Configuring Networks via gcloud

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Configuring Networks via gcloud

Lab 45 minutes universal_currency_alt 1 Credit show_chart Introductory
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A Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) network is a global resource which consists of a list of regional virtual subnetworks (subnets) in data centers, all connected by a global wide area network (WAN). VPC networks are logically isolated from each other in Google Cloud.

VPC provides networking functionality to Compute Engine virtual machine (VM) instances, Kubernetes Engine containers, and App Engine Flex. Each Google Cloud project by default has a default network configuration which provides each region with an auto subnet network.

In this lab you use gcloud to create two custom VPC networks with subnets, firewall rules, and VM instances, then test the networks' ability to allow traffic from the public internet.

Setup and requirements

Before you click the Start Lab button

Read these instructions. Labs are timed and you cannot pause them. The timer, which starts when you click Start Lab, shows how long Google Cloud resources will be made available to you.

This hands-on lab lets you do the lab activities yourself in a real cloud environment, not in a simulation or demo environment. It does so by giving you new, temporary credentials that you use to sign in and access Google Cloud for the duration of the lab.

To complete this lab, you need:

  • Access to a standard internet browser (Chrome browser recommended).
Note: Use an Incognito or private browser window to run this lab. This prevents any conflicts between your personal account and the Student account, which may cause extra charges incurred to your personal account.
  • Time to complete the lab---remember, once you start, you cannot pause a lab.
Note: If you already have your own personal Google Cloud account or project, do not use it for this lab to avoid extra charges to your account.

How to start your lab and sign in to the Google Cloud console

  1. Click the Start Lab button. If you need to pay for the lab, a pop-up opens for you to select your payment method. On the left is the Lab Details panel with the following:

    • The Open Google Cloud console button
    • Time remaining
    • The temporary credentials that you must use for this lab
    • Other information, if needed, to step through this lab
  2. Click Open Google Cloud console (or right-click and select Open Link in Incognito Window if you are running the Chrome browser).

    The lab spins up resources, and then opens another tab that shows the Sign in page.

    Tip: Arrange the tabs in separate windows, side-by-side.

    Note: If you see the Choose an account dialog, click Use Another Account.
  3. If necessary, copy the Username below and paste it into the Sign in dialog.

    {{{user_0.username | "Username"}}}

    You can also find the Username in the Lab Details panel.

  4. Click Next.

  5. Copy the Password below and paste it into the Welcome dialog.

    {{{user_0.password | "Password"}}}

    You can also find the Password in the Lab Details panel.

  6. Click Next.

    Important: You must use the credentials the lab provides you. Do not use your Google Cloud account credentials. Note: Using your own Google Cloud account for this lab may incur extra charges.
  7. Click through the subsequent pages:

    • Accept the terms and conditions.
    • Do not add recovery options or two-factor authentication (because this is a temporary account).
    • Do not sign up for free trials.

After a few moments, the Google Cloud console opens in this tab.

Note: To view a menu with a list of Google Cloud products and services, click the Navigation menu at the top-left. Navigation menu icon

Activate Cloud Shell

Cloud Shell is a virtual machine that is loaded with development tools. It offers a persistent 5GB home directory and runs on the Google Cloud. Cloud Shell provides command-line access to your Google Cloud resources.

  1. Click Activate Cloud Shell Activate Cloud Shell icon at the top of the Google Cloud console.

When you are connected, you are already authenticated, and the project is set to your Project_ID, . The output contains a line that declares the Project_ID for this session:

Your Cloud Platform project in this session is set to {{{project_0.project_id | "PROJECT_ID"}}}

gcloud is the command-line tool for Google Cloud. It comes pre-installed on Cloud Shell and supports tab-completion.

  1. (Optional) You can list the active account name with this command:
gcloud auth list
  1. Click Authorize.


ACTIVE: * ACCOUNT: {{{user_0.username | "ACCOUNT"}}} To set the active account, run: $ gcloud config set account `ACCOUNT`
  1. (Optional) You can list the project ID with this command:
gcloud config list project


[core] project = {{{project_0.project_id | "PROJECT_ID"}}} Note: For full documentation of gcloud, in Google Cloud, refer to the gcloud CLI overview guide.

Install ping to use later in this lab:

sudo apt install iputils-ping

Task 1. Create network

You can choose to create an auto mode or custom mode VPC network. Each new network that you create must have a unique name within the same project. You can create up to four additional networks in a project.

  • In Cloud Shell, use the following gcloud command to create a custom mode network called labnet:
gcloud compute networks create labnet --subnet-mode=custom

With this command you're doing the following:

  • gcloud invokes the Cloud SDK gcloud command line tool
  • compute is a one of the groups available in gcloud, part of a nested hierarchy of command groups
  • networks is a subgroup of compute with it's own specialized commands
  • create is the action to be executed on this group
  • labnet is the name of the network you're creating
  • --subnet-mode=custom you're passing the subnet mode flag and the type of subnet you're creating, "custom".

Click Check my progress to verify the objective.

Create a VPC with custom subnet mode

Task 2. Create a subnetwork

When you create a subnetwork, its name must be unique in that project for that region, even across networks. The same name can appear twice in a project as long as each one is in a different region.

Each subnet must have a primary range, which must be unique within the same region in a project.

  • Now create sub-network labnet-sub:
gcloud compute networks subnets create labnet-sub \ --network labnet \ --region "{{{project_0.default_region | REGION}}}" \ --range

Click Check my progress to verify the objective.

Create custom subnet within the labnet VPC

Task 3. Viewing networks

  1. List the networks in your project:
gcloud compute networks list

Your output should look like this:

NAME: default SUBNET_MODE: AUTO BGP_ROUTING_MODE: REGIONAL IPV4_RANGE: GATEWAY_IPV4: NAME: labnet SUBNET_MODE: CUSTOM BGP_ROUTING_MODE: REGIONAL IPV4_RANGE: GATEWAY_IPV4: Note: Now you can see the `default` network that was created for your project.
  1. Use describe to view network details, such as its peering connections and subnets. Replace NETWORK_NAME with the name of your network:
gcloud compute networks describe NETWORK_NAME

Task 4. List subnets

You can list all subnets in all networks in your project, or you can show only the subnets for a particular network or region.

  • Use this command to list all subnets in all VPC networks, in all regions:
gcloud compute networks subnets list

You'll see the subnet you created towards the bottom of the list. It's the only one in the labnet network.

Task 5. Creating firewall rules

Auto networks include default rules, custom networks do not include any firewall rules. Firewall rules are defined at the network level, and only apply to the network where they are created.

The name you choose for each firewall rule must be unique to the project. To allow access to VM instances, you must apply firewall rules.

  • Create the labnet-allow-internal firewall rule:
gcloud compute firewall-rules create labnet-allow-internal \ --network=labnet \ --action=ALLOW \ --rules=icmp,tcp:22 \ --source-ranges=

With this command you are doing the following:

  • firewall-rules is a subcategory of compute
  • create is the action you are taking
  • labnet-allow-internal is the name of the firewall rule
  • --network=labnet puts the rule in the labnet network
  • --action=ALLOW must be used with the --rules flag, and is either "ALLOW" or "DENY"
  • --rules=icmp,tcp:22 specifies the icmp and tcp protocols and the ports that the rule applies to
  • --source-ranges= specifies the ranges of source IP addresses in CIDR format.

Click Check my progress to verify the objective.

Add firewall rules to allow tcp:22 and ICMP

Task 6. Viewing firewall rules details

  • Inspect the firewall rules to see its name, applicable network, and components, including whether the rule is enabled or disabled:
gcloud compute firewall-rules describe [FIREWALL_RULE_NAME]

Task 7. Create another network

Now you'll create a another network, add firewall rules to it, then add VMs to both networks to test the ability to communicate with the networks.

  1. Run the following command to create the privatenet network:
gcloud compute networks create privatenet --subnet-mode=custom
  1. Create the private-sub subnet:
gcloud compute networks subnets create private-sub \ --network=privatenet \ --region="{{{project_0.default_region | REGION}}}" \ --range

Create the firewall rules for privatenet

  1. Run the following command to create the privatenet-deny firewall rule:
gcloud compute firewall-rules create privatenet-deny \ --network=privatenet \ --action=DENY \ --rules=icmp,tcp:22 \ --source-ranges=

This firewall rule denies all access from the internal protocol.

The output should look like this:

Creating firewall...done. NAME: privatenet-deny NETWORK: privatenet DIRECTION: INGRESS PRIORITY: 1000 ALLOW: DENY: icmp,tcp:22 DISABLED: False

Click Check my progress to verify the objective.

Create another VPC, subnet and required deny firewall rules
  1. Run the following command to list all the firewall rules (sorted by VPC network):
gcloud compute firewall-rules list --sort-by=NETWORK
  1. Look for the networks you created to quickly find your firewall rules.

Task 8. Create VM instances

Create two VM instances in the subnets:

  • pnet-vm in private-sub
  • lnet-vm in labnet-sub

Create the pnet-vm instance

  • Run the following command to create the pnet-vm instance in the private-sub subnet:
gcloud compute instances create pnet-vm \ --zone="{{{project_0.default_zone | ZONE}}}" \ --machine-type=n1-standard-1 \ --subnet=private-sub

The output should look like this:

NAME: pnet-vm ZONE:"{{{project_0.default_zone | ZONE}}}" MACHINE_TYPE: n1-standard-1 PREEMPTIBLE: INTERNAL_IP: EXTERNAL_IP: STATUS: RUNNING

Create the lnet-vm instance

  1. Using the previous step as your guide, create a VM with the following values:
Property Value
Name lnet-vm
Machine type n1-standard-1
Subnet labnet-sub

You should see a similar output when your subnet is created.

  1. Now list all the VM instances (sorted by zone):
gcloud compute instances list --sort-by=ZONE

For this command you're using the instance subgroup, with it's specialized command list.

You should see the 2 VMs you just created:

NAME ZONE MACHINE_TYPE ... INTERNAL_IP EXTERNAL_IP STATUS lnet-vm {{{project_0.default_zone | ZONE}}} n1-standard-1 RUNNING pnet-vm {{{project_0.default_zone | ZONE}}} n1-standard-1 RUNNING

Click Check my progress to verify the objective.

Create VM instances

Task 9. Explore the connectivity

When you created the networks, you applied firewall rules to each - so one network allows INGRESS traffic, and the other denies INGRESS traffic.

For this experiment, you should be able to communicate with the first network, but be unable to communicate with the second one.

Ping the external IP addresses

  1. Ping the external IP addresses of the VM instances to determine if you can reach the instances from the public internet.
ping -c 3 <Enter lnet-vm's external IP here>

This should work - lnet-vm's network has a firewall rule that allows traffic.

  1. Repeat the command, but use pnet-vm's external IP address.

This should not work - nothing should be happening. pnet-vm's network has a firewall rule that denies traffic. Use Ctrl+C to end the process.


In this lab you created two custom mode VPC networks, firewall rules, and VM instances using the Cloud Shell command line. Then you tested the ability of the VPC networks to receive traffic from the public internet.

Finish your quest

This self-paced lab is part of the Using the Cloud SDK Command Line quest. A quest is a series of related labs that form a learning path. Completing this quest earns you a badge to recognize your achievement. You can make your badge or badges public and link to them in your online resume or social media account. Enroll in this Quest and get immediate completion credit. See the Google Cloud Skills Boost catalog to see all available quests.

Take your next lab

Continue your Quest with Configuring IAM Permissions with gcloud or try one of these suggestions:

Next steps / learn more

Learn more about VPC networking:

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Manual Last Updated October 09, 2023

Lab Last Tested October 09, 2023

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