How to sign up for Direct Link?

1. Log into you account control portal via https://control.softlayer.com

2. From the Network tab, select Direct Link

3. Choose the Network Point of Presence (PoP) for your Direct Link.

What is standard regional and global routing?

When you order a Direct Link product from IBM Cloud you will select the region for your connection. By default, you are able to send and receive data from within your region unless you choose the Global Routing add-on. Global Routing allows you to transmit data across the entire IBM Cloud Network. A region is a collection of data centers attached to an IBM Cloud Network Point of Presence (POP). While most PoPs are part of a region, some are not. PoPs that do not fall into a region must order the Global Routing add-on.

 

Standard Regional

All data centers connected to a single PoP. For example: you can connect to the Dallas PoP, gain direct private network access to all datacenters in Dallas. All ingress and egress traffic within a region is unmetered.

 

Global Routing

The entire IBM Cloud global network. Connect to any PoP to gain direct private network access to all datacenters world-wide. All ingress traffic is unmetered. All global egress traffic is metered at Global rates.

What are the Direct Link connectivity options?

Direct Link was created to allow customers to establish private and secure layer 3 connectivity between their remote network environments and their computing resources on the IBM Cloud platform. Direct Link can be viewed as an alternative to a traditional site to site VPN solution for customers that need more consistent, higher throughput connectivity between a remote network and their IBM Cloud environments. Direct Link Data Flow

 

Dual IP Remote Hosts

This option requires that a customer add an additional IP or reIP their remote hosts into a 172.x.x.x IP range provided by IBM Cloud from 172.16.0.0/12.

Direct Link Connectivity - Dual IP 

 

NAT

This option requires that a customer configure NAT on the ingress/egress point of their network.

Direct Link Connectivity - Source NAT

Direct Link Connectivity - Source and Destination NAT

 

Tunneling for BYOIP

This option allows for customers to bring their own IP space into the IBM Cloud platform. It requires that a customer create a GRE or IPSEC tunnel between the remote network and their network using a IBM Cloud provided gateway appliance.

Direct Link Connectivity - Tunneling for BYOIP

What is Direct Link NSP? 

Direct Link NSP is a single point-to-point solution made by extending an existing on-premises network into one of IBM Cloud’s PoP locations. You engage with your telco provider to run your last-mile link directly into an IBM Cloud network PoP Next, you order a cross connect from your router into an IBM Cloud cross-connect panel within the facility from our Network Service Partner, finally ordering an IBM Cloud Direct Link NSP from the IBM Cloud Customer Portal.

What is Direct Link Cloud Exchange?

Direct Link Cloud Exchange offers a point-to-multi-point virtual connection between your private network and IBM Cloud. Traffic is passed by procuring a port with one of our Cloud Exchange partners and provisioning a secure virtual connection to IBM Cloud. You engage with your telco provider to run your last-mile circuit directly into an IBM Cloud network PoP and into one of our Cloud Exchange Partners Software Defined Networks (SDN). Next, you order Direct Link Cloud Exchange from the IBM Cloud Customer Portal and select the appropriate Cloud Exchange Partner and location.

What is Direct Link Colocation?

Direct Link Colocation offers a low-latency secure connection directly into the IBM Cloud POD where your compute processes are running. The customers colo environment will be either in the same building or in an adjacent one directly connected via redundant fiber. The customer is responsible for all equipment (including all rack/stack) necessary to terminate to a patch panel that will be installed in their cabinet. Customer can connect their WAN network to their equipment in their colo environment creating their true hybrid cloud.

What is Local and Global routing? 

Local and Global routing is an option that all Direct Link must select when ordering new service (all existing DL customers will need to select a level of service as well in the future). Should customers need to route traffic past the POP in the area they are ordering Direct Link, they would need to add Global routing, otherwise all of their traffic would be restricted to the data centers services by the local POP.

 

1G Circuits are allotted 10TB of free egress traffic per month; 10G is allotted 50TB. Overages are based on the below table with the higher market prevailing. If a customer selects Global routing, they are not charged for any local egress traffic, only traffic that originates/terminates outside of the local POP.

If I am connected to a Direct Link NSP or Direct Link Cloud in a region, such as Dallas, can I access other regions in the US through Direct Link? 

Yes, you can access outside of your region if you choose the Global Access add-on. If this option is not selected, you will be locked into the region for the POP you have selected.

Can I connect to any IBM Cloud region from a given Direct Link location? 

Yes, as long as you order Direct Link with the Global Routing add-on.

Can I restrict the regions my Direct Link can access? 

No. IBM Cloud only offers two options which are either only a single region or all regions with the Global Routing add-on.

Does IBM Cloud meter bandwidth for Global Access Direct Link products? 

Yes. IBM Cloud does meter all outbound bandwidth on Direct Link Products. Inbound bandwidth is free and unmetered.

What additional charges will I incur from other parties with Direct Link? 

You may have additional charges from your exchange provider or network service provider. Please refer to your provider(s) for fee information.

How can I achieve redundancy with Direct Link? 

You can achieve redundancy with Direct Link by connecting to more than one Network Service Provider or Cloud Exchange to IBM Cloud.

If I have an overlapping network with IBM Cloud how can I facilitate connectivity? 

We recommend NAT or building IPSEC tunnels from your VLAN(s) to the remote location. For NAT IBM Cloud will assign out a 172.x.x.x range that you would NAT into that is unique on our side. The IPSEC solution is done with a Vyatta box using IPSec with GRE.

What is the difference between the default "local" routing and the Global Routing add-on? 

With our standard Direct Link products you will only be able to pass traffic between the datacenters in a selected region and not across the entire IBM Cloud network. If you are needing to access other data centers outside of the specified region you will need to order the Global Routing add-on. This model is based upon ACLs (access control lists) that are put in place at the time the direct link is ordered.

How are the Global add-on outbound (egress) bandwidth overages billed? 

Overages will be billed monthly when the included allotment of bandwidth is exceeded for outbound bandwidth only and inbound bandwidth is free of charge and not metered. Outbound bandwidth will be billed based on the higher of the two regions where the data crosses. Example, if your direct link is configured in DAL03 and traffic passes between Mexico you will be charged the Mexico bandwidth rate.

Why does a Global add-on package exist? 

In most cases a customer will only require a local bandwidth package and will have no need for their Direct Link to pass traffic across the globe. In almost every IBM Cloud region, the costs of transporting bandwidth will vary and those transit costs can add up quickly. To prevent unexpected costs of data traversing outside of the region we have added the Global Routing add-on to keep costs low for the majority of customers and provide the ability for customer's with a global presence to easily reach all regions.

Get Started with Direct Link

To order a Direct Link, navigate to the “Network” tab in the customer portal and select the “Direct Link” option.