Securing your VPC using Public and Private Subnets

Lab Steps

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Logging in to the Amazon Web Services Console
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Creating a VPC
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Creating a VPC Internet Gateway
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Creating a Public Subnet
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Creating a Bastion Host
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Creating a Private Subnet
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Creating a Network ACL for a Private Subnet
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Adding Rules to a Private Network ACL
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Launching an EC2 Instance on a Private Subnet
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Launching a Network Address Translation (NAT) Gateway
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Testing access of Private Subnet Instances
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Highlights of Securing your VPC

Ready for the real environment experience?

DifficultyBeginner
Time Limit2h 35m
Students12360
Ratings
4.6/5
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Description

In this lab, you will design a VPC with a public subnet, a private subnet, and a Network Address Translation (NAT) device in the public subnet. 

NAT device enables instances in the private subnet to initiate outbound traffic to the Internet. This scenario is common when you have a public-facing web application while maintaining back-end servers that aren't publicly accessible. 

A common example is a multi-tier website, with the web servers in a public subnet, and the database servers in a private subnet. You can set up security and routing allowing the web servers to communicate with the database servers. The instances in the public subnet can send outbound traffic directly to the Internet, whereas the instances in the private subnet cannot. The instances in the private subnet can access the Internet via the NAT Gateway in the public subnet. In this Lab, you will also increase the network security using a network access control list (NACL), which is an optional layer of security that acts as a firewall for controlling traffic in and out of a subnet. After completing this Lab, you might consider setting up network ACLs with rules similar to your security groups, in order to add an additional layer of security to your VPC.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lab you will be able to create, configure and test the following:

  • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
  • Internet Gateway
  • Public and private subnets (inbound/outbound rules)
  • Security groups (inbound/outbound rules for multiple purposes)
  • Network access control lists (NACLs) for additional security on a private subnet
  • Bastion host for SSH access from the internet to private instances
  • Network Address Translation (NAT) Gateway to provide private instances access to the public internet to perform operating system updates
  • Route tables associated with public and private subnets

Intended Audience

  • Candidates for the AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam
  • Candidates for the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam

Prerequisites

You should be familiar with:

  • Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) basics
  • Conceptual understanding of Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs), subnets, network route tables, firewalls, private and public IP addresses
  • Some Linux shell/command level understanding is helpful, but not required

Updates

June 29th, 2021 - Migrated lab steps to use NAT Gateway instead of NAT instance going forward; updated lab step format and screenshots

June 8th, 2020 - Added troubleshooting instructions to ensure SSH agent forwarding is enabled when connecting to the bastion host from Windows

August 16th, 2019 - Increased the maximum allowed time on the Lab to allow for a better-paced learning environment

January 10th, 2019 - Added a validation Lab Step to check the work you perform in the Lab

September 7th, 2018 - Updated instructions and screenshots to the latest VPC and EC2 user interfaces

May 24th, 2018 - Clarified instructions for connecting to the EC2 instances on Windows.

Environment before
PREVIEW
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Environment after
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About the Author
Students13676
Labs49
Learning paths1

Jun is a Cloud Labs Developer with previous experience as a Software Engineer and Cloud Developer. He holds the AWS Certified Solutions Architect and DevOps Engineer Professional certifications. He also holds the AWS Certified Solutions Architect, Developer, and SysOps Administrator Associate certifications. 

Jun is focused on giving back to the growing cloud community by sharing his knowledge and experience with students and creating engaging content. 

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