I've been using bridge networking and tap networking for containers and virtual machines on my system. Configuration for bridge network which I use to connect containers was configured using /etc/network/interfaces file as shown below.
auto natbr0 iface natbr0 inet static address 172.16.10.1 netmask 255.255.255.0 pre-up brctl addbr natbr0 post-down brctl delbr natbr0 post-down sysctl net.ipv4.ip_forward=0 post-down sysctl net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding=0 post-up sysctl net.ipv4.ip_forward=1 post-up sysctl net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding=1 post-up iptables -A POSTROUTING -t mangle -p udp --dport bootpc -s 172.16.0.0/16 -j CHECKSUM --checksum-fill pre-down iptables -D POSTROUTING -t mangle -p udp --dport bootpc -s 172.16.0.0/16 -j CHECKSUM --checksum-fill
Basically I setup masquerading and IP forwarding when network comes up using this, so all my containers and virtual machines can access internet.
This can be simply done using systemd-networkd with couple of lines, yes couple of lines. For this to work first you need to enable systemd-networkd.
systemctl enable systemd-networkd.service
Now I need to write 2 configuration file for the above bridge interface under /etc/systemd/network. One file is natbr0.netdev which configures the bridge and the natbr0.network which configures IP address and other stuff for the bridge interface.
#natbr0.netdev [NetDev] Description=Bridge interface for containers/vms Name=natbr0 Kind=bridge
#natbr0.network [Match] Name=natbr0 [Network] Description=IP configuration for natbr0 Address=172.16.10.1/16 IPForward=yes IPMasquerade=yes
The IPForward in above configuration is actually redundant, when I set IPMasquerade it automatically enables IPForward. So these configuration is equivalent of what I did in my interfaces file. It also avoids me doing additional iptables usage to add masquerading rules. This pretty much simplifies handling of virtual network devices.
There are many other things which can you do with systemd-networkd, like running a DHCPServer on the interface and many other things. I suggest you to read manual pages on systemd.network(5) and systemd.netdev(5).
systemd-networkd allows you configure all type of virtual networking devices and actual network interfaces. I've not myself used it to handle actual network interfaces yet.