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Designing and Implementing ExpressRoute FastPath

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As dependency on cloud services grows, so does the need for a reliable, low-latency network connection to the cloud. Also, some organizations and government agencies require a dedicated connection that does not pass network traffic over the public internet. Azure ExpressRoute provides a dedicated, redundant connection to Azure cloud services.  

In this course, we examine Azure ExpressRoute. Azure ExpressRoute creates a reliable, dedicated connection between an organization's on-premises environment and Microsoft Azure. We cover design considerations when planning for ExpressRoute, requirements for installing ExpressRoute, and management and troubleshooting tasks. The learning objectives for this course map to the Azure AZ-700: Designing and Implementing Microsoft Azure Networking Solutions exam.

Learning Objectives

  • Choose between provider and direct model (ExpressRoute Direct)
  • Design and implement Azure cross-region connectivity between multiple ExpressRoute locations
  • Select an appropriate ExpressRoute SKU and tier
  • Design and implement ExpressRoute Global Reach and ExpressRoute FastPath 
  • Choose between private peering only, Microsoft peering only, or both
  • Configure private peering and Microsoft peering
  • Create and configure an ExpressRoute gateway
  • Connect a virtual network to an ExpressRoute circuit
  • Recommend a route advertisement configuration
  • Configure encryption over ExpressRoute
  • Implement Bidirectional Forwarding Detection
  • Diagnose and resolve ExpressRoute connection issues

Intended Audience

  • System or network administrators with responsibilities for connecting an on-premises network to Azure
  • Anyone preparing for the Azure AZ-700: Designing and Implementing Microsoft Azure Networking Solutions exam


  • A basic understanding of networking, routing, and VPN concepts

Welcome to the lecture on ExpressRoute FastPath, a feature designed to improve performance between your on-premises network and Azure servers. To understand what FastPath does, let's look at a simple network diagram. Here, we have an ExpressRoute circuit connecting an on-premises site to Azure. We have one VNet with an ExpressRoute Gateway and another subnet with a virtual machine. In this basic configuration, all traffic from the on-premises network to the virtual machine in Azure is routed through the gateway.

Enabling FastPath allows the traffic to bypass the ExpressRoute Gateway. FastPath provides a faster path between on-premises and cloud servers, improving data path performance for metrics such as packets per second and connections per second. FastPath will work on all ExpressRoute circuits, but requires the Ultra Performance or ErGw3AZ gateway SKU. Although network traffic is passed directly from the on-premises environment to the server in Azure, the ExpressRoute Gateway is still required to pass routing information.

At the time of this recording, ExpressRoute FastPath is in public preview and not available in all regions. In order to use FastPath while in Public Preview, the feature has to be enabled with the Register-AzProviderFeature command. Let's see how to do that next. Here we are in PowerShell logged into the Azure subscription. Let's enable FastPath with the Register-AzProviderFeature command passing in the name of the feature ExpressRouteVnetPeeringGatewayBypass and the provider namespace, Microsoft.Network. The features registering in will be ready in a couple minutes.

We can use the Get-AzProviderFeature command, passing in the same feature name and provider namespace to see the registration status. This will take a few minutes to finish. Once done, the Get-AzProviderFeature command will show it as registered. Once the feature is registered, we can enable FastPath by checking the FastPath Option on new connections. Also, enable FastPath on existing connections by going to the configuration settings and checking the box for FastPath.

About the Author
Travis Roberts
Cloud Infrastructure Architect

Travis Roberts is a Cloud Infrastructure Architect at a Minneapolis consulting firm, a Microsoft MVP, MCT, and author. Travis has 20 years of IT experience in the legal, pharmaceutical, and marketing industries and has worked with IT hardware manufacturers and managed service providers. In addition, Travis has held numerous technical certifications throughout his career from Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, and Cisco.