There are a number of new capabilities that were announced this week for Express Route and software VPNs
. For those not familiar, ExpressRoute is a method of connecting Azure to your on-premise topology
through a telco's private network, such as your MPLs that you use to connect sites, or to your datacenter. The capabilities of ExpressRoute have previously been very successful at providing dedicated and managed connectivity to Azure. The new capabilities include:
ExpressRoute Connectivity to Microsoft Services
ExpressRoute can now provide connectivity to many different Microsoft services
, vs. only being used for Azure connectivity. This is a huge change and provides direct connectivity for a variety of other uses, such as Skype for Business voice. The covered services include:
ExpressRoute Connectivity with S2S VPN
- Office365 services (Skype for Business, Exchange, SharePoint)
- Azure services (like Machine Learning, Azure-Automation)
- Azure IaaS services
A heavily requested feature for Azure connectivity was the ability to connect a software VPN in addition to ExpressRoute, for the purposes of redundancy, as well as local connectivity.
Companies didn't want to depend entirely on ExpressRoute and wanted more failover options, or wanted to perform local routing because of cost savings associated with local internet. This is now a capability of ExpressRoute.
ExpressRoute Premium Add On for Connectivity and Routing
You can now connect ExpressRoute to virtual networks from any region to the same circuit, support up to 10,000 routes, and connect up to 100 virtual networks. This facilitates significantly higher scale and complexity. This is an add on
, but for enterprise scale environments this has been a concern that is now addressed.
VPN Gateways for Virtual Networks
In the past there were only two software VPN gateway options
(basic and performance). There is now a "middle option
", for those somewhere in between. This provides additional flexibility to the VPN configuration as an organization scales sites.