I am trying to access my VM instances with NO external IP and by security purposes I don't want to open ports or allow SSH policies.

There are solutions in AWS like 'Session Manager', there is something like this in Google Cloud Platform?


Google provides Cloud Identity-Aware Proxy (IAP) that allows you to connect to your VM instance that doesn't have an external IP:

With TCP forwarding, IAP can protect SSH and RDP access to your VMs hosted on Google Cloud. Your VM instances don't even need public IP addresses.

Have a look at the article Cloud IAP enables context-aware access to VMs via SSH and RDP without bastion hosts first. More details you can find in the documentation Enabling IAP for Compute Engine and Using IAP for TCP forwarding.

I've tried to follow documentation on my test project, you can find my steps below:

  1. create VM instance without external IP:

    gcloud compute instances create instance-1 --zone=us-central1-a --machine-type=e2-medium --subnet=default --no-address --maintenance-policy=MIGRATE --image=ubuntu-1804-bionic-v20200610 --image-project=ubuntu-os-cloud
  2. go to Security -> Identity-Aware Proxy and enable Identity-Aware Proxy API.

  3. configure GCP Firewall to enable inbound traffic from Cloud IAP:

    gcloud compute firewall-rules create allow-ssh-ingress-from-iap --direction=INGRESS --action=allow --rules=tcp:22 --source-ranges=
  4. connect to VM instance via IAP tunnel:

    $ gcloud compute ssh instance-1 --tunnel-through-iap --zone=us-central1-a
    Warning: Permanently added 'compute.3924477895872840881' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
    Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS (GNU/Linux 5.3.0-1026-gcp x86_64)

In addition, have a look at the 3rd party video tutorial.

  • 1
    Thank you so much! I think this will be the solution I am gonna use, this fits the most with our security standards :) – diegonz Jun 23 '20 at 17:48
  • Thank you! I've updated my answer with a few details. – Serhii Rohoza Jun 23 '20 at 17:57

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