Launch a gateway

Click Gateway at navigation panel. Click New to launch a gateway. To launch a gateway with OpenVPN® capability, refer to this link.

Select Gateway Size

When selecting the Gateway Size, note the following guidelines of IPsec performance based on iperf tests conducted between two gateways of the same size:

AWS Instance Size Expected Throughput
T2 series Not guaranteed; it can burst up to 130Mbps
M3 series 300 - 500Mbps
m4.xlarge, c4.xlarge approximately 500Mbps
c3.2xlarge, m4.2xlarge approximately 1Gbps
c3.4xlarge approximately 1.2Gbps
c4.2xlarge 1.2Gbps - 1.5Gbps
c5.2xlarge, c5.4xlarge 2Gbps - 2.5Gbps


If you need IPSec performance beyond 1.2Gbps - 1.5Gbps, refer to Cluster Peering.

Specify a Reachable DNS Server IP Address

Aviatrix gateway is launched with a default public DNS server IP address to make sure the gateway has access to AWS public resources such as SQS for Controller and gateway communication. If you want to change to a different DNS server, select the box for “Specify a Reachable DNS Server IP Address” to enter an alternative DNS IP address.

Enable NAT

Aviatrix gateway performs Source NAT (SNAT) function when this option is selected. All VPC routing tables for private subnets are automatically programmed with points to the gateway.

The function can be enabled at gateway launch time, it can also be enabled after the gateway is launched.

For example, you may already have a NAT gateway configured for the VPC, to minimize downtime, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch a gateway without SNAT option selected.
  2. Go to AWS Console to remove the existing route entry from the route table.
  3. Go to the Gateway page, highlight the desired gateway, click Edit, Scroll down to SNAT and click Enable.

Allocate NEW EIP

When this option is selected, Aviatrix gateway allocates a new EIP for the gateway from AWS. When this option is unchecked, the gateway select one allocated but unassociated EIP from the AWS account from which the gateway is launched.

VPN Access

When this option is selected, Aviatrix gateway is used for SSL VPN termination. It supports OpenVPN® client and Aviatrix SAML client. For more details, check out this link.

Enable SAML

When SAML is enabled, a VPN client/user authenticates to an identify provider (IDP) directly, instead of gateway doing it on behalf of the user.

In this case, you must use Aviatrix VPN Clients.

Check out the details on how to configure and use Aviatrix VPN Clients for SAML.


When a VPN user connects to the VPN gateway, the user will be assigned a virtual IP address from a pool of IP addresses. This pool of IP address is defined as VPN CIDR Block. The default IP address pool is

The only reason you would want to change this address pool is if overlaps with your desktop or laptop network address range. For example, if you are on a LAN with a network CIDR, your desktop IP address will never conflict with your VPN virtual IP address. On the other hand, if your desktop is on a LAN with a network CIDR, your VPN virtual IP address might conflict with your LAN address. In this case, change the VPN CIDR Block to a different address range, for example,

MFA Authentication

You can select either Duo or Okta for the VPN gateway to authenticate to these two services on behalf of a VPN user.

In this case, you can use OpenVPN® clients such as Tunnelblick for iOS and OpenVPN for windows.

For how to configure Duo, check out How to configure Duo.

For how to configure Okta, check out How to configure Okta.

Max Connections

Maximum number of active VPN users allowed to be connected to this gateway. The default is 100.

When you change this address, make sure the number is smaller than the VPN CIDR Block. OpenVPN® VPN CIDR Block allocates 2 IP addresses for each connected VPN user. So when the VPN CIDR Block is a /24 network, it supports about 120 users.

Split Tunnel Mode

Split Tunnel Mode is enabled by default. When Split Tunnel mode is enabled, only traffic that is destined to the VPC/VNet CIDR where the VPN gateway is deployed is going into the VPN tunnel when a user is connected to the VPN gateway.

When Split Tunnel Mode is disabled (Full Tunnel Mode), all laptop traffic, including Internet traffic (such as a visit to, is going through the VPN tunnel when a user is connected to the VPN gateway.

Disabling Split Tunnel Mode should be a deliberate decision as you will be charged all Internet traffic as they are considered egress traffic by the cloud provider (AWS/Azure/GCP).

Additional CIDRs

This is an optional parameter. Leave it blank if you do not need it.

When Split Tunnel Mode is enabled, the Additional CIDRs specifies a list of destination CIDR ranges that will also go through the VPN tunnel. This is a useful field when you have multiple VPCs that the VPN user needs to access.


This is an optional parameter. Leave it blank if you do not need it.

When Split Tunnel Mode is enabled, you can instruct the VPN gateway to push down a list of DNS servers to your desktop, so that a VPN user is connected, it will use these DNS servers to resolve domain names.

Search Domains

This is an optional parameter. Leave it blank if you do not need it.

When Split Tunnel Mode is enabled, Search Domains let you specify a list of domain names that will use the Nameserver when a specific name is not in the destination.

Enable ELB

Enable ELB is turned on by default.

When ELB is enabled, the domain name of the cloud provider’s load balancer such as AWS ELB will be the connection IP address when a VPN user connects to the VPN gateway. This connection IP address is part of the .ovpn cert file the Controller send to the VPN client. Even when you delete all VPN gateways, you can re-launch them without having to reissue new .ovpn cert file. This helps reduce friction to VPN users.

When ELB is enabled, you can launch multiple VPN gateways behind ELB, thus achieving a scale out VPN solution. Note since AWS ELB only supports TCP for load balancing, VPN gateways with ELB enabled run on TCP.

ELB Name

This is an optional parameter. Leave it blank if you do no need it.

The ELB Name is used for GCP only.

Enable Client Certificate Sharing

This is disabled by default.

By enabling the client certificate sharing, all VPN users share one .ovpn file. You must have MFA (such as DUO + LDAP) configured to make VPN access secure.

Enable Policy Based Routing (PBR)

PBR enables you to route VPN traffic to a different subnet with its default gateway.

By default, all VPN traffic is NATed and send to VPN gateway’s eth0 interface. If you want to force the VPN traffic to go out on a different subnet other than VPN gateway eth0 subnet, you can specify a PBR Subnet in the VPC and the PBR Default gateway.

One use case for this feature is Anonymous Internet Surfing.

Enable LDAP

When LDAP authentication is enabled, the VPN gateway will act as a LDAP client on behalf of the VPN user to authenticate the VPN user to the LDAP server.

Add/Edit Tags

Aviatrix gateway is launched with a default tag name avx-gateway@private-ip-address-of-the-gateway. This option allows you to add additional AWS tags at gateway launch time that you can use for automation scripts.

Designated Gateway

If a gateway is launched with the Designated Gateway feature enabled, the Aviatrix Controller will insert an entry for each address space defined by RFC1918:

  •, and

The target of each of these entries will point to the Aviatrix Gateway instance.

Once enabled, Transit VPC, Site2Cloud and Encrypted Peering connections will no longer add additional route entries to the route table if the destination range is within one of these RFC1918 ranges. Instead, the Aviatrix Gateway will maintain the route table internally and will handle routing for these ranges.


The Designated Gateway feature is automatically enabled on spoke gateways created by the Transit Network workflow.

Starting with release 3.3, you can configure the CIDR range(s) inserted by the Aviatrix Controller when the Designated Gateway feature is enabled. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Login to your Aviatrix Controller

  2. Go to the Gateway page

  3. Select the designated gateway to modify from the list and click Edit


    You must enable the Designated Gateway feature at gateway creation time

  4. Scroll down to the section labeled Edit Designated Gateway

  5. Enter the list of CIDR range(s) (separate multiple values with a comma) in the Additional CIDRs field

  6. Click Save


Once complete, your route table(s) will be updated with the CIDR range(s) provided.

Security Policy

Starting Release 3.0, gateway security policy page has been moved Security -> Stateful Firewall. Check out this guide.

High Availability

There are 3 types of high availability on Aviatrix: “Gateway for High Availability”, “Gateway for High Availability Peering” and Single AZ HA.

Gateway for High Availability

This feature has been deprecated. It is listed here for backward compatibility reason.

When this option is selected, a backup gateway instance will be deployed in a different AZ if available. This backup gateway keeps its configuration in sync with the primary gateway, but the configuration does not take effect until the primary gateway fails over to backup gateway.

If you use Aviatrix gateway for Egress Control function and need gateway HA function, you should select this option.

If you consider to deploy Aviatrix Transit Network, high availability is built into the workflow, you do not need to come to this page.

Gateway for High Availability Peering

When this option is selected, a backup gateway instance will be deployed in a different AZ if available. This backup gateway keeps backup VPN tunnels up, ready for fail over.

If you have built Aviatrix Encrypted Peering and need HA function for tunnel down fail over, you can select this option.

If you consider to deploy Aviatrix Transit Network, high availability is built into the workflow, you do not need to come to this page.

Gateway Single AZ HA

When enabled, the Controller monitors the health of the gateway and restart the gateway if it becomes unreachable. No secondary gateway is launched in this case.

Gateway Resize

You can change Gateway Size if need to change gateway throughput. The gateway will restart with a different instance size.

Source NAT

You can enable and disable NAT function after a gateway is launched. NAT function enables instances on private subnet to access Internet. When NAT is enabled, all route tables for private subnets in the VPC are programmed with an route entry that points the gateway as the target for route entry

Destination NAT

Destination NAT (DNAT) allow you to change the destination to a virtual address range.

Monitor Gateway Subnet

This feature allows you to enforce that no unauthorized EC2 instances being launched on the gateway subnet. Since an Aviatrix gateway must be launched on a public subnet, if you have policies that no EC2 instances can be launched on public subnets, this feature addresses that concern.

When it is enabled, the Controller monitors periodically on the selected subnet where gateway is launched from. If it detects EC2 instances being launched, the Controller sends an alert email to admin and immediately stops the instance(s).

You can exclude certain instances by entering instance IDs separated by comma.

To configure, go to Gateway page, highlight a gateway, click Edit. Scroll down to Monitor Gateway Subnet. Click Enable and then optionally enter excluding instance ID(s). Click OK when finished.

Click Disable to remove all excluding instance ID(s).

Gateway status

Gateway status is dictated by the following factors.

  • State of the gateway as reported by the cloud provider.
  • Connectivity between Controller and gateway over HTTPS (TCP port 443).
  • Status of critical services running on the gateway.

An Aviatrix Gateway could be in any of the following states over its lifetime.

WAITING: This is the initial state of a gateway immediately after the launch. Gateway will transition to UP state when controller starts receiving keepalive messages from the newly launched gateway.

UP: Gateway is fully functional. All critical services running on the gateway are up and gateway and controller are able to exchange messages with each other.

DOWN: A gateway can be down under the following circumstances.

  • Gateway and controller could not communicate with each other over HTTPS(443).
  • Gateway instance (VM) is not in running state.
  • Critical services are down on the gateway.

KEEPALIVE-FAIL: Controller did not receive expected number of keepalive messages from the gateway during a health check.

UPGRADE-FAIL: Gateway could not be upgraded due to some failure encountered during upgrade process. To upgrade the gateway again, go to the section “FORCE UPGRADE” which can be found here.

Troubleshoot -> Diagnostics -> Gateway

CONFIG-FAIL: Gateway could not process a configuration command from the controller successfully. Please contact for assistance.

If a gateway is not in UP state, please perform the following steps.

  • Examine security policy of the Aviatrix Controller instance and make sure TCP port 443 is opened to traffic originating from gateway public IP address.
  • Examine security policy of the gateway and make sure that TCP port 443 is opened to traffic originating from controller public IP address. This rule is inserted by Aviatrix controller during gateway creation. Please restore it if was removed for some reason.
  • Make sure network ACLs or other firewall rules are not configured to block traffic between controller and gateway over TCP port 443.

Gateway keepalives

As mentioned in the previous section, gateway sends periodic keepalive messages to the Controller. The following templates can be used to control how frequently gateways send keepalives and how often controller processes these message, which in turn will determine how quickly controller can detect gateway state changes.

Template name Gateway sends keepalive Controller runs health checks
Fast every 3 seconds every 15 seconds
Medium every 12 seconds every 1 minute
Slow every 1 minute every 5 minute

Medium is the default configuration.

A gateway is considered to be in UP state if controller receives at least 2 (out of a possible 5) messages from that gateway between two consecutive health checks.

For example, with medium setting, gateway down detection time, on average, is 1 minute.

The keep alive template is a global configuration on the Controller for all gateways. To change the keep alive template, go to

Settings -> Advanced -> Keepalive.

In the drop down menu, select the desired template.

Edit Secondary IPs

This feature allows you to add secondary IP addresses to the gateway instance. The format to enter the field is, for example, (for single secondary IP address) (for a multiple consecutive secondary IP addresses), (for a multiple non consecutive secondary IP addresses)

The main use case for this feature is to enable you to configure source NAT function that maps to multiple IP addresses, instead of a single one. When used for this purpose, you need to go to AWS console to first allocate an EIP, then associate each secondary IP with an EIP to complete the function.

This feature is currently available for AWS.

Use VPC/VNet DNS Server

When enabled, this feature removes the default DNS server for the Aviatrix gateway and instructs the gateway to use the VPC DNS server configured in VPC DHCP option.

When disabled, the Aviatrix gateway will revert to use its built-in (default) DNS server.

Here is one example use case to enable this feature:

If you enable Logging on the Aviatrix Controller, all Aviatrix gateways forward their log information to the configured log server. But if the log server is deployed on-prem with a private DNS name, the Aviatrix gateway’s default DNS server cannot resolve the domain name of the private log server. By enabling the VPC DNS server, the gateway will start to use VPC DNS server which should resolve the private DNS name of the log server.


when enabling this feature, we check to make sure the gateway can indeed reach the VPC/VNet DNS server; if not, this command will return error.

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