in contribution IT ~ read.

Connecting from GCP to AWS services

While migrating from AWS to GCP, I didn't want to migrate all at once but rather go partially. But AWS microservices I used are behind VPN, making it non-trivial to connect to them from GCP. I am sure there is a solution when you would be able to address servers from GCP directly to AWS, but I didn't found a way how with my knowledge.

Nevertheless, I found quite simple solution. What I really needed was accessing only a few HTTP endpoints on few machines in AWS from GCP. Hence, I created this solution:

My solution has two limitations:

  1. You can only use some predefined endpoints you specify in the nginx.conf file on AWS side.
  2. all traffic has to hope through 2 additional instances, potentially reducing bandwidth.


GCP-service  <-gcp-internal-> GCP-proxy (GCP_STATIC_IP) <---internet---> AWS-proxy (AWS_STATIC_IP) <-aws-internal-> AWS-service  

then I added AWS-proxy instance to VPN security group the machines were in and enabled inbound traffic from GCP_STATIC_IP/32, which is GCP-proxy's static IP.

AWS-proxy machine has Elastic IP (hence, public static) and is in the following code marked as AWS_STATIC_IP.

You just need to route the incoming traffic from the GCP proxy to appropriate endpoints in the AWS world.

How it is used

Then all your endpoints which you accessed directly, e.g. http://something/my-task should be replaced by http://<GCP_PROXY_URI>/my-task in your application. That's it. The <GCP_PROXY_URI can be a domain name or a local IP address.

nginx server configurations

Below are relevant part of nginx.conf server definition.


On the GCP side, I needed to route all requests to the AWS proxy, so it's easy:

    server {
      listen 80;

      # domain name of the machine where this proxy is running on
      # as long as you don't change the instance name, it shouldn't change
      # so your machine can even change IP address
      # could be local IP name as well though
      # this is what you should reffer to in your GCP microservices
      server_name <DOMAIN_NAME>;

      location / {
          access_log off;
          proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
          proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
            proxy_pass http://<AWS_STATIC_PUBLIC_IP>;


This is the part which may get more complicated. You basically need a new location part for each functionality/server you want to route to.

    server {
      listen 80;

      # external IP address of the AWS targeted device
      # so very likely IP address of the instance you are running this on
      # this needs to match what is in GCP proxy_pass url
      server_name <GCP_STATIC_IP>;  

      # endpoints with proxy_pass to VPN-allowed machines even using their DNS records
      # some endpoint of microservice1
      location /endpoint1 {
          proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
          proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
          proxy_pass http://<internal-aws-domain-name>/endpoint1;

      # something else
      location /endpoints2 {
          proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
          proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
          proxy_pass http://<internal-aws-ip-address>/endpoints2;


So to complete the example, I:

  1. created a static IP in GCP
  2. created a new instance in GCP and assigned the IP from step 1. to it

did the same in AWS (it's called Elastic IP).

Then created a simple dockerfile:

FROM nginx:alpine  
COPY ./nginx.conf /etc/nginx/nginx.conf  

created appropriate nginx.conf with the settings from above:

user  nginx;  
worker_processes  1;

error_log  /var/log/nginx/error.log debug;  
pid        /var/run/;

events {  
    worker_connections  1024;

http {  
    server_names_hash_bucket_size 128;
    include       /etc/nginx/mime.types;
    default_type  application/octet-stream;

    log_format  main  '$remote_addr - $remote_user [$time_local] "$request" '
                      '$status $body_bytes_sent "$http_referer" '
                      '"$http_user_agent" "$http_x_forwarded_for"';

    access_log  /var/log/nginx/access.log  main;

    sendfile        on;
    #tcp_nopush     on;

    keepalive_timeout  65;

    #gzip  on;

    include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;

    server {
        # GCP or AWS serve conf here

and then logged in to the instances and run:

docker build -t aws-proxy .   # or gcp-proxy  
docker run -d -p 80:80 aws-proxy  # or gcp-proxy