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If I have two geographically separate private data centres, that act in an active/passive basis, and I wish to connect both data centres to Azure via ExpressRoute, then am I correct in assuming that this will require the purchase of two ExpressRoute connections and circuits?

The reason I ask is that I understand it to be the case that the ExpressRoute connection has redundancy built in, but I presume this is redundancy within the connection from data centre A say. So if I have two data centres, this counts as two separate ExpressRoute circuits?

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Based on my knowledge, your understanding is correct, you need two circuits.

You have two separate private data centers, one connection to Azure needs one circuit. Each Express Route circuit has a redundant pair of cross connections configured to provide high availability. You could refer to ExpressRoute FAQ.

  • If you're using the same ISP on both sites, shouldn't it be possible to have all Azure traffic routed through a common router which can then be used to have a single expressroute? – Reaces Apr 20 '17 at 8:17
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    According to OP's description, I don't think the two data center use same edge switch. – Shui shengbao Apr 20 '17 at 8:20
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    Yes, each data centre has its own edge router. – P2l Apr 20 '17 at 10:31

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