Amazon VPC: 5 Reasons to Use and Learn it…with Cloud Academy!

Amazon VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) is probably one of the most used and famous services inside the Amazon Web Services suite. The reason is simple: this service is mostly related to the concepts of security in the cloud and access to our data inside a third-party data center, like the ones of Amazon.

A bit about Amazon Virtual Private Cloud: it was initially released in August 2009 as Jeff recounts in this post of the official AWS blog. Then Amazon was already aware of the fact that VPC was a great addition to its platform in order to have more security and isolation for its customer. Since then, Amazon did another step ahead introducing a Default VPC for everyone.

See who is using VPC: we recently published a great presentation by Anki Drive. Read how they are using VPC in our blog post.

How to learn Amazon VPC: based on our users’ behavior we know that Amazon VPC is one of the hardest and most answered question set. You can decide to start with our random quizzes or pick a Deck dedicated to Amazon VPC. For every quiz, you get also a basic learning experience. If you’re interested in learning more about Amazon VPC, we recommend the Cloud Academy’s Working with AWS Networking and Amazon VPC Course.

Well, when it comes to cloud security, you are going to hear a lot of crap and prejudices. It was like this at the beginning, when people used to say “you don’t know where is your data” and it is not that different today; the reality a bit different, fortunately, and AWS like other IaaS cloud computing services, is proving it with different approaches.

So, Amazon VPC is one of the few things that you should learn immediately if you want to start using AWS for your business. In this article, I want to cover, very quickly, the most important 5 things about VPC that can help you understand how to implement VPC and how to do that in relation with your infrastructure and kind of business you have.

Amazon VPC (Virtual Private Cloud)
Amazon VPC

At the end I will also suggest you how to learn to use Amazon VPC, Cloud Academy has a great set of quizzes and basic learning information on it, so this is, of course, the first step for you, but there are many others.

1. Amazon VPC gives a lot of security to your data and instances

So I would like to start saying what is Amazon Virtual Private Cloud. My feeling is that our users sometimes are getting lost in the jungle of services and they simply need a structured guide to start using them. Well, the first step is understanding why you need to use Amazon Virtual Private Cloud.

When you launch a normal instance inside a public cloud, this is basically exposed to the Internet with a lot of potential risks for your business: attacks, DDoS and possible bugs that can compromise it and so your security. This is not something happening only with a cloud computing provider, it happens with a dedicated server or a virtual machine anywhere else, if you expose it directly to a public network, you get troubles, most of the times.

Amazon VPC is a logically isolated portion of Amazon Web Services that gives you a virtual network where you can launch instances with particular rules and policies to get access to the Internet. It is really like having a virtual network inside a cloud computing service with the possibility to have a specific range of IPs, subnets and networks rules in order to specify a set of rules to communicate with external resources, in AWS or in another data center or publicly available.
To summarize, using Amazon VPC you have:

  1. An isolated environment inside AWS to launch your instances 
  2. A virtual network where you can define rules and policies for your services
  3. A great solution to have a wall between the Internet and your instances, you can decide to expose only a part of your infrastructure, basically, the only one that needs to speak with the rest of the world
  4. The opportunity to set up subnets, IP ranges, and network configurations as you prefer.

2. Amazon VPC is the best way to connect your data center to your Instances on Amazon Web Services

When it comes to public cloud computing, there a lot of companies that have already a private data center or a set of private dedicated server around the world and they need to split their workload between those servers and the public cloud. It is generally called a hybrid cloud, and even if it’s not the purpose of this article, it’s something that you should know if you are considering to use Amazon VPC.

In VPC you don’t need any external hardware or VPN to set up your own networks with your rules, this is the perfect setup in order to create a private channel between your own data center and AWS: there is a great option to start within VPC’s configuration, select “VPC with a Private Subnet Only and Hardware VPN Access“.

In case you are thinking about this use, well there are many other things that you should consider, like having a small set of instances inside your VPC that directly back up your own data center for the most important server. This is a smart solution because in case of disaster, those instances inside AWS are already up and running and you don’t have a long and painful downtime. This is a great lesson also for many hosting providers (I come from this industry, so I know a bit about them) that could use AWS to enforce their disaster recovery strategies, starting from services like e-mail and DNS.

A note: in any case, you will need also a Virtual Private Gateway.

3. Not all your web applications components need to access the Internet

Designing an AWS infrastructure is not so simple as you can imagine. Of course, you get a nice GUI for all the services but the devil is in the details; one of the reasons why you should use Amazon VPC to organize your AWS instances is because not all the parts of your applications need to be exposed externally to the Internet.

In a multi-tiers scenario, where my web-app is using a database (let’s say MongoDB) and an application server, Amazon VPC allows you to enforce the security of your database and application server: they will not be accessible from the Internet, but only by the instances acting as web servers inside your AWS. This means that you can also specify rules and policies to get them connected through the use of security groups.

4. Security Groups

Security Groups is something that you will love in  AWS and in particular inside Amazon VPC.

A security group can be compared to a software firewall that authorizes the traffic inbound and outbound from your instances. You can use Security Groups in VPC in order to set which instance can communicate with others.

5. AWS Certification candidate? You need a lot of VPC!

Yes, we know that Amazon VPC is probably the best topic you should know before taking the AWS Certification. We heard a lot of candidates saying that VPC was a great part of the questions for the certification. It’s pretty clear why: Amazon VPC is a core component right now in AWS and being an expert on this means knowing a good part of Amazon Web Services.

This is also the reason why you will find a lot of Amazon VPC quizzes and learning statements.

Watch this short video on NAT Gateway (a key VPC component) which is taken from the Cloud Academy’s Working with AWS Networking and Amazon VPC Course

Check the Cloud Academy’s Training Library on all VPC-related content we’re produced so far.

Stefano Bellasio

Written by

Stefano Bellasio

Stefano's a computer engineering guy that loves building products. He's the CEO and co-founder of CloudAcademy.com. All his experience is in the web hosting and cloud computing industry where he started other companies before. He loves talking with all readers of Cloud Academy blog, so feel free to email him at stefano@cloudacademy.com!


Related Posts

Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— October 14, 2020

New Content: AWS Data Analytics – Specialty Certification, Azure AI-900 Certification, Plus New Learning Paths, Courses, Labs, and More

This month our Content Team released two big certification Learning Paths: the AWS Certified Data Analytics - Speciality, and the Azure AI Fundamentals AI-900. In total, we released four new Learning Paths, 16 courses, 24 assessments, and 11 labs.  New content on Cloud Academy At any ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— September 15, 2020

New Content: Azure DP-100 Certification, Alibaba Cloud Certified Associate Prep, 13 Security Labs, and Much More

This past month our Content Team served up a heaping spoonful of new and updated content. Not only did our experts release the brand new Azure DP-100 Certification Learning Path, but they also created 18 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At any time, y...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— August 28, 2020

AWS Certification Practice Exam: What to Expect from Test Questions

If you’re building applications on the AWS cloud or looking to get started in cloud computing, certification is a way to build deep knowledge in key services unique to the AWS platform. AWS currently offers 12 certifications that cover major cloud roles including Solutions Architect, De...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Patrick Navarro
Patrick Navarro
— August 25, 2020

Overcoming Unprecedented Business Challenges with AWS

From auto-scaling applications with high availability to video conferencing that’s used by everyone, every day —  cloud technology has never been more popular or in-demand. But what does this mean for experienced cloud professionals and the challenges they face as they carve out a new p...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Cloud Adoption
  • digital transformation
Avatar
Andrew Larkin
— August 18, 2020

Constant Content: Cloud Academy’s Q3 2020 Roadmap

Hello —  Andy Larkin here, VP of Content at Cloud Academy. I am pleased to release our roadmap for the next three months of 2020 — August through October. Let me walk you through the content we have planned for you and how this content can help you gain skills, get certified, and...

Read more
  • alibaba
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • content roadmap
  • Content updates
  • DevOps
  • GCP
  • Google Cloud
  • New content
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— August 5, 2020

New Content: Alibaba, Azure AZ-303 and AZ-304, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) Foundation, Python 3 Programming, 16 Hands-on Labs, and Much More

This month our Content Team did an amazing job at publishing and updating a ton of new content. Not only did our experts release the brand new AZ-303 and AZ-304 Certification Learning Paths, but they also created 16 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— July 16, 2020

Blog Digest: Which Certifications Should I Get?, The 12 Microsoft Azure Certifications, 6 Ways to Prevent a Data Breach, and More

This month, we were excited to announce that Cloud Academy was recognized in the G2 Summer 2020 reports! These reports highlight the top-rated solutions in the industry, as chosen by the source that matters most: customers. We're grateful to have been nominated as a High Performer in se...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • blog digest
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Academy
  • OWASP
  • OWASP Top 10
  • Security
  • VPCs
Avatar
Cloud Academy Team
— July 9, 2020

Which Certifications Should I Get?

The old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and companies. With all that in mind, the s...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Computing
  • Google Cloud Platform
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— July 2, 2020

New Content: AWS, Azure, Typescript, Java, Docker, 13 New Labs, and Much More

This month, our Content Team released a whopping 13 new labs in real cloud environments! If you haven't tried out our labs, you might not understand why we think that number is so impressive. Our labs are not “simulated” experiences — they are real cloud environments using accounts on A...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— June 19, 2020

Kickstart Your Tech Training With a Free Week on Cloud Academy

Are you looking to make a jump in your technical career? Want to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Kubernetes, Python, or another in-demand skill? Then you'll want to mark your calendar. Starting Monday, June 22 at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • cloud academy content
  • complimentary access
  • GCP
  • on the house
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— June 11, 2020

New Content: AZ-500 and AZ-400 Updates, 3 Google Professional Exam Preps, Practical ML Learning Path, C# Programming, and More

This month, our Content Team released tons of new content and labs in real cloud environments. Not only that, but we introduced our very first highly interactive "Office Hours" webinar. This webinar, Acing the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification, started with a quick overvie...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Rebecca Willis
Rebecca Willis
— June 3, 2020

Azure vs. AWS: Which Certification Provides the Brighter Future?

More and more companies are using cloud services, prompting more and more people to switch their current IT position to something cloud-related. The problem is most people only have that much time after work to learn new technologies, and there are plenty of cloud services that you can ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • certification