DC/OS enables virtual networking through the use of virtual networks. DC/OS virtual networks enable you to provide each container in the system with a unique IP address (“IP-per-container”) with isolation guarantees amongst subnets. DC/OS virtual networks offer the following advantages:

  • Both Mesos and Docker containers can communicate from within a single node and between nodes on a cluster.
  • Services can be created such that their traffic is isolated from other traffic coming from any other virtual network or host in the cluster.
  • They remove the need to worry about potentially overlapping ports in applications, or the need to use nonstandard ports for services to avoid overlapping.
  • You can generate any number of instances of a class of tasks and have them all listen on the same port so that clients don’t have to do port discovery.
  • You can run applications that require intra-cluster connectivity, like Cassandra, HDFS, and Riak.
  • You can create multiple virtual networks to isolate different portions of your organization, for instance, development, marketing, and production.

Note: Isolation guarantees among subnets depend on your CNI implementation and/or your firewall policies.

Using Virtual Networks

First, you or the data center operator needs to configure the virtual networks.

Virtual networks are configured at install time. You or the data center operator will specify a canonical name for each network in the config.yaml. When your service needs to launch a container, refer to it by that canonical name.

To use a virtual network in a Marathon app definition, specify the "network": "USER" property along with an ipAddress field in the form: {"ipAddress": {"network": "$MYNETWORK"}}. The value of $MYNETWORK is the canonical name of the network.


The following Marathon application definition specifies a network named dcos-1, which refers to the target DC/OS virtual network of the same name.

   "cmd":"env; ip -o addr; sleep 30",

Learn more about ports and networking in Marathon.