Getting Started with VPC
Introduction to VPC
Create your first VPC
PREVIEW10m 21s
Advanced concepts
7m 52s
Practical Example
Introduction to VPC

Amazon VPCs - virtual networks allowing you to to provision a logically isolated section of your cloud where you can deploy AWS resources and have full control over your virtual networking environment - are a cornerstone of AWS computing. VPCs provide unique and customizable IP address ranges, subnets, route tables, and network gateways. They play an important role in a wide range of scenarios, from the complex to the relatively straightforward.

Mastering VPC concepts is not easy, so our expert Linux System Administrator David Clinton created this course to help you to get started. When you're done, you should be able to intelligently integrate VPC configuration into your cloud architecture. You learn about basic VPC usage, how to create a subnet, and how to deploy a whole virtual intranet in your cloud.

Who should take this course

As this is an intermediate to advanced course, you will need some previous experience with AWS to fully understand it. Basic knowledge about EC2 and IAM will be taken for granted, and in particular you should have a good knowledge of the TCP/IP stack to fully appreciate some course elements.

If you'd like to improve your EC2 and general AWS knowledge, check out our other courses. Also, you may want to challenge yourself with our questions if you want to test your knowledge after taking this course.


Hi, and welcome to's video series on Amazon VPCs, virtual private clouds. In this video, we're going to compare VPCs with traditional, locally deployed server networks, and explain why in some cases VPCs can make a lot more sense. A virtual private cloud is designed to provide identical security, connectivity and functionality that a physical network can give you, but in the cloud, in a way that proximity, being in the same building or even country as your co-worker, is not a factor. You can deploy networking resources and connectivity to anyone, anywhere. The main elements of a regular traditional physical network that the VPC is really good at replacing are mostly represented by level three of the OSI model's seven layers, the networking layer. Let's take a look at those elements of a network which the VPC is particularly good at replacing. The computing resources that provide services to your users can, in most cases, be replaced, not strictly speaking by the VPC, but by the virtual computers that you can deploy through Amazon's EC2. Interface devices, every network computer has to have network interface connection, whether it's wireless, Wi-Fi, or wired, cables and wireless connection, wireless routing devices, routers, routing architecture like subnets, network gateways, and firewalls, whether physical or software all are critical elements of a traditional network, which all can be replaced by a VPC. The benefits of using the virtual network that a VPC can provide include the simple fact that you don't need a physical inventory, the infrastructure, and the hosting costs that go with housing a traditional network. That means you won't have to worry about upgrade costs, about maintaining hardware which can unexpectedly fail, about cabling through sometimes difficult to access parts of your physical structure, all these elements are naturally and natively taken care of by the VPC. You can also seamlessly network as closely and easily with co-workers in a different country, as with those in the next room. This can enable a distributed private intranet, that is a single company that has workers and offices around the world could share resources and share connectivity across the entire company, while maintaining pretty good privacy against malicious or accidental intrusions. AWS VPCs are also fully integrated with all other AWS services. So whether you're using S3 storage, or of course EC2 instances or database services through RDS, you can easily move data and connectivity between any one of them through your VPC to any other part of the VPC.

Now not every use case will necessarily point to VPC. You have to calculate your costs. The full connectivity that a large institution might require is not necessarily going to be cheap. But you have to remember that a physical server you would consider the cost of rack space, cabling, firewall hardware could easily cost $10,000 or more up front. And then maintenance and power cost along the way.

So doing a careful cost benefit analysis will often suggest that working with a VPC like Amazon's is highly recommended.

In the coming videos, we're going to explore some of the practical applications of a VPC and how to create and manage the configuration.

About the Author
David Clinton
Linux SysAdmin
Learning Paths

David taught high school for twenty years, worked as a Linux system administrator for five years, and has been writing since he could hold a crayon between his fingers. His childhood bedroom wall has since been repainted.

Having worked directly with all kinds of technology, David derives great pleasure from completing projects that draw on as many tools from his toolkit as possible.

Besides being a Linux system administrator with a strong focus on virtualization and security tools, David writes technical documentation and user guides, and creates technology training videos.

His favorite technology tool is the one that should be just about ready for release tomorrow. Or Thursday.