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Establishing Data Center Connectivity


Applies to: Office 365 Dedicated Plans

Topic Last Modified: 2012-12-04

Establishing connectivity between your network and Microsoft data centers is critical to the timely execution of your deployment project. To help accelerate setting up connectivity, Microsoft finalizes your data center locations prior to the start of your deployment project. This enables you to plan connectivity and begin circuit procurement as soon as the deployment project begins.

Several tools are available to assist you with calculating network bandwidth requirements. The Exchange Client Network Bandwidth Calculator can be used to estimate the client network bandwidth for a specific set of Outlook, Outlook Web App, and mobile device users in your Office 365 deployment. With the Lync 2010 Bandwidth Calculator, you can enter information about users and the Lync Online features being deployed, and the calculator will determine bandwidth requirements.

The first step in establishing connectivity is implementing a virtual private network (VPN). The VPN allows for connectivity between your environment and Microsoft data center to enable the setup and testing of co-located domain controllers and the initial directory synchronization. Microsoft will provide you with guidance and requirements for setting up your VPN.

Microsoft supports two options for long term connectivity between your network and each Microsoft data center: private connections owned and operated by your organization and an Internet IPsec virtual private network (IPsec VPN). At a minimum, connections are required to both the primary and secondary Microsoft data centers that host your servers. The two connectivity options are described briefly below.

For organizations deploying ITAR-support plans, Microsoft does not deploy any Internet-facing addressing, which is instead provided by the United States government entity that is providing the Trusted Internet Connection (TIC). For more information, see the Network Service Description for ITAR-support plans at the Microsoft Download Center.

This option gives your organization the ability to connect to Microsoft data centers with connections that you own and operate or with connections established through your designated provider. It requires hosting equipment (co-located domain controllers) within Microsoft data centers. Your organization owns and manages the equipment. Microsoft provides only the rack space, power, cooling, and access to the equipment.

After Microsoft has finalized its data center pairing with your environment, the Microsoft Project Manager works with you to process your circuit order.

Circuit installation can have a lead time in excess of 20 weeks.

Your organization can also choose to use Internet IPsec virtual private networks (VPNs) as the transport mechanism for connectivity to Microsoft data centers. This Internet-based, encrypted network connection uses the same Internet service provider (ISP) on both sides of the VPN to optimize performance and reliability.

The Microsoft deployment team provides documentation to help you configure and optimize Internet-based VPNs

Microsoft network configuration work includes allocation of IP address space to your organization in the Microsoft data centers assigned to you. Microsoft will provide publically registered IP addresses from the address space allocated to your organization. Your organization will need to configure routing on its internal network to route traffic to Microsoft over your private connection.

Note that network address translation (NAT) is not supported.

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