By Fouad Yousuf Dar, Aftersales Engineer II
For a distributed or hybrid network, the interconnectivity between different tenants is crucial. There are many ways to connect different parts of a network depending on your business needs. For a small hub and spoke type network, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection will suffice. But as your network grows geographically, you need to connect different tenants with a low-latency, high-speed network with a systematic and centralized network management platform. Above all, redundant connections to ensure the connectivity even in disastrous conditions is highly desirable.
Alibaba Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN) fulfils these requirements for both small and large enterprise network architectures. CEN helps to build a business system that is distributed in the hybrid cloud or over Alibaba Cloud across multiple geographic locations.
It is simple to use; you can bring up the connectivity between two tenants in only a few minutes. Furthermore, it provides free connectivity between different data centers located in the same region, making it perfect for distributed disaster recovery solutions. CEN features high availability and network redundancy. As stated in the official documentation, there are at least four redundant links between any two access points. If a link is interrupted, CEN can ensure service continuity without network jitter and interruption. It dynamically detects the links and chooses the shortest path. You can learn more about CEN features here.
This quick start guide will help you to quickly setup your desired solution. There are two scenarios covered in this tutorial; you can choose the one most suitable for your business needs.
A. Connecting two VPCs in the same Region but different zones.
B. Connecting two VPCs in different Regions.
Connecting Two VPCs in the Same Region
- An active Alibaba Cloud account
- Two isolated VPCs and two ECS instances provisioned. You should have a VPC and ECS instance pair in each zone.
Step 1: Create CEN instance
The product is already activated for each account. Go to the CEN management console and click on Create CEN Instance.
Under Create Instance:
- Enter the instance name. I have chosen “infinitycloudConnect” as the name.
- Select VPC under Network Types as we want to connect two Virtual Private Clouds.
- Select the region where your VPC is located.
- Select the VPC from the drop-down menu under Networks. Click OK.
You will see an operation complete window, which lists the details of your CEN instance.
Step 2: Add a network
Click on Manage in front of the instance name and add another network. The steps to add another network is the same as Step 1 above. Select the second VPC from the drop-down menu under Networks and click Complete.
That’s it! You have connected the two VPCs with the CEN instance. Yes, it is as simple as it gets.
Connecting Two VPCs in Different Regions
Step 1: Create CEN instance
This step is same as the first step under Connecting Two VPCs in the Same Region. Please refer to the previous section to complete the first step.
Step 2: Add network
Click on Manage in front of instance name and add another network. Under Regions, select the second region.
Select the second VPC from the drop-down menu under Networks and click Complete. In this tutorial, I am going to connect a Singapore VPC to a Hong Kong VPC, so I have selected Hong Kong under Region.
You have connected the two VPCs in different regions with the CEN instance.
Step 3: Buy a Bandwidth Package
To connect networks in different regions, you must buy a bandwidth package:
- On the Instances page, click CEN Instance, and then click the Bandwidth Packages tab.
- Click Buy Bandwidth Package (Subscription).
- Configure the bandwidth package.
Step 4: Set the Cross-Region Bandwidth
Click Set Region Connection and follow the steps given the figure below:
The connectivity is complete.
Checking the Connectivity of Your Network
You can check the connectivity of your network by either checking the network routes or performing a ping test.
Check the network routes
Go to Routes tab and check the routes automatically generated for the connectivity between the two VPCs.
- Go to the ECS management console and check the security group settings of both ECS instances. Make sure both instances allow communication over ICMP protocol.
- Login on one of the ECS instances and ping the private IP address of the other instance. The ping results will confirm that the connectivity between the two instances has been achieved with Alibaba Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN).
Alibaba Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN)) provides you with the tools to easily build and tear down network connectivity. You can use CEN to connect two VPCs inside Alibaba Cloud or connect a VPC and an on-premises IDC. CEN is a redundant network connectivity solution with minimal network management.