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Subnets

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) networks are global resources. Each VPC network consists of one or more IP address range called subnets. Subnets are regional resources, and have IP address ranges associated with them.

In Google Cloud, the terms subnet and subnetwork are synonymous. They are used interchangeably in the Google Cloud console, Google Cloud CLI commands, and API documentation.

Networks and subnets

A network must have at least one subnet before you can use it. Auto mode VPC networks create subnets in each region automatically. Custom mode VPC networks start with no subnets, giving you full control over subnet creation. You can create more than one subnet per region. For information about the differences between auto mode and custom mode VPC networks, see types of VPC networks.

When you create a resource in Google Cloud, you choose a network and subnet. For resources other than instance templates, you also select a zone or a region. Selecting a zone implicitly selects its parent region. Because subnets are regional objects, the region that you select for a resource determines the subnets that it can use:

  • When you create an instance, you select a zone for the instance. If you don't select a network for the VM, the default VPC network is used, which has a subnet in every region. If you do select a network for the VM, you must select a network that contains a subnet in the selected zone's parent region.

  • When you create a managed instance group, you select a zone or region, depending on the group type, and an instance template. The instance template defines which VPC network to use. Therefore, when you create a managed instance group, you must select an instance template with an appropriate configuration; the template must specify a VPC network that has subnets in the selected zone or region. Auto mode VPC networks always have a subnet in every region.

  • The process of creating a Kubernetes container cluster involves selecting a zone or region (depending on the cluster type), a network, and a subnet. You must select a subnet that is available in the selected zone or region.

Types of subnets

VPC networks support the following subnet types:

  • IPv4 only (single-stack) subnets, with only IPv4 subnet ranges

  • IPv4 and IPv6 (dual-stack) subnets, with both IPv4 and IPv6 subnet ranges

A single VPC network can contain any combination of these subnet types.

When you create a subnet, you specify which stack type to use. You can also update an existing IPv4 only subnet to configure it as a dual stack subnet.

Dual-stack subnets are supported on custom mode VPC networks only. Dual-stack subnets are not supported on auto mode VPC networks or legacy networks.

When you create an IPv4 subnet range, you provide the following information:

Subnet setting Valid values Details
IPv4 range A valid range that you choose Required
Secondary IPv4 range A valid range that you choose Optional

When you create an IPv6 subnet range, you provide the following information:

Subnet setting Valid values Details
IPv6 access type

  • Internal
  • External

A /64 IPv6 address range is automatically assigned to the subnet.

Purposes of subnets

Subnets can be used for different purposes:

In most cases, you cannot change the purpose of a subnet after it has been created. For more information, see the gcloud compute networks subnets update command reference.

IPv4 subnet ranges

Each subnet has a primary IPv4 address range. The primary internal addresses for the following resources come from the subnet's primary range: VM instances, internal load balancers, and internal protocol forwarding. You can optionally add secondary IP address ranges to a subnet, which are only used by alias IP ranges. However, you can configure alias IP ranges for instances from the primary or secondary range of a subnet.

Each primary or secondary IPv4 range for all subnets in a VPC network must be a unique valid CIDR block. Refer to the per network limits for the number of secondary IP address ranges you can define.

Your IPv4 subnets don't need to form a predefined contiguous CIDR block, but you can do that if desired. For example, auto mode VPC networks do create subnets that fit within a predefined auto mode IP range.

For more information, see Work with subnets.

Valid IPv4 ranges

A subnet's primary and secondary IPv4 address ranges are regional internal IPv4 addresses. The following table describes valid ranges.

Range Description
Private IPv4 address ranges
10.0.0.0/8
172.16.0.0/12
192.168.0.0/16
Private IP addresses RFC 1918
100.64.0.0/10 Shared address space RFC 6598
192.0.0.0/24 IETF protocol assignments RFC 6890
192.0.2.0/24 (TEST-NET-1)
198.51.100.0/24 (TEST-NET-2)
203.0.113.0/24 (TEST-NET-3)
Documentation RFC 5737
192.88.99.0/24 IPv6 to IPv4 relay (deprecated) RFC 7526
198.18.0.0/15 Benchmark testing RFC 2544
240.0.0.0/4

Reserved for future use (Class E) as noted in RFC 5735 and RFC 1112.

Some operating systems do not support the use of this range, so verify that your OS supports it before creating subnets that use this range.

Privately used public IP address ranges
Privately used public IPv4 addresses Privately used public IPv4 addresses:
  • Are IPv4 addresses that are normally routable on the internet, but that are used privately in a VPC network
  • Cannot belong to a prohibited subnet range

When you use these addresses as subnet ranges, Google Cloud does not announce these routes to the internet and does not route traffic from the internet to them.

If you have imported public IP addresses to Google using Bring your own IP (BYOIP), your BYOIP ranges and privately used public IP address ranges in the same VPC network must not overlap.

For VPC Network Peering, subnet routes for public IP addresses are not automatically exchanged. The subnet routes are automatically exported by default, but peer networks must be explicitly configured to import them in order to use them.

IPv4 subnet ranges have the following constraints:

  • Subnet ranges cannot match, be narrower, or be broader than a restricted range. For example, 169.0.0.0/8 is not a valid subnet range because it overlaps with the link-local range 169.254.0.0/16 (RFC 3927), which is a restricted range.

  • Subnet ranges cannot span an RFC range (described in the previous table) and a privately used public IP address range. For example, 172.0.0.0/10 is not a valid subnet range because it includes both the 172.16.0.0/12 private IP address range and public IP addresses.

  • Subnet ranges cannot span multiple RFC ranges. For example, 192.0.0.0/8 isn't a valid subnet range because it includes both 192.168.0.0/16 (from RFC 1918) and 192.0.0.0/24 (from RFC 6890). However, you can create two subnets with different primary ranges, one with 192.168.0.0/16 and one with 192.0.0.0/24. Or, you could use both of these ranges on the same subnet if you make one of them a secondary range.

Prohibited IPv4 subnet ranges

Prohibited subnet ranges include Google public IP addresses and commonly reserved RFC ranges, as described in the following table. These ranges cannot be used for subnet ranges.

Range Description
Public IP addresses for Google APIs and services, including Google Cloud netblocks. You can find these IP addresses at https://gstatic.com/ipranges/goog.txt.
199.36.153.4/30
and
199.36.153.8/30
Private Google Access-specific virtual IP addresses
0.0.0.0/8 Current (local) network RFC 1122
127.0.0.0/8 Local host RFC 1122
169.254.0.0/16 Link-local RFC 3927
224.0.0.0/4 Multicast (Class D) RFC 5771
255.255.255.255/32 Limited broadcast destination address RFC 8190 and RFC 919

Reserved IP addresses in IPv4 subnets

Every subnet has four reserved IP addresses in its primary IP range. There are no reserved IP addresses in the secondary IP ranges.

Reserved IP address Description Example
Network First address in the primary IP range for the subnet 10.1.2.0 in 10.1.2.0/24
Default gateway Second address in the primary IP range for the subnet 10.1.2.1 in 10.1.2.0/24
Second-to-last address Second-to-last address in the primary IP range for the subnet that is reserved by Google Cloud for potential future use 10.1.2.254 in 10.1.2.0/24
Broadcast Last address in the primary IP range for the subnet 10.1.2.255 in 10.1.2.0/24

Auto mode IPv4 ranges

This table lists the IPv4 ranges for the automatically created subnets in an auto mode VPC network. IP ranges for these subnets fit inside the 10.128.0.0/9 CIDR block. Auto mode VPC networks are built with one subnet per region at creation time and automatically receive new subnets in new regions. Unused portions of 10.128.0.0/9 are reserved for future Google Cloud use.

Region IP range (CIDR) Default gateway Usable addresses (inclusive)
asia-east1 10.140.0.0/20 10.140.0.1 10.140.0.2 to 10.140.15.253
asia-east2 10.170.0.0/20 10.170.0.1 10.170.0.2 to 10.170.15.253
asia-northeast1 10.146.0.0/20 10.146.0.1 10.146.0.2 to 10.146.15.253
asia-northeast2 10.174.0.0/20 10.174.0.1 10.174.0.2 to 10.174.15.253
asia-northeast3 10.178.0.0/20 10.178.0.1 10.178.0.2 to 10.178.15.253
asia-south1 10.160.0.0/20 10.160.0.1 10.160.0.2 to 10.160.15.253
asia-south2 10.190.0.0/20 10.190.0.1 10.190.0.2 to 10.190.15.253
asia-southeast1 10.148.0.0/20 10.148.0.1 10.148.0.2 to 10.148.15.253
asia-southeast2 10.184.0.0/20 10.184.0.1 10.184.0.2 to 10.184.15.253
australia-southeast1 10.152.0.0/20 10.152.0.1 10.152.0.2 to 10.152.15.253
australia-southeast2 10.192.0.0/20 10.192.0.1 10.192.0.2 to 10.192.15.253
europe-central2 10.186.0.0/20 10.186.0.1 10.186.0.2 to 10.186.15.253
europe-north1 10.166.0.0/20 10.166.0.1 10.166.0.2 to 10.166.15.253
europe-west1 10.132.0.0/20 10.132.0.1 10.132.0.2 to 10.132.15.253
europe-west2 10.154.0.0/20 10.154.0.1 10.154.0.2 to 10.154.15.253
europe-west3 10.156.0.0/20 10.156.0.1 10.156.0.2 to 10.156.15.253
europe-west4 10.164.0.0/20 10.164.0.1 10.164.0.2 to 10.164.15.253
europe-west6 10.172.0.0/20 10.172.0.1 10.172.0.2 to 10.172.15.253
europe-west8 10.198.0.0/20 10.198.0.1 10.198.0.2 to 10.198.15.253
europe-west9 10.200.0.0/20 10.200.0.1 10.200.0.2 to 10.200.15.253
europe-southwest1 10.204.0.0/20 10.204.0.1 10.204.0.2 to 10.204.15.253
me-west1 10.208.0.0/20 10.208.0.1 10.208.0.2 to 10.208.15.253
northamerica-northeast1 10.162.0.0/20 10.162.0.1 10.162.0.2 to 10.162.15.253
northamerica-northeast2 10.188.0.0/20 10.188.0.1 10.188.0.2 to 10.188.15.253
southamerica-east1 10.158.0.0/20 10.158.0.1 10.158.0.2 to 10.158.15.253
southamerica-west1 10.194.0.0/20 10.194.0.1 10.194.0.2 to 10.194.15.253
us-central1 10.128.0.0/20 10.128.0.1 10.128.0.2 to 10.128.15.253
us-east1 10.142.0.0/20 10.142.0.1 10.142.0.2 to 10.142.15.253
us-east4 10.150.0.0/20 10.150.0.1 10.150.0.2 to 10.150.15.253
us-east5 10.202.0.0/20 10.202.0.1 10.202.0.2 to 10.202.15.253
us-south1 10.206.0.0/20 10.206.0.1 10.206.0.2 to 10.206.15.253
us-west1 10.138.0.0/20 10.138.0.1 10.138.0.2 to 10.138.15.253
us-west2 10.168.0.0/20 10.168.0.1 10.168.0.2 to 10.168.15.253
us-west3 10.180.0.0/20 10.180.0.1 10.180.0.2 to 10.180.15.253
us-west4 10.182.0.0/20 10.182.0.1 10.182.0.2 to 10.182.15.253

IPv6 subnet ranges

When you enable IPv6 on a subnet in a VPC network, you choose an IPv6 access type for the subnet. The IPv6 access type determines whether the subnet is configured with internal IPv6 addresses or external IPv6 addresses.

  • Internal IPv6 addresses are used for VM to VM communication within VPC networks. They can only be routed within the scope of VPC networks and cannot be routed to the internet.

  • External IPv6 addresses can be used for VM to VM communication within VPC networks, and are also routable on the internet.

If a VM interface is connected to a subnet that has an IPv6 subnet range, you can configure IPv6 addresses on the VM. The IPv6 access type of the subnet determines whether the VM is assigned an internal IPv6 address or an external IPv6 address.

IPv6 specifications

  • IPv6 subnet ranges are regional resources.

  • Internal and external IPv6 subnet ranges are available in all regions.

  • IPv6 subnet ranges are automatically assigned /64 ranges.

  • You cannot change the IPv6 access type (internal or external) of a subnet.

  • You cannot change a dual-stack subnet to single-stack, if the IPv6 access type is internal.

Internal IPv6 specifications

  • Internal IPv6 ranges use unique local addresses (ULAs).

  • ULAs for IPv6 are analogous to RFC 1918 addresses for IPv4. ULAs cannot be reached from the internet, and are not publicly routable.

  • To create subnets with internal IPv6 ranges, you first assign an internal IPv6 range to the VPC network. A /48 IPv6 range is assigned. When you create a subnet with an internal IPv6 range, the subnet's /64 range is assigned from the VPC network's range.

    • A VPC network's internal IPv6 range is unique within Google Cloud.

    • You can let Google assign the VPC network internal IPv6 range, or you can select a specific range. If your VPC network connects to networks outside of Google Cloud, you can choose a range that does not overlap with the ranges used in those environments.

  • The assignment of a VPC network's /48 internal IPv6 range is permanent. You cannot disable it or change it later.

External IPv6 specifications

IPv6 range assignment

IPv6 ranges can be assigned to networks, subnets, and virtual machine instances (VMs).

Resource type Range size Details
VPC network /48

To enable internal IPv6 on a subnet, you must first assign an internal IPv6 range on the VPC network.

A /48 ULA range from within fd20::/20 is assigned to the network. All internal IPv6 subnet ranges in the network are assigned from this /48 range.

The /48 range can be automatically assigned, or you can select a specific range from within fd20::/20.

Subnet /64

The IPv6 access type setting controls whether the IPv6 addresses are internal or external.

A subnet can have either internal or external IPv6 addresses, but not both.

When you enable IPv6, the following occurs:

  • If you enable internal IPv6 on a subnet, an /64 range of internal ULAs is assigned from your VPC network's /48 range.

  • If you enable external IPv6 on a subnet, a /64 range of external GUAs is assigned.
Virtual machine instance (VM) /96

When you enable IPv6 on a VM, the VM is assigned a /96 range from the subnet that it is connected to. The first IP address in that range is assigned to the primary interface using DHCPv6.

You don't configure whether a VM gets internal or external IPv6 addresses. The VM inherits the IPv6 access type from the subnet that it is connected to.

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