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Cloud computing requires a multifaceted solution that addresses connectivity, identity, compliance, a contracting framework, and a community of practice to engage when questions arise. Internet2’s Cloud Exchange and Cloud Connect options address common connectivity needs, and its NET+ program works to address the other dimensions in ways expressly tailored to the needs of higher education. More details on these services as well as how to leverage these efforts can be found on their respective tab.


The NET+ Azure offering has been sunset by the NET+ Program Advisory Group.  Microsoft announced in May 2016 the extension of many of the benefits of the NET+ program to academic institutions in North America and Europe.

cloud connect

Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute

Cloud Exchange

The Cloud Exchange provides Layer 3 routed access to 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. 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. For Microsoft, please contact your representative directly.

Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute Service Locations

Connecting to Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute

Internet2 offers both a layer 2 and a layer 3 connectivity option.

Layer 2 Azure ExpressRoute Connection

The layer 2 option consists of layer 2 VLANs connecting the campus routers to routers inside the Microsoft Azure cloud. The campus and Microsoft exchange routes via BGP. Add some stuff about stacked tags...

Layer 3 Azure ExpressRoute Connection

With the layer 3 option, Internet2 creates an L3VPN unique for each campus. The L3VPN BGP peers with Microsoft Azure and the campus, in turn, BGP peers with the L3VPN. The regional network, if any, passes the VLANs through between the campus and Internet2. One advantage of this option will be discussed further below.

Additional Layer 3 Connectivity

Another advantage of the Layer 3 option is the possibility of connecting to other Microsoft regions and other cloud service providers. In this case, the Internet2 L3VPN peers with the additional sites/providers and the campus simply continues to peer with the L3VPN over the existing VLANs. Doing this with Layer 2 would require possibly many additional VLANs connecting the campus to provider routers.

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For information about service information, fees and access to Azure ExpressRoute please contact