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What Is Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)?

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Definition

The widespread use of the cloud has resulted in multi-clouds, hybrid clouds, and other cloud-based strategies. One of these strategies was the emergence of the virtual private cloud (VPC), which is a private cloud contained within a public cloud. It allows customers to do everything they would do in a private cloud, like host websites, run code, and store data. The difference is that the cloud is hosted by a remote public cloud provider. 

Using a VPC enables organizations to control and define their virtual network, which is isolated from the other tenants of the public cloud. This provides them with a private and secure location—their own piece of the cloud.

Features of a VPC

One of the key benefits of using a VPC is that it gives organizations the functionality of their own private cloud, with all of the features that come with a public cloud. This allows organizations to reap the benefits of a public cloud.

Availability

A VPC provides fault-tolerant availability zone architectures and redundancy. This decreases downtime and keeps an organization’s workloads and applications highly available.

Agility

A VPC enables organizations to fully control their virtual network size and allows them to deploy cloud resources as needed. Businesses can also scale their resources in real time.

安全性

A VPC may be within a public cloud, but it is a logically isolated network, which means that a business’s applications and data will not be combined with that of other clients. This provides businesses with complete control over who accesses workloads and resources.

Affordability

Since VPC clients can take full advantage of a public cloud’s cost-effectiveness, users will save money on labor, hardware, and other cloud resources. Additionally, the cloud provider is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the software and the physical servers.

What Are the Advantages of Using a VPC?

VPCs allow businesses to take advantage of various cloud-computing benefits but without the concerns around privacy, security, and less control over data. Data that passes through the VPC remains within the client’s control and does not cross the internet. There is also greater flexibility in designing cloud architecture that meets the needs of each organization. 

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Reduced Risk Across the Data Life Cycle

A VPC provides greater security at the subnet and instance level. This ability increases the trust of clients and assures them that their data is safe. 

Satisfied Customers

A business’s customers expect uptime all the time. Anything less can threaten business relationships, cause businesses to lose customers, and gain a bad reputation that could cost them future customers. VPCs mitigate these risks by providing a reliable online experience due to the high availability of environments. This keeps an organization's customers happy and ensures that the business can continue to build customer trust.

Flexible Business Growth

Businesses are not static, and they need a solution that will grow with them to meet their future business needs. A VPC is easily adaptable to meet changing business needs and is scalable to meet the future needs of a business. Cloud infrastructure resources are deployed dynamically, so they are flexible enough to meet the requirements of a growing business and expand as necessary. 

More Focus on Business Innovation

VPCs mean fewer demands on an organization’s IT team. This frees up IT resources to focus on other activities that are critical to meeting business goals and in allowing organizations to remain innovative and ahead of the competition.

VPC Architecture

VPC provides a secure and flexible architecture that will help mitigate risks due to misconfiguration and enable customers to expand cloud deployments. Capabilities of VPC architecture include:

Compute

VPCs enable businesses to launch replacement compute capacity to ensure business continuity after a disaster. Compute capacity can also be added to the network by connecting the corporate network to the VPC.

儲存

Customers are given a block storage limit for each account, along with the ability to purchase more as needed. Amazon VPC provides block-level storage volumes. Each volume is replicated within the Availability Zone to protect users from component failure. Storage recommendations will be based on the organization’s workload. 

Networking

The VPC provides complete control over a business's virtual networking environment. This includes creating VPC subnets and IP address range selection. 

Layers of VPC Security

VPCs provide users with a high level of security. This is done through virtualized replicas of security features that are used to control access to resources in traditional data centers. The VPC's security features allow clients to define their virtual networks within logically isolated parts of a public cloud. 

VPC security consists of two types of network access controls:

Access Control Lists (ACLs)

Network access control lists (ACLs) are rules that limit who is able to access a certain subnet within the business VPC. They provide an extra layer of VPC security by acting as a firewall for controlling the traffic that flows in and out of subnets.

Security Group

Groups of resources can be created with security groups, and they can be assigned uniform access rules.

VPC vs. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A virtual private network (VPN) enables users to conduct online activities privately and securely. A VPN makes a private network accessible through a public infrastructure, like the internet. It enables users to share data across public or shared networks and works as though it is linked directly to a private network. It connects to a virtual network to enable efficient data flow without the costs of a physical network. 

VPN software can be hosted on a VPC—for example, in Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2.

VPC vs. Private Cloud

VPCs differ from private clouds because a private cloud is completely dedicated to a single business. The private cloud provider is responsible for everything, including the cloud infrastructure, the software installation, and a dedicated IT team. 

A private cloud is a single-tenant solution. This means it is only offered to a single organization. A private cloud provides organizations with privacy by housing their data in a dedicated space, completely separated from other businesses. Users can make changes to their dedicated cloud without affecting other companies. 

Some of the benefits of using a VPC rather than a private cloud include:

Better Performance

Applications and websites that are hosted in the cloud typically perform better than those that are hosted on-premises.

Greater Security

Cloud providers that offer VPCs have the resources necessary to maintain and update their infrastructure. This is particularly beneficial for small businesses. 

Scalability

A public cloud provider hosts the VPC, which means clients can add computing resources as needed. The VPC will grow to meet your business's needs as your business grows.

How Fortinet Can Help?

Virtualization and software-defined network (SDN) security are rapidly transforming data centers into agile, innovative, software-defined, and cost-effective private clouds. Yet, security is often an afterthought when it comes to private cloud deployments. Traditional security cannot keep up with these new environments, creating security gaps or manual security processes that negate the benefits of virtualization and SDN firewalls. Private cloud requires a software-defined approach to security due to the lack of visibility posed by east-west traffic and virtualized services.  Private cloud and software-defined data center (SDDC) assets need advanced protection from evolving threats, both known and unknown. 

Fortinet’s Private Cloud Security strategy is defined by three key pillars - Native integration of security capabilities to each private cloud platform by abstracting the cloud specific intricacies; Broad protection of applications across all private cloud platforms by offering the broad set of security products and Single pane of glass management via unified management of policy, events and analytics across physical, virtual and cloud infrastructure to eliminate security and compliance gaps

The FortiGate-VM Series is a virtual appliance version of our market-leading, high-performance FortiGate next-generation firewall (NGFW) that delivers advanced protection for north-south and east-west traffic in virtualized data centers and private cloud.  

As an innovator and leader in data center security, Fortinet offers the largest range of virtual appliances that provide in-depth visibility and control of virtual network traffic with scalability, performance, and value. Virtual appliances also deliver elasticity, automation, and orchestration for comprehensive private cloud security, SDN security, and VM security.  

FAQs

How does virtual public cloud work?

It is a private cloud contained within a public cloud. It allows customers to do everything they would do in a private cloud, like host websites, run code, and store data. The difference is that the cloud is hosted by a remote public cloud provider.

What are the features of a virtual private cloud?

One of the key benefits of using a VPC is that it gives organizations the functionality of their own private cloud, with all of the features that come with a public cloud. This allows organizations to reap the benefits of a public cloud.

What is the benefit of a VPC architecture?

VPC provides a secure and flexible architecture that will help mitigate risks due to misconfiguration and enable customers to expand cloud deployments. Capabilities of VPC architecture include: Compute capacity, Storage volumes, and Networking environment.