one or more peerings that are established with the institution and the institution shares either public or private addresses over those peerings.



Do you need to use Cloud Exchange or Cloud Connect?


Cloud Connect Service Providers


  • A conversation with Emory's Jimmy Kincaid on using VPNs instead of Direct Connect
    • "With the recent announcements from Internet2 about their Cloud Connect program, the “When Direct Connect?” vs. “When VPN?” has been the subject of vigorous discussion in the cloud community.  Emory University has constructed an impressive environment to automate the provisioning and use of AWS by their research community. As part of their extensive research, testing and configuration, Emory decided to use VPNs for these accounts over AWS Direct Connect at this time. Jimmy Kincaid did the analysis for Emory and has graciously agreed to join us for a call to explain his findings and explain how they made their decision and implemented it." 
      Bob Flynn, Manager of Cloud Technology Support, Indiana University
    • Link to the presentation
  • Webinar by Yale: Hybrid approach to cloud resources
    • "Yale University had the need to reduce seven data centers on campus to two primary facilities and establish disaster recovery for critical services. With the availability of cloud resources, Yale was able to provide a comprehensive plan for consolidation of onsite resources and make available multiple cloud providers. Providing a hybrid approach with on premise Data Centers and extending to cloud providers, Yale is able to offer its community availability for disaster recovery, scalability of onsite resources, and self-service resources such as servers and storage. Attendees to this session will learn the challenges and opportunities of considering hybrid cloud options."
      Louis Tiseo, Director, Cloud Technologies, Yale University
    • Link to the presentation