Jump to Content
Google Cloud

GCP adds support for multiple network interfaces

October 10, 2017
Neal Mueller

Product Marketing Lead

Ines Envid

Group Product Manager

By default, VM instances in a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) have a single network interface. Sometimes you need more than that, say, to enforce networking or security functions in the instance, or across isolated VPCs. That’s why today, we’re excited to announce that multiple network interface support is generally available, allowing you to provision up to eight network interfaces on a single VM instance.

With multiple network interfaces available to an instance, you can:

  • Connect virtual network and security appliances 
  • Isolate public-facing services from an internal network and its services 
  • Separate management, control, storage and data plane networks 
  • Create an inexpensive fault-tolerant solution 
With multiple network interfaces, you can host virtualized networking or security functions that apply to communication across separate VPC networks, for example, from public to VPC network domains and vice versa. Examples of these VPC network and security functions include load balancers, Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS), Web Application Firewalls (WAF) and WAN optimization. Having multiple network interfaces is also useful when applications running in an instance need to separate traffic, for example data plane traffic from management plane traffic.

Here’s an example of creating a VM instance with multiple network interfaces, in this case, an inside network and an outside network.

Below is a sample architectural diagram of a security appliance with four network interfaces. As you can see, you can create North-South networks (e.g., the outbound network on the left) or East-West (e.g., the inbound networks on the bottom). 

[Editor’s note: If you’d like to build your own architectural diagrams such as this, check out these sample diagrams and our icon library.]


Support for multiple network interfaces makes it possible for enterprises to migrate sensitive applications to Google Cloud, and our partners are weaving this functionality into their products.

We have been working closely with Google Cloud on design and use cases for this capability. The multiple network interface VM will enable Palo Alto Networks to provide the same enterprise-grade security that customers are used to in their private data centers. Customers will be able to inspect not just the traffic coming into GCP, but also the East-West traffic between their GCP projects and across VPCs.

— Adam Geller, VP, Product Management for Virtualization and Cloud at Palo Alto Networks


We are delighted to have worked with Google to demonstrate how NETSCOUT’s packet-based application assurance can be extended to multiple interface GCP compute instances. This will allow GCP customers to leverage the benefits of multiple network interfaces, while minimizing the disruption of cloud migration and hybrid cloud deployments through the proactive identification of issues impacting user experience, operational efficiency and productivity.

— Paul Barrett, CTO for Enterprise Business Operations


To learn more about configuring and using multiple NICs, visit the documentation. To participate as a GCP partner, join the partner community. Then get ready to build cloud applications that deliver the flexibility, security features and agility that enterprises have come to expect from cloud networks.

Posted in