Set up a regional external HTTP(S) load balancer with hybrid connectivity

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This page illustrates how to deploy a regional external HTTP(S) load balancer to load balance traffic to network endpoints that are on-premises or in other public clouds and are reachable by using hybrid connectivity.

After you complete these tasks, you can optionally explore enabling additional services (such as Cloud CDN and Google Cloud Armor) and advanced traffic management features.

If you haven't already done so, review the Hybrid connectivity NEGs overview to understand the network requirements to set up hybrid load balancing.

Setup overview

The example on this page sets up the following sample deployment:

External HTTP(S) load balancer example for hybrid connectivity (click to enlarge)
External HTTP(S) load balancer example for hybrid connectivity (click to enlarge)

You must configure hybrid connectivity before you attempt to set up a hybrid load balancing deployment. This topic does not include the hybrid connectivity setup.

Depending on your choice of hybrid connectivity product (either Cloud VPN or Cloud Interconnect (Dedicated or Partner)), use the relevant product documentation to configure this.

Permissions

You must have the following permissions to set up hybrid load balancing:

  • On Google Cloud

    • Permission to establish hybrid connectivity between Google Cloud and your on-premises or other cloud environments the environments. For the list of permissions needed, see the relevant Network connectivity product documentation.
  • On your on-premises or other non-Google Cloud cloud environment

    • Permission to configure network endpoints that allow services on your on-premises or other cloud environments to be reachable from Google Cloud via an IP:Port combination. Contact your environment's network administrator for details.
    • Permission to create firewall rules on your on-premises or other cloud environments to allow Google's health check probes to reach the endpoints.

Additionally, to follow the instructions on this page, you create a hybrid connectivity NEG, a load balancer, and zonal NEGs (and their endpoints) to serve as Google Cloud-based backends for the load balancer.

You should be either a project owner or editor, or you should have the following Compute Engine IAM roles.

Task Required role
Create and modify load balancer components Network Admin
Create and modify NEGs Compute Instance Admin
Add and remove firewall rules Security Admin

Establish hybrid connectivity

Your Google Cloud and on-premises or other cloud environments must be connected through hybrid connectivity, using either Cloud Interconnect VLAN attachments or Cloud VPN tunnels with Cloud Router. We recommend you use a high availability connection.

A Cloud Router enabled with Global dynamic routing learns about the specific endpoint via BGP and programs it into your Google Cloud VPC network. Regional dynamic routing is not supported. Static routes are also not supported.

The Google Cloud VPC network that you use to configure either Cloud Interconnect or Cloud VPN is the same network you use to configure the hybrid load balancing deployment. Ensure that your VPC network's subnet CIDR ranges do not conflict with your remote CIDR ranges. When IP addresses overlap, subnet routes are prioritized over remote connectivity.

For instructions, see:

Do not proceed with the instructions on this page until you have set up hybrid connectivity between your environments.

Set up your on-premises or other cloud environment

Perform the following steps to set up your on-premises or other cloud environment for hybrid load balancing:

  • Configure network endpoints to expose on-premises services to Google Cloud (IP:Port).
  • Configure firewall rules on your on-premises or other cloud environment.
  • Configure Cloud Router to advertise certain required routes to your private environment.

Set up network endpoints

After you have set up hybrid connectivity, you configure one or more network endpoints within your on-premises or other cloud environments that are reachable via Cloud Interconnect or Cloud VPN using an IP:port combination. This IP:port combination will be configured as one or more endpoints for the hybrid connectivity NEG that will be created in Google Cloud later on in this process.

If there are multiple paths to the IP endpoint, routing will follow the behavior described in the Cloud Router overview.

Set up firewall rules

The following firewall rules must be created on your on-premises or other cloud environment:

  • Ingress allow firewall rules to allow traffic from Google's health-checking probes to your endpoints. For external HTTP(S) load balancer, internal HTTP(S) load balancer, external TCP proxy load balancer, and external SSL proxy load balancer, the ranges to be allowed are: 35.191.0.0/16 and 130.211.0.0/22. For more details, see Probe IP ranges and firewall rules.
  • Ingress allow firewall rules to allow traffic that is being load-balanced to reach the endpoints.
  • Create an ingress allow firewall rule to allow traffic from the region's proxy-only subnet to reach the endpoints.

Configure Cloud Router to advertise the following routes to your on-premises or other cloud environment:

  • The ranges used by Google's health check probes: 35.191.0.0/16 and 130.211.0.0/22.
  • The range of the region's proxy-only subnet.

Set up Google Cloud environment

For the following steps, make sure you use the same VPC network (called NETWORK in this procedure) that was used to configure hybrid connectivity between the environments.

Additionally, make sure the region used (called REGION in this procedure) is the same as that used to create the Cloud VPN tunnel or Cloud Interconnect VLAN attachment.

Configure the proxy-only subnet

This proxy-only subnet is used for all regional HTTP(S) load balancers in the REGION region.

Console

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the VPC networks page.
    Go to VPC networks
  2. Go to the network that was used to configure hybrid connectivity between the environments.
  3. Click Add subnet.
  4. Enter a Name: PROXY_ONLY_SUBNET_NAME.
  5. Select a Region: REGION.
  6. Set Purpose to Regional Managed Proxy.
  7. Enter an IP address range: PROXY_ONLY_SUBNET_RANGE.
  8. Click Add.

gcloud

Create the proxy-only subnet with the gcloud compute networks subnets create command.

gcloud compute networks subnets create PROXY_ONLY_SUBNET_NAME \
  --purpose=REGIONAL_MANAGED_PROXY \
  --role=ACTIVE \
  --region=REGION \
  --network=NETWORK \
  --range=PROXY_ONLY_SUBNET_RANGE

Configure the load balancer subnet

This subnet is used to create the load balancer's zonal NEG backends, the frontend, and the internal IP address.

Create this subnet in the NETWORK network that was used to configure hybrid connectivity between the environments.

Cloud console

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the VPC networks page.
    Go to VPC networks
  2. Go to the network that was used to configure hybrid connectivity between the environments.
  3. In the Subnets section:
    • Set the Subnet creation mode to Custom.
    • In the New subnet section, enter the following information:
      • Name: LB_SUBNET_NAME
      • Region: REGION
      • IP address range: LB_SUBNET_RANGE
    • Click Done.
  4. Click Create.

gcloud

Create a subnet in the NETWORK network that was used to configure hybrid connectivity between the environments.

  gcloud compute networks subnets create LB_SUBNET_NAME 
--network=NETWORK
--range=LB_SUBNET_RANGE
--region=REGION

Reserve the load balancer's IP address

Cloud console

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the Reserve a static address page.

    Go to Reserve a static address

  2. Enter a Name: LB_IP_ADDRESS.

  3. For the Network Service Tier, select Standard.

  4. For IP version, select IPv4.

  5. For Type, select Regional.

  6. Select the REGION to create the address in.

  7. Leave the Attach to option for set to None. After you create the load balancer, this IP address will be attached to the load balancer's forwarding rule.

  8. Click Reserve to reserve the IP address.

gcloud

  1. Reserve a regional static external IP address as follows.

    gcloud compute addresses create LB_IP_ADDRESS  \
       --region=REGION \
       --network-tier=STANDARD
    
  2. Use the compute addresses describe command to view the result:

    gcloud compute addresses describe LB_IP_ADDRESS  
    --region=REGION

Create firewall rules

In this example, you create the following firewall rules:

  • fw-allow-health-check: An ingress firewall rule, applicable to the instances being load balanced, that allows traffic from the load balancer and Google Cloud health checking systems (130.211.0.0/22 and 35.191.0.0/16). This example uses the target tag allow-health-check to identify the backend VMs to which it should apply.
  • fw-allow-proxy-only-subnet: An ingress firewall rule that allows connections from the proxy-only subnet to reach the backends. This example uses the target tag allow-proxy-only-subnet to identify the backend VMs to which it should apply.

Console

  1. Go to the Firewalls page in the Google Cloud console.
    Go to Firewalls
  2. Click Create firewall rule to create the rule to allow traffic from health check probes:
    1. Enter a Name of fw-allow-health-check.
    2. Under Network, select NETWORK.
    3. Under Targets, select Specified target tags.
    4. Populate the Target tags field with allow-health-check.
    5. Set Source filter to IPv4 ranges.
    6. Set Source IPv4 ranges to 130.211.0.0/22 and 35.191.0.0/16.
    7. Under Protocols and ports, select Specified protocols and ports.
    8. Select the checkbox next to tcp and then enter 80 for the port number.
    9. Click Create.
  3. Click Create firewall rule again to create the rule to allow incoming connections from the proxy-only subnet:
    1. Name: fw-allow-ssh
    2. Network: NETWORK
    3. Priority: 1000
    4. Direction of traffic: ingress
    5. Action on match: allow
    6. Targets: Specified target tags
    7. Target tags: allow-proxy-only-subnet
    8. Source filter: IPv4 ranges
    9. Source IPv4 ranges: PROXY_ONLY_SUBNET_RANGE
    10. Protocols and ports: Choose Specified protocols and ports, and then enter tcp:80.
    11. Click Create.

gcloud

  1. Create the fw-allow-health-check-and-proxy rule to allow the Google Cloud health checks to reach the backend instances on TCP port 80:

    gcloud compute firewall-rules create fw-allow-health-check \
        --network=NETWORK \
        --action=allow \
        --direction=ingress \
        --target-tags=allow-health-check \
        --source-ranges=130.211.0.0/22,35.191.0.0/16 \
        --rules=tcp:80
    
  2. Create an ingress allow firewall rule for the proxy-only subnet to allow the load balancer to communicate with backend instances on TCP port 80:

    gcloud compute firewall-rules create fw-allow-proxy-only-subnet \
        --network=NETWORK \
        --action=allow \
        --direction=ingress \
        --target-tags=allow-proxy-only-subnet \
        --source-ranges=PROXY_ONLY_SUBNET_RANGE \
        --rules=tcp:80
    

Set up the zonal NEG

For Google Cloud-based backends, we recommend you configure multiple zonal NEGs in the same region where you configured hybrid connectivity.

For this example, we set up a zonal NEG (with GCE_VM_IP_PORT type endpoints) in the REGION region. First create the VMs in the GCP_NEG_ZONE zone. Then create a zonal NEG in the same GCP_NEG_ZONE and add the VMs' network endpoints to the NEG.

Create VMs

Console

  1. Go to the VM instances page in the Google Cloud console.
    Go to VM instances
  2. Click Create instance.
  3. Set the Name to vm-a1.
  4. For the Region, choose REGION, and choose any Zone. This will be referred to as GCP_NEG_ZONE in this procedure.
  5. In the Boot disk section, ensure that the Debian operating system and the 10 (buster) version are selected for the boot disk options. Click Choose to change the image if necessary.
  6. Click Management, security, disks, networking, sole tenancy and make the following changes:

    • Click Networking and add the following Network tags: allow-ssh,allow-health-check, and allow-proxy-only-subnet.
    • Click Edit under Network interfaces and make the following changes then click Done:
      • Network: NETWORK
      • Subnet: LB_SUBNET_NAME
    • Click Management. In the Startup script field, copy and paste the following script contents. The script contents are identical for all four VMs:

      #! /bin/bash
      apt-get update
      apt-get install apache2 -y
      vm_hostname="$(curl -H "Metadata-Flavor:Google" \
      http://169.254.169.254/computeMetadata/v1/instance/name)"
      echo "Page served from: $vm_hostname" | \
      tee /var/www/html/index.html
      
  7. Click Create.

  8. Repeat the following steps to create a second VM, using the following name and zone combination:

    • Name: vm-a2, zone: GCP_NEG_ZONE

gcloud

Create the VMs by running the following command two times, using these combinations for the name of the VM and its zone. The script contents are identical for both VMs.

  • VM_NAME of vm-a1 and GCP_NEG_ZONE zone of your choice
  • VM_NAME of vm-a2 and the same GCP_NEG_ZONE zone

    gcloud compute instances create VM_NAME \
        --zone=GCP_NEG_ZONE \
        --image-family=debian-10 \
        --image-project=debian-cloud \
        --tags=allow-ssh,allow-health-check,allow-proxy-only-subnet \
        --subnet=LB_SUBNET_NAME \
        --metadata=startup-script='#! /bin/bash
         apt-get update
         apt-get install apache2 -y
         vm_hostname="$(curl -H "Metadata-Flavor:Google" \
         http://169.254.169.254/computeMetadata/v1/instance/name)"
         echo "Page served from: $vm_hostname" | \
         tee /var/www/html/index.html
         systemctl restart apache2'
    

Create the zonal NEG

Console

To create a zonal network endpoint group:

  1. Go to the Network Endpoint Groups page in the Google Cloud console.
    Go to the Network Endpoint Groups page
  2. Click Create network endpoint group.
  3. Enter a Name for the zonal NEG. Referred to as GCP_NEG_NAME in this procedure.
  4. Select the Network endpoint group type: Network endpoint group (Zonal).
  5. Select the Network: NETWORK
  6. Select the Subnet: LB_SUBNET_NAME
  7. Select the Zone: GCP_NEG_ZONE
  8. Enter the Default port: 80.
  9. Click Create.

Add endpoints to the zonal NEG:

  1. Go to the Network Endpoint Groups page in the Google Cloud console.
    Go to the Network endpoint groups
  2. Click the Name of the network endpoint group created in the previous step (GCP_NEG_NAME). You see the Network endpoint group detail page.
  3. In the Network endpoints in this group section, click Add network endpoint. You see the Add network endpoint page.
  4. Select a VM instance to add its internal IP addresses as network endpoints. In the Network interface section, the name, zone, and subnet of the VM is displayed.
  5. Enter the IP address of the new network endpoint.
  6. Select the Port type.
    1. If you select Default, the endpoint uses the default port 80 for all endpoints in the network endpoint group. This is sufficient for our example because the Apache server is serving requests at port 80.
    2. If you select Custom, enter the Port number for the endpoint to use.
  7. To add more endpoints, click Add network endpoint and repeat the previous steps.
  8. After you add all the endpoints, click Create.

gcloud

  1. Create a zonal NEG (with GCE_VM_IP_PORT endpoints) using the gcloud compute network-endpoint-groups create command:

    gcloud compute network-endpoint-groups create GCP_NEG_NAME \
        --network-endpoint-type=GCE_VM_IP_PORT \
        --zone=GCP_NEG_ZONE \
        --network=NETWORK \
        --subnet=LB_SUBNET_NAME
    

    You can either specify a --default-port while creating the NEG in this step, or specify a port number for each endpoint as shown in the next step.

  2. Add endpoints to GCP_NEG_NAME.

    gcloud compute network-endpoint-groups update GCP_NEG_NAME \
        --zone=GCP_NEG_ZONE \
        --add-endpoint='instance=vm-a1,port=80' \
        --add-endpoint='instance=vm-a2,port=80'
    

Set up the hybrid connectivity NEG

When creating the NEG, use a zone that minimizes the geographic distance between Google Cloud and your on-premises or other cloud environment. For example, if you are hosting a service in an on-premises environment in Frankfurt, Germany, you can specify the europe-west3-a Google Cloud zone when you create the NEG.

Moreover, if you're using Cloud Interconnect, the zone used to create the NEG should be in the same region where the Cloud Interconnect attachment was configured.

For the available regions and zones, see the Compute Engine documentation: Available regions and zones.

Console

To create a hybrid connectivity network endpoint group:

  1. Go to the Network Endpoint Groups page in the Google Cloud console.
    Go to Network endpoint groups
  2. Click Create network endpoint group.
  3. Enter a Name for the zonal NEG. Referred to as ON_PREM_NEG_NAME in this procedure.
  4. Select the Network endpoint group type: Hybrid connectivity network endpoint group (Zonal).
  5. Select the Network: NETWORK
  6. Select the Subnet: LB_SUBNET_NAME
  7. Select the Zone: ON_PREM_NEG_ZONE
  8. Enter the Default port.
  9. Click Create

Add endpoints to the hybrid connectivity NEG:

  1. Go to the Network Endpoint Groups page in the Google Cloud console.
    Go to the Network Endpoint Groups page
  2. Click the Name of the network endpoint group created in the previous step (ON_PREM_NEG_NAME). You see the Network endpoint group detail page.
  3. In the Network endpoints in this group section, click Add network endpoint. You see the Add network endpoint page.
  4. Enter the IP address of the new network endpoint.
  5. Select the Port type.
    1. If you select Default, the endpoint uses the default port for all endpoints in the network endpoint group.
    2. If you select Custom, you can enter a different Port number for the endpoint to use.
  6. To add more endpoints, click Add network endpoint and repeat the previous steps.
  7. After you add all the non-Google Cloud endpoints, click Create.

gcloud

  1. Create a hybrid connectivity NEG using the gcloud compute network-endpoint-groups create command.

    gcloud compute network-endpoint-groups create ON_PREM_NEG_NAME \
        --network-endpoint-type=NON_GCP_PRIVATE_IP_PORT \
        --zone=ON_PREM_NEG_ZONE \
        --network=NETWORK
    
  2. Add the on-premises backend VM endpoint to ON_PREM_NEG_NAME:

    gcloud compute network-endpoint-groups update ON_PREM_NEG_NAME \
        --zone=ON_PREM_NEG_ZONE \
        --add-endpoint="ip=ON_PREM_IP_ADDRESS_1,port=PORT_1" \
        --add-endpoint="ip=ON_PREM_IP_ADDRESS_2,port=PORT_2"
    

You can use this command to add the network endpoints you previously configured on-premises or in your cloud environment. Repeat --add-endpoint as many times as needed.

You can repeat these steps to create multiple hybrid NEGs if needed.

Configure the load balancer

Console

gcloud

  1. Create a health check for the backends.
       gcloud compute health-checks create http HTTP_HEALTH_CHECK_NAME \
           --region=REGION \
           --use-serving-port
       
  2. Create a backend service. You add both the zonal NEG and the hybrid connectivity NEG as backends to this backend service.
      gcloud compute backend-services create BACKEND_SERVICE \
          --load-balancing-scheme=EXTERNAL_MANAGED \
          --protocol=HTTP \
          --health-checks=HTTP_HEALTH_CHECK_NAME \
          --health-checks-region=REGION \
          --region=REGION
      
  3. Add the zonal NEG as a backend to the backend service.
    gcloud compute backend-services add-backend BACKEND_SERVICE \
        --region=REGION \
        --balancing-mode=RATE \
        --max-rate-per-endpoint=MAX_REQUEST_RATE_PER_ENDPOINT \
        --network-endpoint-group=GCP_NEG_NAME \
        --network-endpoint-group-zone=GCP_NEG_ZONE
    
    For details about configuring the balancing mode, see the gcloud CLI documentation for the --max-rate-per-endpoint parameter.
  4. Add the hybrid NEG as a backend to the backend service.
    gcloud compute backend-services add-backend BACKEND_SERVICE \
        --region=REGION \
        --balancing-mode=RATE \
        --max-rate-per-endpoint=MAX_REQUEST_RATE_PER_ENDPOINT \
        --network-endpoint-group=ON_PREM_NEG_NAME \
        --network-endpoint-group-zone=ON_PREM_NEG_ZONE
    
    For details about configuring the balancing mode, see the gcloud CLI documentation for the --max-rate-per-endpoint parameter.
  5. Create a URL map to route incoming requests to the backend service:
    gcloud compute url-maps create URL_MAP_NAME \
        --default-service BACKEND_SERVICE \
        --region=REGION
    
  6. To create an HTTPS load balancer, you must have an SSL certificate resource to use in the HTTPS target proxy. You can create an SSL certificate resource using either a Google-managed SSL certificate or a self-managed SSL certificate. Using Google-managed certificates is recommended because Google Cloud obtains, manages, and renews these certificates automatically.

    To create a Google-managed certificate, you must have a domain. If you do not have a domain, you can use a self-signed SSL certificate for testing.

    To create a Google-managed SSL certificate resource:
    gcloud compute ssl-certificates create SSL_CERTIFICATE_NAME \
        --domains DOMAIN
    
    To create a self-managed SSL certificate resource:
    gcloud compute ssl-certificates create SSL_CERTIFICATE_NAME \
        --certificate CRT_FILE_PATH \
        --private-key KEY_FILE_PATH
    
  7. Create a target HTTP(S) proxy to route requests to your URL map.

    For an HTTP load balancer, create an HTTP target proxy:
    gcloud compute target-http-proxies create TARGET_HTTP_PROXY_NAME \
        --url-map=URL_MAP_NAME \
        --url-map-region=REGION \
        --region=REGION
    
    For an HTTPS load balancer, create an HTTPS target proxy. The proxy is the portion of the load balancer that holds the SSL certificate for HTTPS load balancing, so you also load your certificate in this step.
    gcloud compute target-https-proxies create TARGET_HTTPS_PROXY_NAME \
        --ssl-certificates=SSL_CERTIFICATE_NAME \
        --url-map=URL_MAP_NAME \
        --url-map-region=REGION \
        --region=REGION
    
  8. Create a forwarding rule to route incoming requests to the proxy. Don't use the proxy-only subnet to create the forwarding rule.

    For an HTTP load balancer:
      gcloud compute forwarding-rules create HTTP_FORWARDING_RULE_NAME \
          --load-balancing-scheme=EXTERNAL_MANAGED \
          --network=NETWORK \
          --subnet=LB_SUBNET_NAME \
          --address=LB_IP_ADDRESS \
          --ports=80 \
          --region=REGION \
          --target-http-proxy=TARGET_HTTP_PROXY_NAME \
          --target-http-proxy-region=REGION
    
    For an HTTPS load balancer:
      gcloud compute forwarding-rules create HTTPS_FORWARDING_RULE_NAME \
          --load-balancing-scheme=EXTERNAL_MANAGED \
          --network=NETWORK \
          --subnet=LB_SUBNET_NAME \
          --address=LB_IP_ADDRESS \
          --ports=443 \
          --region=REGION \
          --target-http-proxy=TARGET_HTTPS_PROXY_NAME \
          --target-http-proxy-region=REGION
    

Connect your domain to your load balancer

After the load balancer is created, note the IP address that is associated with the load balancer: for example, 30.90.80.100. To point your domain to your load balancer, create an A record using your domain registration service. If you added multiple domains to your SSL certificate, you must add an A record for each one, all pointing to the load balancer's IP address. For example, to create A records for www.example.com and example.com:

NAME                  TYPE     DATA
www                   A        30.90.80.100
@                     A        30.90.80.100

If you are using Google Domains, see the Google Domains Help page for more information.

Test the load balancer

Now that you have configured your load balancer, you can start sending traffic to the load balancer's IP address.

  1. Go to the Load balancing page in the Google Cloud console.
    Go to Load balancing
  2. Click on the load balancer you just created.
  3. Note the IP Address of the load balancer.
  4. Send traffic to the load balancer.

    • If you created an HTTP load balancer, you can test your load balancer using a web browser by going to http://IP_ADDRESS. Replace IP_ADDRESS with the load balancer's IP address. You should be directed to the service you have exposed through the endpoint.

    • If you created an HTTPS load balancer, you can test your load balancer by using curl as follows. Replace IP_ADDRESS with the load balancer's IP address. You should be directed to the service you have exposed through the endpoint.

      curl -k https://IP_ADDRESS
      

      If that does not work and you are using a Google-managed certificate, confirm that your certificate resource's status is ACTIVE. For more information, see Google-managed SSL certificate resource status. Then test the domain pointing to the load balancer's IP address. For example:

      curl -s https://test.example.com
      
  5. Testing the non-Google Cloud endpoints depends on the service you have exposed through the hybrid NEG endpoint.

What's next