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Introduction to virtual datacenter networks

Abiquo offers the following types of virtual datacenter networks:

Network typeDescriptionDatacentersPublic cloud regions
PrivateWith private IP addresses that are restricted to a single virtual datacenter(tick)(tick)
ExternalAssigned to an enterprise and can be accessed by more than one virtual datacenter(tick) 
UnmanagedWith IP addresses assigned outside of Abiquo(tick) 
PublicWith Internet addressable public IP addresses(tick)(tick) floating public IPs

For full definitions of these networks, see  Cloud Tenant Networks  in the Getting Started section of this wiki.

In datacenters, Abiquo uses VLANs to isolate different networks. Addresses on the same IP network but on different VLANs do not see each other, which provides a significant level of network isolation and security.

Virtual datacenter networks in datacenters

You can define VLANs for private networks in your virtual datacenter until you reach:

  • VLAN allocation limits set for your:
    • virtual datacenter
    • enterprise in the datacenter
    • enterprise
  • the limits of the physical network infrastructure as defined for the rack

When you create a virtual datacenter, Abiquo will always create a private network (default or custom) and set a default VLAN (enterprise-datacenter configuration). See #Default Virtual Datacenter Networks. You can edit the virtual datacenter and change the default network to any other network available in the virtual datacenter.

When you create virtual machines in your virtual appliances, you can add NICs on virtual datacenter networks. If you deploy a machine that does not have a NIC, one will be assigned with the next available IP address from the default VLAN. You can later add NIC(s) and remove NIC(s) as required.  A deployed virtual machine must always have at least one NIC with an IP address, but the IP address may be in any of the available networks.

Virtual datacenter networks in public cloud regions

Virtual datacenters in public cloud regions have access to private networks and floating public IPs. In a public cloud region, the default network is always a private network. In AWS, the private network will always be a VPC Subnet, or Virtual Private Connect network, with a name in the format vpc-XXXXXXXX:subnet-XXXXXXXXXX.

When you create a virtual datacenter, you can choose the default private network configuration or a custom configuration. Abiquo will create this private network and set it as the default.  After Abiquo creates this network, you cannot change it. In Abiquo 3.0, you can create additional Abiquo private networks in a virtual datacenter in a public cloud region. In AWS, these networks will be virtual private connect networks that can belong to the different availability zones in the VPC. You can assign an IP address in a subnet to deploy in its availability zone.

You can reserve public IPs for your virtual datacenter and users can assign them to virtual machines. These public IPs are Elastic IPs in AWS. Abiquo will manage them as public IPs but they are floating IPs that are not attached to any Abiquo network.

Amazon may charge for Elastic IP addresses as soon as you reserve them for your virtual datacenter but not for addresses assigned to deployed machines. Therefore you should reserve your IP addresses just before you deploy and check they are deleted when you undeploy your virtual machines.

Private networks are automatically deleted by Abiquo when the virtual datacenter is deleted.

Hybrid cloud networking

Manage virtual datacenter networks in datacenters

API Features

Virtual datacenter networks are available in the Abiquo API. For example, see VirtualDatacenterResource and PrivateNetworksResource.

The enterprise's network administrator is usually responsible for the private network configuration. The network administrator can

  • Create, edit and delete private VLANs for virtual datacenters, and set them as the default network for a virtual datacenter.
  • Edit private, public and external networks to set them as the default and override the enterprise-datacenter default network for a virtual datacenter.

To view the networks of private, external and public VLANs in Virtual datacenters view:

  1. Select your virtual datacenter in the VDCs list
  2. Click the Network tab
  3. Click the Private,  External or Public page

In the Networks list, to view the pool and allocation of IPs:

  • to see all the IPs in the virtual datacenter, click the All button on the top of the list
  • to see the IPs in a VLAN, click the VLAN name 

You can then:

  • use the slider at the bottom of the list to move through the pages 
  • filter the list by entering text in the search box  The filter works with all the columns of the table:
    • IP Address
    • MAC address
    • VLAN name
    • Virtual appliance using the IP
    • Virtual machine using the IP

Default virtual datacenter networks

On the Network tab pages, the  default network  is highlighted in  bold and italic . If you create a virtual machine and do not assign it an IP address, then when you deploy the machine, Abiquo will assign it an IP address in the default network. A virtual datacenter always has at least one network, and if there is only one network, this is the default network.

Default networks are set at the following levels in the order of priority given in this table.

PrioritySetting levelWhen setDescriptionDCPCR
1Virtual datacenterAfter VDC creationYou can override the default network set for your virtual datacenter by editing another network and setting it as the default(tick)(tick) Private
network only
2Enterprise - datacenterBefore VDC creationAll networks except public networks can be set as the default for an enterprise. This default network will be set when the virtual datacenter is created(tick)(error)
3Custom private networkAt VDC creationWhen you create a VDC, you can create a custom private VLAN.(tick)(tick)
4System defaultAt VDC creationT he system default network is an auto-created private VLAN. It is called " default_private_network ". (tick)(tick)

So the default network set for a virtual datacenter will override the default network set for an enterprise, and so on.  

When you create a virtual datacenter in a datacenter, Abiquo always creates a private network. This private network is counted as part of your VLAN allocation.  You can choose t he system default network, which is an auto-created private VLAN. By default, it is called " default_private_network ", as shown in the following screenshot. Or you can create a custom private network. 

Default networks 
Network typeDatacenterPublic cloud regionNotes
Auto-created private network(tick)(tick)In datacenters, when the first VM deploys in this network,
Abiquo creates the VLAN in the network infrastructure
i.e. port group or virtual bridge
Custom private network(tick)(tick)Created at VDC creation or afterwards 
External network(tick)(error) 
Unmanaged network(tick)(error) 
Public network(tick)(error) 
Set a new default network

There must always be a default network, so you cannot unselect the default network. Instead, replace the current default network by setting a new default network. The new default network will apply to all virtual machines deployed after it is set as default.  

To set a private network as the default, when you create or edit it, mark the Default network checkbox.

In a datacenter, to set an existing external, unmanaged or public network, select it in the virtual datacenter network list and click the configuration button to edit the network. Then click the Default network checkbox. 

In a datacenter, if you set a public network as the default, you must remember to obtain IP addresses for your virtual machines before you deploy!

In the following screenshot, Public network 2 will be the new default, replacing the existing default Public network 3. 

Create a private network

A private VLAN can be either an auto-created default private VLAN or a custom private VLAN. To add more private VLANs to your virtual datacenter, click the  button  and complete the form below. 

You may repeat the same IP addresses and other values in all your VLANs because each VLAN tag will be different at deploy time, so there will be no collisions between the networks; however, Abiquo does not recommend this configuration. 

External, unmanaged and public VLANs are created and managed in Infrastructure view on the datacenter's network screen.

Private IPv4 networks in datacenters

Configure static routes using DHCP

In datacenters, Abiquo allows you to configure Static Routes in the DHCP Server when you create or edit a VLAN. Static Routes allow you to configure a path to a second network apart from the default route, for example, in this way you can allow access to both the private network and the Internet. Virtual machines will obtain the static routes from the DHCP server when they are deployed and started up. Changes to static routes will be received by the virtual machines after they are restarted, for example.

To add a Static Route, click the Manage button. The Static Routes popup will open. For each static route, enter the details. For example, to add via, you would enter the details in the table below.

Abiquo will add the static routes to the DHCP server leases as option 249 for the Microsoft Classless Static Route Option and option 121 for the Classless Static Route Option in RFC3442. For information about how the DHCP server is configured by Abiquo and client configuration (CentOS or Windows), see DHCP RFC3442 Classless Static Route Configuration.

To delete a static route, click the red delete button  beside the static route details.

Private IPv6 networks in datacenters

Private networks in public cloud regions

This section describes the Abiquo AWS integration. 

AWS Availability Zones are a high availability feature that enable users to control whether virtual machines will deploy together or separately. When you create custom private networks in the Abiquo virtual datacenter, you can choose which Availability Zone your network will be assigned to. Then you can choose to deploy in a specific Availability Zone by assigning a private IP address in the private network belonging to that Availability Zone.

The following diagram shows a Virtual Private Cloud with the VPC default subnet and the Abiquo default private network.

When you create the VPC, Abiquo creates a private network (VPC subnet) and AWS automatically allocates an Availability Zone.


Network Availability Zones

To find out which Availability Zone a network belongs to, look at the network details box at the bottom of the Networks page. In the screenshot below, the default_private_network is in the "ap-southeast-1a" Availability Zone.


Choose an Availability Zone when creating a network

When you create a private network, you can select an Availability Zone or select No preference and Abiquo will automatically choose an Availability Zone for you.

Here we have chosen the "ap-southeast-1b" Availability Zone. This is different to the one that the default_private_network is in. And we have named the network to show that it is in Availability Zone "b". In addition, we have selected the Default network checkbox. This means that for virtual machines with no IP addresses allocated by the user, Abiquo will assign IP addresses on this network.

When you click Save, Abiquo will create the network in your AWS VPC.

Edit a private network

To edit a private network, select the network, then click the edit button  above the Networks list:

You can change the name of the network and its gateway, and you can select the Default checkbox to make the network the new default network for this virtual datacenter.

After making changes, click Accept. The new default will apply to all virtual machines deployed after you make this change.

Delete a private network

Click the remove button  to delete a private VLAN. However, you may not delete a private VLAN if:

  • A virtual machine is using an IP address from the VLAN pool
  • The VLAN is set as the default

External, unmanaged and public VLANs cannot be deleted from this screen; they must be deleted in the network screen of Infrastructure view.

Edit datacenter networks

Public, external and unmanaged networks are datacenter networks, so they are managed in Infrastructure view from the Networks tabIf you select an external, unmanaged or public VLAN in the virtual datacenter in the Networks list and click the configuration  button to edit it, you can only set the current network as the default and view static routes. You cannot change any of the network details.

Set a datacenter network as the default for a VDC

In Virtual datacenters view, click the Default network checkbox to set the current network as the default for all virtual machines created in the virtual datacenter. For more information, see #Default Virtual Datacenter Networks.

View static routes for an IPv4 datacenter network

In Virtual datacenters view, you can click the Manage button to view the static routes for an IPv4 network.

The VLAN Static Routes section of the popup will display.

Obtain IP addresses from external networks in datacenters

The cloud administrator usually creates public, unmanaged and external networks in the datacenter infrastructure. The cloud administrator will make available some or all of the public and external IPs for virtual datacenters.

External networks are always assigned to one enterprise only, so you do not need to reserve or purchase IP addresses of these networks, and they are not counted in the accounting system. You can simply add the available external IPs to your virtual machines.

Obtain IP addresses from public networks

In datacenters, the cloud administrator usually creates public networks in the datacenter infrastructure. The cloud administrator will then make available some or all of the public IPs for virtual datacenters. The enterprise network administrator can reserve or purchase public IP addresses for the enterprise's virtual machines .

In public cloud regions, the enterprise administrator can obtain floating IP addresses from the public cloud provider.

Manage public IP addresses

To manage access to public IPs, select your virtual datacenter and click the Networking tab. Then click the Public tab to display the list of public IPs already reserved for your virtual datacenter. Reserved IPs may be counted in the platform's Accounting system from the time they are reserved until they are released, even if they are not used in virtual machines.

Public IP addresses Available in a Datacenter

The Public IP list contains the IP addresses configured in Infrastructure view as explained in the Manage network configuration page.

To view the pool of IPs and IP assignments, you can filter the search by entering text in the box beside the search button. The filter works in all the columns:

  • IP Address
  • MAC Address
  • VLAN name
  • Virtual Appliance using the IP address
  • Virtual Machine using the IP address
Add floating public IP addresses to your virtual datacenter
  1. Select a virtual datacenter in your public cloud region
  2. Click the add button  in the top right corner of the PUBLIC IPs page
  3. Click an IP address to allocate it to your public cloud region
    • Abiquo will check your location (enterprise-public cloud region) limits for public IPs
  4. To add the public IP to a VDC, click the Add to VDC link near the IP address
    • Abiquo will check your virtual datacenter limits for public IPs

To remove the public IP address from the VDC, click the Remove from VDC link near the IP address. Then select the IP address and click the delete button.

Add public IP addresses to your virtual datacenter

Reserved public IP addresses may be counted in the platform's Accounting system, even if they are not used on any virtual machines.
Public cloud providers may start to charge for floating public IPs as soon as they are added to the public cloud region.

To add new public IP addresses to your virtual datacenter:

  1. Click the add button  in the top right corner of the PUBLIC IPs page

    • A popup will open with the list of available Public IPs in the datacenter that houses your virtual datacenter
      • Use the slider to move up or down pages
      • Filter your search by entering an IP address or VLAN name in the filter box
  2. Click an IP address to add it to your virtual datacenter 
  3. CTRL + click to  select multiple IP addresses
  4. Click Accept to finalize your purchase
    • Abiquo will check your virtual datacenter limits for public IPs

The following screenshot shows three IP addresses selected. 

Release a reserved public IP address

To release a public IP that you do not need any more, first check if it is assigned to a virtual machine. If it is assigned, you must remove it from the virtual machine before you can release it.

Then select the IP in the list and click the remove  button.

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