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Best Practices from Oracle Development's A‑Team

FastConnect with Oracle Provider - CenturyLink eLynk Cloud Connect

Javier Ramirez
Senior Network Architect

Oracle provides various options to connect your on-premises to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) via a private connection using FastConnect service. CenturyLink is an Oracle partner that has already established connectivity at various Oracle FastConnect locations within the various regions. CenturyLink and Oracle are constantly working to provide more locations where this connectivity is available. Check our public documentation for the up to date list of regions and locations connected.

The purpose of this blog is to guide you through the process of working with Oracle and CenturyLink to deploy FastConnect successfully.

1) What is Oracle FastConnect?

Oracle FastConnect is a network connectivity alternative to using the public internet for connecting your network with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and other Oracle Cloud services. FastConnect provides an easy, elastic, and economical way to create a dedicated and private connection with higher bandwidth options, and a more reliable and consistent networking experience when compared to internet-based connections. For more information see FastConnect or see our documentation.

2) Getting Started

As you work with Oracle and CenturyLink, you need to be familiar with the products from each vendor to order the proper product. In the Oracle side you will order Oracle FastConnect with an Oracle Provider. All the ordering process in the Oracle side is done through the Oracle Console. In the CenturyLink side you will order eLynk Cloud Connect service to Oracle which is a Layer 2 solution. This assumes you are already connected to the CenturyLink network. If you are not you will need to order eLynk (point to point Ethernet Virtual Private Line / EVPL) service to your on-premises location.

Oracle nor CenturyLink do not resell each other’s services. Customers must order each of the services separately and its responsible for all the financials associated with each service.

Below are the high-level steps to provision the service:

  • Customer orders eLynk Cloud Connect to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) from their CenturyLink Account Team
  • Customer configures FastConnect in the Oracle Console. After configuration is done an Oracle Cloud ID (OCID) is generated for the service
  • CenturyLink provisions the point to point, layer 2, eLynk Cloud Connect Service and requests OCID from the customer
  • CenturyLink completes provisioning and activation of the service with Oracle. This links the eLynk Cloud Connect circuit to the customer’s Oracle FastConnect service
  • Customer must update its Oracle Virtual Cloud Network routing and security lists to allow traffic to the on-premises network
  • Customer configures its on-premises network for FastConnect
  • End-to-end connectivity is complete

This private connection using FastConnect allows the customer to connect to its private resources (Virtual Cloud Network (VCN)) using a Private Virtual Circuit or to public resources (Oracle Network Services) using a Public Virtual Circuit. When configuring FastConnect in the Oracle Console you are given the option to select the type of virtual circuit to create over FastConnect. You also need to select the provisioned bandwidth for the virtual circuit. CenturyLink can support 1G, 2G, and 3G, options.

3) Roles and Responsibilities

The following table shows a summary of who is responsible for the different activities required to deploy FastConnect using CenturyLink as the provider.

STEPS

Customer

CenturyLink

Oracle

SET UP CONNECTIVITY TO ORACLE FASTCONNECT LOCATION      
Order CenturyLink eLynk Cloud Connect service(s) to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure X    
Create FastConnect Virtual Circuit (private or public) via Oracle Console. Once created the console will generate an Oracle Cloud ID (OCID) X    
Provide the OCID to CenturyLink upon request X    
Create eLynk Cloud Connect circuit per customer order, linking it to the customers OCID for FastConnect   X  
SET UP BGP PEERING BETWEEN CUSTOMER EDGE AND ORACLE EDGE DEVICE      
Configure on-premises CPE to peer with Oracle via BGP X    
Configure Virtual Cloud Network (VCN) in the Oracle Console to allow subnets to forward traffic to the customer premises network via FastConnect. This includes routing and security lists. X  

 

 

 

4) How to configure FastConnect with an Oracle Provider

For step by step instructions on how to create an Oracle FastConnect and obtain the required OCID please see FastConnect with an Oracle Provider. Below are the general high-level steps:  

Customer performs the following tasks within the Oracle Console

  1. Log into OCI Console
  2. Create a Virtual Cloud Network (VCN)*
  3. Create a DRG and attach to VCN*
  4. Create a FastConnect connection through a Provider
  5. Create a Virtual Circuit (private or public)  and enter the necessary details

Private Virtual Circuit

  • Customer must allocate a /30 subnet to address the Private Virtual Circuit
  • Customer to provide a private or public Autonomous System Number (ASN) to establish a BGP peering relationship with Oracle to exchange routes.
  • Customer must configure its on-premises CPE with the IPs provided, configure a BGP group for Oracle ASN 31898
  • BGP peering is established between on-premises CPE and Oracle. CenturyLink does not participate at layer 3 routing with this service type as it provides layer 2 connectivity

Public Virtual Circuit

  • Oracle will allocate a /30 subnet to address the Public Virtual Circuit
  • Customer to provide a public Autonomous System Number (ASN) to establish a BGP peering relationship with Oracle to exchange routes.
  • Customer must configure its on-premises CPE with the IPs provided, configure a BGP group for Oracle ASN 31898
  • BGP peering is established between on-premises CPE and Oracle. CenturyLink does not participate at layer 3 routing with this service type as it provides layer 2 connectivity
  • Customer must have their own allocated/registered public IP Subnets that will be advertised via BGP peering. Those prefixes need to be entered in the Oracle Console when configuring the public virtual circuit. They will be verified before they are advertised into the Oracle network.
  • CenturyLink does not assign public IP addresses to this layer 2 service
  • Customer responsible to perform NAT from private to public IP addressing
  1. Once FastConnect is created, copy Oracle Cloud ID (OCID) and share this OCID with the CenturyLink Provisioning team upon their request
  2. Update/Create a route rule to include on-premises subnets pointing to the DRG as the next hop
  3. Update/Create a security list to allow the subnets in the VCN to talk to on-premises

* Steps 2 and 3 are prerequisites for creating a FastConnect virtual circuit. Subsequent FastConnect can jump down to step 4.

On the Oracle Console, customer is able to see the state of the virtual circuit lifecycle state (provisioning or provisioned), the provider state (Active or Pending Provider), and the BGP state (Up/Down).

5) Ordering CenturyLink eLynk Cloud Connect service

To order CenturyLink eLynk Cloud Connect to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, contact your CenturyLink Account Representative

  • Via this service you can connect to the following Oracle service(s):
    • Virtual Cloud Network (VCN) via a Private Virtual Circuit
    • Oracle Services Network like Object Storage via a Public Virtual Circuit
  • Determine the amount of bandwidth needed on the eLynk EVC to Oracle
    • Note: Maximum bandwidth per eLynk EVC is 3Gb
    • Oracle sells either 10G or 1G virtual Circuits
    • Oracle does not perform rate limiting the traffic

For example, if customer wants 3G of bandwidth they should order:

  • 3G from Oracle, and 3G from CenturyLink
  • Determine which Oracle region and/or FastConnect location do you require connectivity to and if it is commercial or government
  • What contractual term length is desired (1yr, 3yr, 5yr etc...)
  • Information needed by CenturyLink to complete the order/connection
    • OCID (Oracle Cloud Identifier)
    • This is requested by the CenturyLink provisioning team once the order is submitted
    • Customer obtains the OCID from the Oracle Console when the Virtual Circuit is created

6) CenturyLink eLynk Cloud Connect to Oracle Provisioning

Upon network order submission, CenturyLink will provision a Layer 2 eLynk Ethernet Virtual Circuit (EVC) to be terminated to the appropriate FastConnect location (Oracle Region and location) per the order. To perform this work CenturyLink will request the Oracle OCID from the customer to complete provisioning.

Upon completion of the provisioning, CenturyLink will provide the following information documenting what has been configured within the Oracle environment:

  • Order# / Circuit ID
  • Circuit ID in the “Reference Comment” field
  • The “Cross Connect Group or Cross Connect” details
  • The VLAN ID
  • Any scheduling information if a coordinated activation was requested
  • Instructions for contacting CenturyLink with questions or for any service activation issues

Customer is responsible for all required IP addressing, BGP routing, and security configuration on the customer’s layer 3 device at their premise location and within the Oracle Console. The customer is also responsible for any/all NAT configurations required for Oracle public services.

7) Additional Oracle FastConnect Resources

  • FastConnect Pricing - https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/fastconnect/pricing
  • FastConnect FAQ - https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/fastconnect/faq

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