Azure Private Link – Simplify & Secure the way you consume services on Azure

In September 2019, Azure announced a brand-new service – Azure Private Link, a very important tool for service providers providing a mix of Azure IaaS and PaaS services.

What does Azure Private Link do?

Azure Private Link enables you to access Azure PaaS Services (for example, Azure Storage and SQL Database) and Azure-hosted customer-owned/partner services over a Private Endpoint in your virtual network. Traffic between your virtual network and the service traverses over the Microsoft backbone network, eliminating exposure from the public Internet. It can be used via a local IP address (on Azure and from on-premises networks) or via a dedicated Azure ExpressRoute network.

Importance of Azure Private Link

Well, naturally, the first benefit is security!  It reduces the exposure of PaaS services to the Internet and provides a secure way to manage traffic between the client’s network and Azure. With Private Link Service, data stays within Microsoft’s system and the client’s private network.

For service providers and their clients, this is obviously critical as it provides secure access to customers in their virtual network while giving them the ability to use the resources in the service provider’s subscription.

Find out how a Private Link Service can be created behind a standard load balancer.

In the example below, Kubernetes Ingress Service is exposed as a Private Link Service. The ingress has a Standard Load Balancer with IP Address 172.17.1.100.

Details of Ingress Service (Internal Load Balancer) 

cloudiq@hubandspoke:~$ kubectl get service -A | grep  LoadBalancer
dev                ciq-demo-ingress-nginx-ingress-
controller        LoadBalancer   192.168.3.11    172.17.1.100     80:32314/TCP,443:30694/TCP   43h

Service can be accessed as below from within the VNET(ciq-demo-vnet)

http://172.17.1.100/web/api/imageresult
Added this method for testing this API in API-MGMT. The current time is : 02/20/2020 10:07:23

The private Link service is created with the following details.

  • Alias – It is a unique URI identifying the service and can be accessed from anywhere within Azure.
  • NAT IP – This determines the Source IP and Destination IP of incoming and outgoing packets to the Private Link service, respectively. This NAT IP can be within any subnet of the service provider VNET

Next, you create a private endpoint in the consumer vnet/subnet. In our example, we have created a network interface in the ciq-devops-general-rq-vnet/default vnet/subnet. The private ip within the vnet/subnet is 10.0.0.4. The Kubernetes ingress service can be accessed from the consumer vnet using the 10.0.0.4 private IP.

cloudiq@cloudiq-build-agent-vm:~$ curl http://10.0.0.4/web/api/imageresult
Added this method for testing this API in API-MGMT. The current time is : 02/20/2020 10:09:03

Private Link can be enabled for other Azure Resources, such as below.

For example, the private endpoint was enabled for a Storage account.

cloudiq@cloudiq-build-agent-vm:~$ curl http://k8sworkshopstg.blob.core.windows.net/test/hw.txt

Hello World!

cloudiq@cloudiq-build-agent-vm:~$ nslookup k8sworkshopstg.blob.core.windows.net
Server:         127.0.0.53
Address:        127.0.0.53#53

Non-authoritative answer:
k8sworkshopstg.blob.core.windows.net    canonical name = k8sworkshopstg.privatelink.blob.core.windows.net.
Name:   k8sworkshopstg.privatelink.blob.core.windows.net
Address: 10.0.0.5

cloudiq@cloudiq-build-agent-vm:~$ curl http://k8sworkshopstg.privatelink.blob.core.windows.net/test/hw.txt

Hello World!

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