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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) Except Azure
ExternalAssigned to an enterprise and can be accessed by more than one virtual datacenter(tick)(blue star) Azure only
UnmanagedWith IP addresses assigned outside of Abiquo(tick) 
PublicWith Internet addressable public IP addresses(tick) 
-Internet addressable public IP addresses that are not attached to an Abiquo network  (tick) 

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

See also Manage Public Cloud Networks for details of the Azure and AWS integrations and so on.

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

You can define VLANs for private networks (or Azure external networks) in your virtual datacenter until you reach:

  • VLAN allocation limits set for your:
    • virtual datacenter
    • enterprise in the datacenter
    • enterprise
  • the cloud provider limits OR
  • 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 any network available in the virtual datacenter and set it as the default network.

When you create virtual machines, 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.

Depending on the provider, virtual datacenters in public cloud regions can have access to:

  • private networks
  • external networks
  • floating public IPs

In a public cloud region, the default network is always a private network or an external network (Microsoft Azure).

When you create a virtual datacenter, you can choose the default network configuration or a custom configuration. Abiquo will create this network and set it as the default.  After Abiquo creates this network, you cannot change it. However, you can create additional Abiquo networks in a virtual datacenter in a public cloud region.

If changes may have occurred in your public network outside of Abiquo, you can synchronize the network in Abiquo. Private networks are automatically deleted by Abiquo when the virtual datacenter is deleted. External networks are deleted from the Networks tab, but they are not deleted until the global network is not in use.

You can reserve public IPs for your virtual datacenter and users can assign them to virtual machines.

See Manage Public Cloud Networks

Manage virtual datacenter networks

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
    • Synchronize private VLANs in public cloud
  • 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 or custom external network in Azure(tick)(tick)
4System defaultAt VDC creationThe 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. A private network is always
automatically created for each virtual datacenter, even if the
default network is a public or external network.
Custom private network(tick)(tick) All except Azure
(error) Azure
Created at VDC creation or afterwards 
External network(tick)(error) All except Azure
(tick) Azure 
In Azure, in Abiquo 3.6.1 and above, custom external networks are used instead of custom private networks
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. You can create as many private VLANs as your allocation limits and physical infrastructure allow. To add a private VLAN 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.

For public cloud regions, see also Manage Public Cloud Networks

Private IPv4 networks in datacenters




Name of the VLAN. The name can contain up to 128 characters

IPv6Select checkbox for IPv6 network
NetmaskNetwork mask with an integer value of between 16 and 30

Network Address

Private address range of the network


Gateway of the VLAN. Must be an IP within the range of the network address and mask

Primary DNS

The primary DNS

Secondary DNS

The secondary DNS

DNS suffix

The DNS suffix

Static Routes

Click the Manage button to create static routes. See Configure Static Routes using DHCP for Private Networks

Default network

Make this network the default network, overriding the enterprise-datacenter default, and replacing the auto-created private VLAN called "default_private_network". See #Default Virtual Datacenter Networks

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.





Destination network mask

Network ID

Destination network or host

Gateway IP

Next hop (on your network)

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

Strict network


Non-strict network



Name of the VLAN. The name can contain up to 128 characters

IPv6Select checkbox for IPv6 network
StrictIPv6 only. If you select Strict, Abiquo will automatically generate the network address (ULA) and also the IP addresses. If you do not select strict, you can enter the network address and IP addresses.
NetmaskNetwork mask of 48, 56 or 64.

Network Address

Private address range of the network. Only for non-strict networks

Primary DNS

The primary DNS

Secondary DNS

The secondary DNS

DNS suffix

The DNS suffix

Default network

Make this network the default network. In a datacenter, this will override any enterprise or enterprise-datacenter default. In a datacenter or public cloud region it will override the auto-created private VLAN called "default_private_network". See #Default Virtual Datacenter Networks

Add IPs to private networks in datacenters

Abiquo does not create IP addresses when you create a private datacenter network. To create new IP addresses in your private network, click the Add button in the top right-hand corner of the Private IPs page. You can also create IPs automatically, directly in the Edit virtual machine popup.

Add IP Addresses

When you request the creation of a range of IP addresses, enter a starting address that does not already exist in the network.

The platform will try to create the number of IPs you requested, starting with the next available IP addresses. See #Examples of Adding IP Addresses

  • It is the administrator's responsibility to create IPs in network ranges with sufficient free space
  • If the platform cannot create IP addresses in the range, it will display an error message and create an error event with details of the addresses that could not be created


Add IPv4 Addresses

Request a a sequence of IP addresses in IPv4 networks. Enter the number of IPs to create and the starting IP address.

If the starting address has already been created, the creation will fail with an error.


Add IPv6 Addresses on Strict Networks


Add IPv6 Addresses on Non-Strict Networks

Abiquo recommends that you create an automatic IP address. Select the Automatic IP creation checkbox, enter the number of IPs to create, and click Accept.   

Or for non-strict networks, you can unselect the Automatic IP creation checkbox and enter an IP address manually.


Examples of Adding IP Addresses

For example, if you have the existing IPs as shown in this table:

IP Addresses

If you then try to add 2 IPs from IP address:, the platform will create the IPs as follows with the new IP addresses shown in green.

IP Addresses

It will be the administrator's responsibility to go back and create the earlier addresses in the free ranges, from to, for example.

If an IP already exists in the range you are trying to create, Abiquo will try to create the next possible IP.

IP Addresses

If you request 3 new IPs from, the new IPs created should be as follows:

IP Addresses



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

To delete a private VLAN, click the remove button  above the Networks list. However, you cannot 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 tab .  If 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.





Destination network mask

Network ID

Destination network or host

Gateway IP

Next hop (on your network)

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. See Manage Public Cloud Networks

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 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.