Ever dreamt of driving to work on your own private express lane, instead of using a jammed, potentially dangerous highway? Your dream is real, in the cloud.
Azure ExpressRoute allows to physically connect on-premises networks into Azure, over private connections. ExpressRoute connections completely bypass the public Internet. ExpressRoute connections are more reliable, faster, with consistent lower latencies, and have higher security than typical connections over the Internet.
Read this post to learn how you can connect a SAS Viya on Azure deployment to an on-premises network by using ExpressRoute. When the connection is in place, you can access from SAS Viya data from a database in your on-premises data centre, from the same or different geopolitical region.
Stephen Foerster mentioned in Connecting Viya in Azure to On-Prem with Azure VPN, ExpressRoute (Intro): “Microsoft recommends two different mechanisms for connecting SAS Viya in Azure to on-premises resources […] Both methods require Azure Virtual Network (VNET) gateways to facilitate communication. ExpressRoute offers added security and performance by sending traffic over a dedicated private line.”
We want to realize two scenarios, with SAS Viya deployed in the Azure East US region. We want to access through Azure ExpressRoute:
The first scenario requires connectivity across the same Azure geopolitical region (West US and East US are in North America).
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The second scenario requires connectivity across different geopolitical region (Australia Southeast is in Oceania).
If you haven’t yet explored the Microsoft Datacenters Globe, do it, it’s pretty cool!
In this post we are going to simulate the on-premises data centres as Azure networks. Why we chose to simulate the data centre? There are many types of on-premises VPN devices, connectivity providers and it is not possible to describe their configuration in a simple post series.
What you need to remember is the logic and the configuration steps.
By the end of the post series, we want to realize the following architecture diagram:
Azure side - $PREFIX-vnet, the SAS Viya virtual network deployed in the East US region:
The On-premises side is composed of:
HQ-Network is the on-premises network in a West US data centre.
AP-AUS-Network is another on-premises network, in a data centre in Melbourne, in Australia Southeast:
First, $PREFIX-vnet, where SAS Viya sits, will connect to the ExpressRoute Direct Circuit via the VNG. Then, HQ-Network and finally, AP-AUS-Network.
According to Microsoft, ExpressRoute allows you to create a connection between your on-premises network and the Microsoft cloud in four different ways, CloudExchange Co-location, Point-to-point Ethernet Connection, Any-to-any (IPVPN) Connection, and ExpressRoute Direct. Connectivity providers may offer more than one connectivity models. You can work with your connectivity provider to pick the model that works best for you.
Because I am simulating the on-premises data centres and because I am not hosting my data centre with a connectivity provider, I chose the ExpressRoute Direct model.
There are particularly good reasons and potential cost savings to work with a connectivity provider. I encourage you to do your own research.
According to About ExpressRoute Direct: “You can connect directly into the Microsoft global network at a peering location strategically distributed across the world. ExpressRoute Direct provides dual 100-Gbps or 10-Gbps connectivity that supports Active/Active connectivity at scale.”
Compared to VPN Gateways, where the tunnel throughput is typically 100 Mbps, ExpressRoute Direct throughput is just… massive.
100-Gbps or 10-Gbps is just mind-blowing fast. Faster than many wired connections in your local office.
According to ExpressRoute FAQs: “ExpressRoute Direct provides customers with direct 100 Gbps or 10-Gbps port pairs into the Microsoft global backbone. The scenarios that provide customers with the greatest benefits include: Massive data ingestion, physical isolation for regulated markets [or government], and dedicated capacity for burst scenario, like rendering.”
To connect the SAS Viya virtual network (VNET), $PREFIX-VNET, using ExpressRoute, you need to create a Virtual Network Gateway (VNG) in $PREFIX-VNET. The VNG must be of type ExpressRoute. For more information, read VNGs – ExpressRoute type.
The VNG requires a dedicated GatewaySubnet. Therefore, in $PREFIX-vnet create a GatewaySubnet to host the VNG. As $PREFIX-vnet has an address space of 192.168.0.0/16 the gateway subnet has an address space: 192.168.3.0/27.
Simulated On-premises Resources
For the sake of simplicity, we are going to assume the on-premises resources, have already been created. You can find a deployment example in How to Connect SAS Viya in Azure to On-Prem with VPN Gateways – Part 3.
You will also need an ExpressRoute VNG in each of the networks.
In this post we introduced Azure ExpressRoute, the connectivity models, including ExpressRoute Direct and scenarios customers might consider for ExpressRoute Direct.
We proposed a topology and two scenarios to connect from SAS Viya deployed in Azure in East US to data from databases in "on-premises" data centres in the same or in a different geopolitical region.
Read the next post How to Connect SAS Viya in Azure to On-Prem with ExpressRoute - Part 2, where you will learn how to:
Thank you for your time reading this post. If you liked the post, give it a thumbs up! Please comment and tell us what you think about access to on-premises datacentres using VPN gateways. If you wish to get more information, please write me an email.
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