You may have heard of virtual private clouds (VPCs), but what are they? Put simply, a VPC is a secure and yet isolated private cloud hosted within a public cloud. If your hosting takes place in a VPC, you can store data, host your website and do everything you’d expect to do in an ordinary private cloud, but hosted remotely by a public cloud provider. In this way your data is kept isolated and secure whilst enjoying all the benefits and convenience of public cloud computing.
What‘s the difference between a public and private cloud?
A public cloud is a shared cloud space which multiple clients access without sharing any data – examples of these infrastructures include Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google Cloud Platform. The term you might hear used for these for multiple separate customers within the same cloud infrastructure is “multitenancy” – whereas a private cloud offers single tenancy exclusively to one organisation, and a VPC is a private cloud within a public cloud.
How is a VPC separated within a public cloud?
A VPC isolates computing resources from other computing resources in the public cloud, using these key technologies:
- Subnets A subnet is a range of IP addresses within a network that are separated and therefore not available to everyone within the network. This means part of the network is divided for private use.
- VLAN A LAN, or a local area network, is a group of computing devices connected to each other without the Internet, and a VLAN is a virtual LAN. Like a subnet, a VLAN is a way of partitioning a network.
- VPN A virtual private network (VPN) uses encryption to create a private network on top of a public network.
A VPC will have a dedicated subnet and VLAN that can only be accessed by the VPC customer – meaning no one else within the public cloud can access computing resources within the VPC.