A Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is a public cloud for service providers, a logical division of the multi-tenant architecture to support private cloud computing. This model enables enterprises to realize the advantages of private clouds without using public cloud resources, such as finer control of virtual networks and isolation environments for sensitive workloads.
The terms private cloud and virtual private cloud are sometimes mistakenly used as synonyms. There is a clear difference: In the traditional on-premises private cloud model, an enterprise's internal IT department acts as a service provider and each business unit acts as a tenant. With VPC, public cloud providers act as service providers, and subscribers to the cloud are tenants.
How does a virtual private cloud work?
In the virtual private cloud model, the public infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider is responsible for ensuring that the data of each private cloud customer is isolated from all other customer data during transmission and within the cloud provider's network. This can be achieved by using a security policy that requires some (or all) of the following elements: encryption, tunneling, private IP addressing, or assigning a unique virtual local area network (VLAN) to each customer. Virtual private cloud users can define and directly manage network components, including IP addresses, subnets, network gateways, and access control policies.
Advantages and challenges of virtual private clouds
As mentioned above, one of the biggest benefits of VPCs is that they enable enterprises to take advantage of some of the benefits of private clouds, such as more granular network control, while still using non-local public cloud resources in a highly scalable range Pay model.
Another benefit of VPC is that it supports hybrid cloud deployments, and enterprises can use VPC as an extension of their own data center without having to deal with the complexity of building an internal private cloud. Although VPCs have many benefits, they also bring some challenges. For example, enterprises may face some complexity when configuring, managing, and monitoring their virtual private networks (VPNs).
In addition, although VPCs provide an isolated environment in the public cloud where workloads can run, they are still hosted outside the enterprise's own data center. This means that in a highly regulated industry with strict compliance requirements, companies may face restrictions on what types of applications and data can be placed in a VPC.
Before submitting to a VPC, businesses should also verify that all resources and services to be used from the public cloud provider of their choice are available through that provider's VPC.
Virtual Private Cloud Provider
Most leading public IaaS providers, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Alibaba Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Google, all provide VPC and virtual network services.