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Shared Ports

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Shared Ports

One of your options for connections is through a Shared Port, where Equinix Metal™ is the owner and manager of the physical Equinix Fabric port that handles the network traffic.

For all Shared Ports, Equinix Metal is the Destination (Z-side). This means that you need an A-side. In the case of other public clouds, the origin (A-side) is typically a Network Edge router, which forms a bridge between your infrastructure on Equinix Metal and the other cloud services provider.

Use this option if:

  • You are using a Network Edge device as a router to your Equinix Metal infrastructure.
  • You want to connect Metal to a 3rd party public cloud, like AWS or GCP, for proof-of-concept or testing.
  • Your connectivity requirements do not exceed 10 Gbps.

Shared ports support up to a 9000 byte maximum transmission unit (MTU) and jumbo Ethernet frames.

If you have much more general connectivity needs or need Equinix Metal to be the A-side, you can use Dedicated Ports.

Setting Up a Shared Port

Setting up a shared port has two components:

  • Completing the request in the Equinix Metal console, and
  • Setting up the connection in Equinix Fabric.

You will need to have an Equinix Fabric account separate from your Equinix Metal account.

Requesting a Connection

To request a connection in the Equinix Metal portal, open the Connections page from the IPs & Networks tab. If any projects in your organization already have connections or any open connection requests, you will be able to see them on the Connections page.

Click + Request New Connection.

New Connection Request page.

Connection Options

  • Select the location for the new connection from the drop-down.
  • Give a name to your connection.
  • Choose whether you want a redundant connection. If you choose a redundant connection, you get a primary and secondary port to attach two VLANs to, giving you some amount of redundancy and high availability.

Leave the Dedicated Port box unchecked, this makes the request for a shared port.

Click Submit Connection Request to complete the request and submit it to the Equinix Metal support team. Submitting the request also generates a token, which is required to continue the setup process in the Equinix Fabric Portal. You will also receive an email confirmation of your request with the token.

To request a connection through the API, send a POST request to the /projects/{project_id}/connections endpoint.

curl -X POST \
-H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-H "X-Auth-Token: <API_TOKEN>" \
"https://api.equinix.com/metal/v1/projects/{project_id}/connections" \
-d '{
    "name": "string",
    "description": "string",
    "metro": "<metro_code>",
    "type": "shared",
    "redundancy": "string"
}'

The required parameters are name, metro, type, redundancy. type should be "shared" since you are requesting a shared port, and redundancy is either " " or " ". A full parameter list is in the API Reference.

Note that Connections are scoped at the Organization level. Any Connection request in a particular project will be visible to the Organization the project belongs to.

Once your request is submitted, an email will be sent to you with the details of your request and the ECX Token. In the Equinix Metal console, your request can be viewed on the Connection Requests tab with the status of Pending.

Making a Connection

Connections to Equinix Metal shared ports are handled through Equinix Fabric, so log in to the Equinix Fabric portal.

Network Edge Devices

If you don't already have one, you may need to order and configure a Network Edge device. The Network Edge device is what forms the bridge between your Equinix infrastructure and a cloud services provider.

There is a large marketplace of available device types and vendors. You will need to log in to the Equinix Fabric Portal and select a device and configuration that meets your use-case and location. Note, the Network Edge Device needs to be in the Metro where your Metal infrastructure lives, or where the public cloud provider lives for better network performance.

Connecting through Equinix Fabric

Once the shared port is configured on the Equinix Metal side, you will receive an email from support@equinixmetal.com notifying you that the Fabric Token is able to be used to create a connection in Equinix Fabric.

From the Fabric Dashboard or from the Network Edge device, click Create Connection.

Remember that Shared Ports on Equinix Metal are the destination (Z-side) of the connection, so from the I want to connect to: options, select A Service Provider. Search for and select Equinix Metal. Note that you will want to select the same redundancy options as you choose in the Equinix Metal console, so if you selected a redundant shared port select Equinix Metal Layer 2 - Redundant. If you didn't choose redundancy, select Equinix Metal Layer 2.

For the origin (A-side) of the connection, choose the Network Edge device (or other Virtual Device) and location you are connecting from.

Selecting the Origin in Fabric

From the Connection Details page, fill out the Connection Information, and take the token that was generated during the Equinix Metal Portal configuration process, and paste it into the ECX Token field.

Filling out the Connection Details

Choose the connection speed for your connection from the Connection Speed page, and click Next to review and confirm your choices.

The final review screen will provide your full connection details, and if you need to, you can go back and correct any errors. When everything is correct, click Submit your Order.

Once your Equinix Fabric order is submitted, it is verified and filled within a business day, usually sooner.

Monitoring Connection Requests

You can monitor the status of your connection request from the Connection Requests tab. After you have submitted the request for a shared port in Equinix Metal, and while you are setting up the connection in Fabric, the request will have a Pending status.

Pending Connection Requests

When everything is complete on the Equinix Fabric side, Equinix Metal has to accept the connection. Once the connection request is accepted, you will get an email confirming its been approved.

Once the connection has been approved, your request will move to the Connections tab in the Equinix Metal console. Click Manage, and you will see that it has "Waiting on Customer VLAN" as its status.

Connecting VLANs to Shared Ports

When using a Shared Port, you are automatically assigned a single virtual circuit to attach a VLAN to.

If you haven't already, create a VLAN in the same location as the connection. Once you have a VLAN, click Primary Port, and under Virtual Circuits, click Manage to associate the VLAN to the primary port.

Associating a VLAN to a Virtual Circuit

If you choose to provision with a redundant connection, create another VLAN, click Secondary Port and follow the same steps to associate the VLAN with the secondary port.

The relationship of virtual circuits to VLANs is 1:1. You can only attach one VLAN to one virtual circuit, and one virtual circuit to one VLAN. The same VLAN can't be connected to two or more virtual circuits.

Finishing the Connection

In order to finish the process, repeat the connection setup to create the other half of the end-to-end connection. For example, to connect your Network Edge device to AWS, Oracle, Azure, or GCP. The Network Edge documentation has some guidance on how to get started on their Creating a Connection page.

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