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What are Virtual Private Clouds (VPC)?

April 15, 2010

rainbow and cloud

Virtual Private Clouds are an Amazon-defined name for securely getting your cloud box into your existing local data center. Note that VPC servers are different than normal “plain” cloud servers. At a 20,000 ft technical level, you are setting up a secure VPN connection from a cloud box, into your local network. Basically, your cloud box, your network, your workers, etc will now think that this new cloud-based server is just any other server in your internal enterprise infrastructure. This means that all traffic to the cloud resource will flow through your enterprise network first. You can apply existing enterprise firewalls, security schemes, intrusion detection, access privelages, etc. The Cloud box will now also get access to internal computing resources (inside your corporate LAN) that you choose, as if it existed there in your server room. Say you want it to talk to your Oracle master database, and to back up to a local tape drive system…. Done, as if the server were physically there.

I have posted a technical blog showing how I instantiated an Amazon VPC instance of my choosing, on an existing VPC setup. I used a publicly available Operating System Image (AMI) to start up a CentOS 5.4.5 server, that is now running as if on an internal network.

I had a lot of fun getting this going before my trip to the New York Cloud Expo this Apr 19-21. I will be talking to some smart people in this new area of computing. Should be fun!


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