A virtual private cloud (VPC) is a private cloud computing environment contained within a public cloud. Essentially, a VPC provisions logically isolated sections of a public cloud in order to provide a virtual private environment.
Like all cloud environments, VPC resources are available on-demand to scale up as needed and are highly configurable.
A private cloud consists of infrastructure dedicated completely to a single organization. Usually, an organization will buy the cloud infrastructure, install the software, and hire an IT management team. In this case, the organization owns everything from top to bottom.
On the other hand, a VPC runs on shared infrastructure just like a public cloud. However, a VPC offers a level of isolation between the cloud customers sharing resources. This layer of isolation is achieved through a private IP subnet or a virtual local area network (VLAN).
Organizations that benefit most from VPCs are companies that need a private cloud environment but also want public cloud resources and savings.
VPCs come with all the features you’d expect from a public cloud, including:
A VPC provides full control over the size of your network and the ability to deploy and scale resources at any time.
Although a VPC is part of a public cloud, VPCs are logically isolated networks so your data and applications are entirely separate from your provider’s other clients. Access is limited to your resources, unless you grant this.
Logical isolation makes a VPC environment inherently more secure. However, public cloud security isn’t automatic, even with VPC – it must be intentionally deployed.
Cloud security is always a shared responsibility between a cloud provider and its clients. Regardless of the cloud environment, users must take steps to secure data and applications in the cloud. For example, public cloud environments like Amazon AWS can be secured with third-party applications that automatically detect and manage threats.
VPCs are cost-effective. You’ll save money on hardware, labor, and other related cloud resources. The cloud provider will be responsible for all maintenance and upkeep for all physical servers and software.
A virtual private cloud offers redundancy and fault-tolerant availability zone architectures to decrease downtime and keep applications and workloads available every moment.
Virtual private clouds can be configured to tighten down security at the highest level. For instance, an organization can create virtualized replicas of access control features usually employed by traditional data centers. Like data center security, a VPC can control access to resources by IP address.
Although it’s not always possible, customers expect 100% uptime and have little patience for any downtime – not even ten minutes. VPC environments provide the redundancy and other features required to meet near-100% uptime expectations.
With nearly 100% uptime, your customers will experience a high level of reliability that will strengthen loyalty and trust in your brand.
A VPC will provide you with high security at the instance and subnet level.
Whether your business is growing or changing, VPCs are flexible enough to move with your business as needed. Cloud infrastructure resources are deployed dynamically, which makes it easy to adapt a VPC to your changing needs.
Because of the elastic nature of public clouds, you only pay for what you use. Wth a VPC, you won’t need to pay for hardware or software upgrades and you’ll never pay for maintenance.
When moving to the cloud, using a VPC is an affordable way to make sure your network infrastructure will grow with your business over time. It doesn’t make sense for most businesses to invest in private cloud infrastructure when a more affordable alternative – a VPC – is readily available.