Deploy container instances into an Azure virtual network
Azure Virtual Network provides secure, private networking for your Azure and on-premises resources. By deploying container groups into an Azure virtual network, your containers can communicate securely with other resources in the virtual network.
This article shows how to use the az container create command in the Azure CLI to deploy container groups to either a new virtual network or an existing virtual network.
For networking scenarios and limitations, see Virtual network scenarios and resources for Azure Container Instances.
Container group deployment to a virtual network is generally available for Linux containers, in most regions where Azure Container Instances is available. For details, see Regions and resource availability.
Examples in this article are formatted for the Bash shell. If you prefer another shell such as PowerShell or Command Prompt, adjust the line continuation characters accordingly.
Deploy to new virtual network
To deploy to a new virtual network and have Azure create the network resources for you automatically, specify the following when you execute az container create:
- Virtual network name
- Virtual network address prefix in CIDR format
- Subnet name
- Subnet address prefix in CIDR format
The virtual network and subnet address prefixes specify the address spaces for the virtual network and subnet, respectively. These values are represented in Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) notation, for example
10.0.0.0/16. For more information about working with subnets, see Add, change, or delete a virtual network subnet.
Once you've deployed your first container group with this method, you can deploy to the same subnet by specifying the virtual network and subnet names, or the network profile that Azure automatically creates for you. Because Azure delegates the subnet to Azure Container Instances, you can deploy only container groups to the subnet.
The following az container create command specifies settings for a new virtual network and subnet. Provide the name of a resource group that was created in a region where container group deployments in a virtual network are available. This command deploys the public Microsoft aci-helloworld container that runs a small Node.js webserver serving a static web page. In the next section, you'll deploy a second container group to the same subnet, and test communication between the two container instances.
az container create \ --name appcontainer \ --resource-group myResourceGroup \ --image mcr.microsoft.com/azuredocs/aci-helloworld \ --vnet aci-vnet \ --vnet-address-prefix 10.0.0.0/16 \ --subnet aci-subnet \ --subnet-address-prefix 10.0.0.0/24
When you deploy to a new virtual network by using this method, the deployment can take a few minutes while the network resources are created. After the initial deployment, additional container group deployments to the same subnet complete more quickly.
Deploy to existing virtual network
To deploy a container group to an existing virtual network:
- Create a subnet within your existing virtual network, use an existing subnet in which a container group is already deployed, or use an existing subnet emptied of all other resources
- Deploy a container group with az container create and specify one of the following:
- Virtual network name and subnet name
- Virtual network resource ID and subnet resource ID, which allows using a virtual network from a different resource group
- Network profile name or ID, which you can obtain using az network profile list
The following example deploys a second container group to the same subnet created previously, and verifies communication between the two container instances.
First, get the IP address of the first container group you deployed, the appcontainer:
az container show --resource-group myResourceGroup \ --name appcontainer \ --query ipAddress.ip --output tsv
The output displays the IP address of the container group in the private subnet. For example:
CONTAINER_GROUP_IP to the IP you retrieved with the
az container show command, and execute the following
az container create command. This second container, commchecker, runs an Alpine Linux-based image and executes
wget against the first container group's private subnet IP address.
CONTAINER_GROUP_IP=<container-group-IP-address> az container create \ --resource-group myResourceGroup \ --name commchecker \ --image alpine:3.5 \ --command-line "wget $CONTAINER_GROUP_IP" \ --restart-policy never \ --vnet aci-vnet \ --subnet aci-subnet
After this second container deployment has completed, pull its logs so you can see the output of the
wget command it executed:
az container logs --resource-group myResourceGroup --name commchecker
If the second container communicated successfully with the first, output is similar to:
Connecting to 10.0.0.4 (10.0.0.4:80) index.html 100% |*******************************| 1663 0:00:00 ETA
The log output should show that
wget was able to connect and download the index file from the first container using its private IP address on the local subnet. Network traffic between the two container groups remained within the virtual network.
Example - YAML
You can also deploy a container group to an existing virtual network by using a YAML file, a Resource Manager template, or another programmatic method such as with the Python SDK.
For example, when using a YAML file, you can deploy to a virtual network with a subnet delegated to Azure Container Instances. Specify the following properties:
ipAddress: The private IP address settings for the container group.
ports: The ports to open, if any.
protocol: The protocol (TCP or UDP) for the opened port.
networkProfile: Network settings for the virtual network and subnet.
id: The full Resource Manager resource ID of the
To get the ID of the network profile, run the az network profile list command, specifying the name of the resource group that contains your virtual network and delegated subnet.
az network profile list --resource-group myResourceGroup \ --query .id --output tsv
Once you have the network profile ID, copy the following YAML into a new file named vnet-deploy-aci.yaml. Under
networkProfile, replace the
id value with ID you just retrieved, then save the file. This YAML creates a container group named appcontaineryaml in your virtual network.
apiVersion: '2019-12-01' location: westus name: appcontaineryaml properties: containers: - name: appcontaineryaml properties: image: mcr.microsoft.com/azuredocs/aci-helloworld ports: - port: 80 protocol: TCP resources: requests: cpu: 1.0 memoryInGB: 1.5 ipAddress: type: Private ports: - protocol: tcp port: '80' networkProfile: id: /subscriptions/<Subscription ID>/resourceGroups/myResourceGroup/providers/Microsoft.Network/networkProfiles/aci-network-profile-aci-vnet-subnet osType: Linux restartPolicy: Always tags: null type: Microsoft.ContainerInstance/containerGroups
Deploy the container group with the az container create command, specifying the YAML file name for the
az container create --resource-group myResourceGroup \ --file vnet-deploy-aci.yaml
Once the deployment completes, run the az container show command to display its status. Sample output:
Name ResourceGroup Status Image IP:ports Network CPU/Memory OsType Location ---------------- --------------- -------- ------------------------------------------ ----------- --------- --------------- -------- ---------- appcontaineryaml myResourceGroup Running mcr.microsoft.com/azuredocs/aci-helloworld 10.0.0.5:80 Private 1.0 core/1.5 gb Linux westus
Clean up resources
Delete container instances
When you're done working with the container instances you created, delete them with the following commands:
az container delete --resource-group myResourceGroup --name appcontainer -y az container delete --resource-group myResourceGroup --name commchecker -y az container delete --resource-group myResourceGroup --name appcontaineryaml -y
Delete network resources
This feature currently requires several additional commands to delete the network resources you created earlier. If you used the example commands in previous sections of this article to create your virtual network and subnet, then you can use the following script to delete those network resources. The script assumes that your resource group contains a single virtual network with a single network profile.
Before executing the script, set the
RES_GROUP variable to the name of the resource group containing the virtual network and subnet that should be deleted. Update the name of the virtual network if you did not use the
aci-vnet name suggested earlier. The script is formatted for the Bash shell. If you prefer another shell such as PowerShell or Command Prompt, you'll need to adjust variable assignment and accessors accordingly.
This script deletes resources! It deletes the virtual network and all subnets it contains. Be sure that you no longer need any of the resources in the virtual network, including any subnets it contains, prior to running this script. Once deleted, these resources are unrecoverable.
# Replace <my-resource-group> with the name of your resource group # Assumes one virtual network in resource group RES_GROUP=<my-resource-group> # Get network profile ID # Assumes one profile in virtual network NETWORK_PROFILE_ID=$(az network profile list --resource-group $RES_GROUP --query .id --output tsv) # Delete the network profile az network profile delete --id $NETWORK_PROFILE_ID -y # Delete virtual network az network vnet delete --resource-group $RES_GROUP --name aci-vnet
To deploy a new virtual network, subnet, network profile, and container group using a Resource Manager template, see Create an Azure container group with VNet.