GCP Reference Architecture

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This topic describes two reference architectures for installing Pivotal Platform on Google Cloud Platform (GCP): on a shared virtual private cloud (VPC) and on a single-project VPC. This topic also outlines multiple networking variants for VPC deployment. The architectures are validated for production-grade Pivotal Platform deployments using multiple Availability Zones (AZs).

For general requirements for running Pivotal Platform and specific requirements for running Pivotal Platform on GCP, see Pivotal Platform on GCP Requirements

Pivotal Platform Reference Architectures

A Pivotal Platform reference architecture describes a proven approach for deploying Pivotal Platform on a specific IaaS, such as GCP.

A Pivotal Platform reference architecture must meet these requirements:

  • Be secure
  • Be publicly accessible
  • Include common Pivotal Platform-managed services such as MySQL, RabbitMQ, and Spring Cloud Services
  • Be able to host at least 100 app instances

Pivotal provides reference architectures to help you determine the best configuration for your Pivotal Platform deployment.

Shared vs Single-Project VPCs

A shared VPC installation is harder to configure than a Pivotal Platform deployment on a single-project VPC, because the required account privileges and resource allocations are more granular and complex. But the shared VPC architecture allows network assets to be centrally located, which simplifies auditing and security. VMware recommends the shared VPC model for:

  • Deployments with deep auditing and security requirements
  • When networks hosting the foundation need to connect back to an internal network through a VPN or interconnect

A single-project VPC lets the platform architect give Pivotal Platform full access to the VPC and its resources, which makes configuration easier. VMware recommends single-project VPC architecture for:

  • Standalone deployments that do not connect to an internal network
  • Test and experimental deployments, and for projects which do not belong to an organization

Shared VPC GCP Reference Architecture

The diagram below illustrates a reference architecture for a deployment of Pivotal Platform on a shared VPC on GCP. This architecture requires an organization on the VPC that contains a host project and a service project.

Complex diagram showing many high-level system and routing components.

NAT Network Topology

To expose a minimal number of public IP addresses, set up your NAT as shown in the diagram below:

Complex diagram. For more information, see other sections.

Cloud Interconnect

To speed communication between data centers, use Google Cloud Interconnect, as shown in the diagram below:

Diagram described below.

The diagram shows two customer networks in GCP. One shows the traditional setup of linking to the VPN Gateway through the Customer Gateway. The other setup shows Customer Gateway connecting to Cloud Interconnect instead of VPN Gateway. The gateway then connects to the Cloud Router, which goes to each of the three subnetworks.

Host and Service Architecture

GCP allocates resources using a hierarchy that centers around projects. To create a VPC, architects define a host project that allocates network resources for the VPC, such as address space and firewall rules. Then they can define one or more service projects to run within the VPC, which share the network resources allocated by the host project and include their own non-network resources, such as VMs and storage buckets.

To install Pivotal Platform in a shared VPC on GCP, you create a host project for the VPC and a service project dedicated to running Pivotal Platform.

Host Project Resources

The host project centrally manages these shared VPC network resources for Pivotal Platform:

  • Infra subnet (Pivotal Operations Manager and BOSH Director)
  • Pivotal Application Service (PAS) subnet
  • Services subnet
  • Isolation Segments
  • Firewall rules
  • NAT instances and gateway
  • VPN or Google Cloud Interconnect
  • Routes, such as egress internet through NAT or egress on-premises through a VPN

Service Project Resources

The Pivotal Platform service project manages these resources:

  • Google Cloud Compute instances (VMs)

    • BOSH
    • Ops Manager
    • VMs deployed by BOSH, such as Pivotal Platform and service components
  • Google Cloud Storage buckets for blobstore

    • BOSH Director
    • Resources
    • Buildpacks
    • Droplets
    • Packages
  • Service account and a service account key for Pivotal Platform to access the storage buckets

  • A service account for Pivotal Platform

  • Load balancers

  • Google Cloud SQL instances, if using external databases

Single-Project VPC Base GCP Reference Architecture

The diagram below illustrates a reference architecture for a deployment of Pivotal Platform on a single-project VPC on GCP.

Diagram of GCP Reference Architecture. Components listed in the following section.

Base Reference Architecture Components

The table below lists the components that are part of a reference architecture deployment with three AZs.

Component Reference Architecture Notes
Domains and DNS Domain zones and routes in use by the reference architecture include: domains for *.apps and *.system (required), a route for Ops Manager (required), a route for Doppler (required), a route for Loggregator (required), a route for SSH access to app containers (optional), and a route for TCP routing to apps (optional). Reference architecture uses GCP Cloud DNS as the DNS provider.
Ops Manager Deployed on the infrastructure subnet and accessible by fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) or through an optional jumpbox.
BOSH Director Deployed on the infrastructure subnet.
Gorouters Accessed through the HTTP and TCP WebSockets load balancers. Deployed on the PAS subnet, one job per AZ.
Diego Brains Required. However, the SSH container access functionality is optional and enabled through the SSH Proxy load balancer. Deployed on the PAS subnet, one job per AZ.
TCP routers Optional feature for TCP routing. Deployed on the PAS subnet, one job per AZ.
Database Reference architecture uses GCP Cloud SQL rather than internal databases. Configure your database with a strong password and limit access only to components that require database access.
Blob Storage and Buckets For buildpacks, droplets, packages, and resources. Reference architecture uses Google Cloud Storage rather than internal file storage.
Services Deployed on the Pivotal Platform-managed services subnet. Each service is deployed to each AZ.

Alternative GCP Network Layouts for Pivotal Platform

This section describes the possible network layouts for Pivotal Platform deployments as covered by the reference architecture of Pivotal Platform on GCP.

At a high level, there are currently two possible ways of granting public Internet access to Pivotal Platform as described by the reference architecture:

| Services | Deployed on the managed services subnet. Each service is deployed to each AZ. |

Alternative GCP Network Layouts

This section describes the possible network layouts for PAS deployments as covered by the reference architecture of Pivotal Platform on GCP.

At a high level, there are currently two possible ways of granting public Internet access to PAS as described by the reference architecture:

  • NAT provides connectivity from PAS internals to the public Internet.

  • Every VM receives its own public IP address (no NAT).

Public IP Addresses Solution

If you prefer not to use a NAT solution, you can configure Pivotal Platform on GCP to assign public IP addresses for all components. This type of deployment may be more performant since most of the network traffic between Pivotal Platform components are routed through the front end load balancer and the Gorouter.

Network Objects

The table below lists the network objects expected for each type of reference architecture deployment with three AZs (assumes you are using NAT).

Network Object Notes Minimum Number: NAT-Based Minimum Number: Public IP Addresses
External IPs For a NAT solution, use global IP address for apps and system access, and Ops Manager or an optional jumpbox. 2 30+
NAT One NAT per AZ. 3 0
Network One per deployment. GCP Network objects allow multiple subnets with multiple CIDRs, so a typical deployment of Pivotal Platform likely only ever requires one GCP Network object. 1 1
Subnets Separate subnets for infrastructure (Ops Manager, BOSH Director, Jumpbox), PAS, and services. Using separate subnets allows you to configure different firewall rules due to your needs. 3 3
Routes Routes are typically created by GCP dynamically when subnets are created, but you may need to create additional routes to force outbound communication to dedicated SNAT nodes. These objects are required to deploy Pivotal Platform without public IP addresses. 3+ 3
Firewall Rules GCP firewall rules are bound to a Network object and can be created to use IP ranges, subnets, or instance tags to match for source and destination fields in a rule. The preferred method used in the reference architecture deployment is instance tags. 6+ 6+
Load balancers Used to handle requests to Gorouters and infrastructure components. GCP uses two or more load balancers. The HTTP load balancer and TCP WebSockets load balancer are both required. The TCP router load balancer used for TCP routing and the SSH load balancer that allows SSH access to Diego apps are both optional. The HTTP load balancer provides SSL termination. 2+ 2+
Jumpbox Optional. Provides a way of accessing different network components. For example, you can configure it with your own permissions and then set it up to access to Pivotal Network to download tiles. Using a jumpbox is particularly useful in IaaSes where Ops Manager does not have a public IP address. In these cases, you can SSH into Ops Manager or any other component through the jumpbox. (1) (1)

Network Communication in GCP Deployments

These sections provide more background on the reasons behind certain network configuration decisions, specifically for the Gorouter.

Load Balancer to Gorouter Communications and TLS Termination

In a Pivotal Platform on GCP deployment, the Gorouter receives two types of traffic:

  • Unencrypted HTTP traffic on port 80 that is decrypted by the HTTP(S) load balancer.

  • Encrypted secure web socket traffic on port 443 that is passed through the TCP WebSockets load balancer.

TLS is terminated for HTTPS on the HTTP load balancer and is terminated for WebSockets (WSS) traffic on the Gorouter.

Pivotal Platform deployments on GCP use two load balancers to handle Gorouter traffic because HTTP load balancers currently do not support WebSockets.


GCP routers do not respond to ICMP. VMware recommends disabling ICMP checks in your BOSH Director network configuration. For more information, see Step 5: Create Networks Page in Configuring BOSH Director on GCP.