Simplifying cloud networking for enterprises: announcing Cloud NAT and more

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At Google Cloud, our goal is to meet you where you are and enable you to build what’s next. Today, we’re excited to announce several additions to our Google Cloud Platform (GCP) networking portfolio delivering the critical capabilities you have been asking for to help manage, secure and modernize your deployments. Here, we provide a glimpse of all these new capabilities. Stay tuned for deep dives into each of these offerings over the coming weeks.

Cloud NATBeta

Just because an application is running in the cloud, doesn’t mean you want it to be accessible to the outside world. With the beta release of Cloud NAT, our new Google-managed Network Address Translation service, you can provision your application instances without public IP addresses while also allowing them to access the internet—for updates, patching, config management, and more—in a controlled and efficient manner. Outside resources cannot directly access any of the private instances behind the Cloud NAT gateway, thereby helping to keep your Google Cloud VPCs isolated and secure.


Prior to Cloud NAT, building out a highly available NAT solution in Google Cloud involved a fair bit of toil. As a fully managed offering, Cloud NAT simplifies that process and delivers several unique features:

  • Chokepoint-free design with high reliability, performance and scale, thanks to being a software-defined solution with no managed middle proxy

  • Support for both Google Compute Engine virtual machines (VMs) and Google Kubernetes Engine (containers)

  • Support for configuring multiple NAT IP addresses per NAT gateway

  • Two modes of NAT IP allocation: Manual where you have full control in specifying IPs, and Auto where NAT IPs are automatically allocated to scale based on the number of instances

  • Configurable NAT timeout timers

  • Ability to provide NAT for all subnets in a VPC region with a single NAT gateway, irrespective of the number of instances in those subnets

  • Regional high availability so that even if a zone is unavailable, the NAT gateway itself continues to be available

You can learn more about Cloud NAT here.

Firewall Rules LoggingBeta

What good are rules if you don’t know if they are being followed? Firewall Rules Logging, currently in beta, allows you audit, verify, and analyze the effects of your firewall rules. For example, it provides visibility into potential connection attempts that are blocked by a given firewall rule. Logging is also useful to determine that there weren’t any unauthorized connections allowed into an application.

Firewall log records of allowed or denied connections are reported every five seconds, providing near real-time visibility into your environment. You can also leverage the rich set of annotations as described here. As with our other networking features, you can choose to export these logs to Stackdriver Logging, Cloud Pub/Sub, or BigQuery.

Firewall Rules Logging comes on the heels of several new telemetry capabilities introduced recently including VPC Flow Logs and Internal Load Balancing Monitoring. Learn more about Firewall Rules Logging here.

Managed TLS Certificates for HTTPS load balancersBeta

Google is a big believer in using TLS wherever possible. That’s why we encourage load balancing customers to deploy HTTPS load balancers. However, manually managing TLS certificates for these load balancers can be a lot of work. We’re excited to announce the beta release of managed TLS certificates for HTTPS load balancers. With Managed Certs, we take care of provisioning root-trusted TLS certificates for you and manage their lifecycle including renewals and revocation.

Managed TLS Certificates.jpg

Currently in beta, you can read more about Managed Certs here. Support for SSL proxy load balancers is coming soon.

New load balancing features

We invest significant resources to ensure Google Cloud remains the best place to run containerized workloads. We are excited to introduce container-native load balancing for applications running on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and self-managed Kubernetes in Google Cloud. With this capability, you can program load balancers with network endpoints representing the containers and specified as IP and port pair(s) using a Google abstraction we call Network Endpoint Groups (NEGs). With NEGs, the load balancer now load balances directly to the containers, rather than to VMs, thereby avoiding one or more extra hops.

In addition to container-native load balancing, we’ve also introduced over a dozen other load balancing and CDN capabilities in the past few months, including:

We look forward to your feedback

In short, we’ve been busy. But we’re far from done. Let us know how you plan to use these new networking services, and what capabilities you’d like to have in the future. You can reach us at [email protected]