A virtual private cloud or VPC is a separate and private cloud-based environment that’s generally built and hosted under another cloud (public cloud). Businesses all over the globe use virtual private cloud services to build, test, and launch applications, websites, create and maintain databases. A virtual private cloud can be used for seemingly endless reasons and businesses are making sure to get the most out of the environment.
Let’s dive deeper into VPC and how it can enhance business operations around the globe.
What is a Virtual Private Cloud?
To go into deeper detail, a virtual private cloud (VPC) is a public cloud setup that contains an isolated part for a specific business or user. As the VPC is hosted on a public cloud, it operates on the same infrastructure as the public cloud, the only difference is that only allowed users can access the private cloud. Not a lot of businesses know what a virtual private cloud is and they end up missing out on a piece of tech that can be their ladder of success.
Businesses and individuals use VPC to leverage the computing power offered by the public cloud but, as an isolated part of the cloud that only they can access. Virtual private clouds provide businesses with isolated resources that are found in private clouds combined with the computing elegance of a public cloud setup.
As the resources are divided into a private cloud, the level of security and customization capabilities are greater for businesses compared to a public cloud. Users with a VPC can also create a VPN (a virtual private network), virtual LAN (VLAN), routing rules, subnets, and private IP addresses. There’s so much more a person or business can achieve with a virtual private cloud, if they know what they’re doing. Businesses that need data compliance, can benefit a lot by using virtual private clouds. With a VPN, companies can enable hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
Common Features of a VPC
If you are wondering what a VPC can do for you and your business, then here are some of the most common benefits offered by a Virtual private cloud:
1. Custom Virtual Machine
In the cloud computing market, a virtual machine (VM) is a computer that’s been virtualized in the cloud server. VPC users can create several VM inside their space for their teams to work on multiple projects or tasks simultaneously. Each VM can be customized based on the level of power and performance required. The customization can go as far as allowing users to set specific CPU, GPU, and geographical zones. The VM created inside a VPC can also operate on different operating systems such as Windows and Linux.
2. Central Management
Most VPC offers an internal management API tool that allows users to oversee networks, balance loads, and manage traffic. Some VPC vendors also provide storage management tools to keep track of their data storage, manage databases, and for scaling. Having central management over their cloud networks is one of the key features of VPC.
3. Enhanced Security
Compared to a virtual public cloud, the level of security in private clouds is far superior. With encrypted data and VPN connections, the VPC firewall can stop any attempt at unauthorized access, including stolen credentials. The vendor also offers maintenance to existing VM to enhance the performance and scalability. All these features make VPC one of the best options.
One of the biggest features of VPC is the level of scalability. Upgrading to more power doesn’t require you to sacrifice functionality. Getting VPC upgraded also doesn’t mean that you have to go through downtime or huge infrastructure investments.
What Is The Difference Between VPC and VPS?
People with limited knowledge often end up using the terms VPC and VPS interchangeably. There is a clear difference between the two. To put it in simple words, a VPS (Virtual Private Server) is just a Virtual Machine with dedicated resources which a business can use as a server. A VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) on the other hand is a dedicated cloud environment that runs over multiple servers and provides vast computing power and flexibility to a business.
Businesses should opt for a VPS if they want better control over their servers, and need enhanced reliability or run websites that often run into trouble. Businesses that handle shifting workloads and constantly changing business requirements should go for a VPC. A VPC offers the power of the entire cloud infrastructure, whereas a VPS is just one server.
To simplify this, you can consider a VPS as just a single cabinet, and a VPC as a whole wardrobe. This is the simplest explanation if you want to know the difference between VPC and VPS.
What Is The Difference Between VPN and VPC?
A VPN stands for a “Virtual Private Network,” in the digital age, it’s a common term and almost everyone familiar with the world of the internet knows what a VPN is capable of.
A Virtual Private Network makes a network private, that’s the simplest explanation. A VPN can allow users to interchange data efficiently by leveraging shared or public networks. A user sitting in Thailand can access a website that operates only in the US by connecting to a virtual private network.
A VPC as we discussed above is a cloud-based environment that businesses can use to build, test and launch apps and websites. VPC offers extreme computing power that’s only needed by large enterprises that deal in software, or web development. Obviously, there are other use cases of VPC.
VPC users can make their own virtual private network inside their dedicated cloud infrastructure. A VPN hosted on a VPC can help in encrypting VoIP calls, logins, bank transactions and help in crossing geographical limitations.
How to Secure Your VPC?
There’s no limit to the advantages offered by a virtual private cloud. Some of the most common advantages are:
- Static private IP addresses
- Flexible network interfaces
- Secure bastion host setup
- Advanced network access control
- VPN connections and more
It makes sense that you’d want to keep your VPC secure from external attacks. Here are some of the best practices to secure your VPC.
1. Use multiple availability zone deployments so you can enjoy higher availability.
2. Utilize security groups and network ACLs.
3. Use Identity Access Management (IAM) policies to control access. This way, someone with stolen credentials can be stopped from accessing confidential data.
4. Use Amazon CloudWatch to keep track of your VPC and VPN connections.
5. Leverage flow logs to manage information about the IP traffic going to and from the network into your VPC.
6. Create a recovery plan
7. Focus on traffic control
VPC Peering: What is it and When to Use it?
A VPC peering connection is creating a networking connection between two VPCs. By doing this, you can route traffic between them leveraging private IP addresses. VPC peering allows businesses to launch cloud resources in a secure virtual network that has been designed by them. During VPC peering, both networks can communicate with each other without any problems. Data transfer between two VPCs becomes seamless by using VPC peering. Some of the common benefits of using VPC Peering are:
- VPC peering can greatly enhance security by allowing private connectivity between two or more VPC networks.
- VPC peering can help in saving network movement costs and businesses can also take advantage of better network latency.
- Provides better flexibility for services that don’t need internet connectivity. This feature is more desirable for backend services, where the users want isolation from the public internet traffic.
When Do You Transition to VPC?
If you need VPC just for the security it offers, then we’d suggest that you look for another option. A VPC isn’t an unbreakable wall, it’s just another layer of security. While there’s no doubt that VPCs are an incredible feat of technology, they aren’t always required while building apps on the cloud.
The reason for that is simple, cloud-native apps run on higher-end managed services such as API Gateway, Lambda, and DynamoDB. VPC will always be the answer to your problem if you require traditional and effective data centres. But, are VPCs the only answer for the latest cloud-based apps? Experts have varying opinions on the topic.
Organizations that want a private cloud environment but also need the power of the public cloud and are on a budget should be the only ones opting for a VPC. VPC offer their fair share of features, as you’d expect out of a public cloud, such as:
A virtual private cloud provides businesses with complete control over their network and the ability to scale as per their requirement.
Even though a VPC is part of a public cloud, they offer much better security, credited to the fact that they’re isolated networks and your data are isolated from other users on the cloud. So if you’re looking for a dedicated cloud-based environment, then VPC is the right choice for you.
Almost every choice in this world can be connected to some kind of monetary value. If you’re tight on budget and you still want an isolated cloud environment, then VPCs are the ideal choice. They’re cost-effective, you can save money on hardware, and other resources. The host of the cloud is the one responsible for maintenance and keeping things running smoothly.
As your cloud environment belongs to just you, you can access it anytime you want. This helps in significantly reducing downtimes and applications available at every moment.
Final Take: Virtual Private Cloud
As most sectors of the world are going digital, and as companies are starting to prefer remote working for their daily operations, VPCs are starting to gain traction. Not only the large organizations, but even the big ones are considering the switch to a virtual private cloud.