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Amazon Virtual Cloud Features and Functions

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If you have an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account and would like to have complete control over your working environment, then you should consider the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC). This cloud computing service enables you to launch AWS resources into a virtual network that you yourself have determined.

The virtual network is closely similar to the traditional network that you would normally operate in your own data center, but with the added tools and solutions that come with AWS. You can set everything according to your preference and what works best for you, such as selecting your own IP address range, creating subnets, and configuring route tables and network gateways. And to make sure that you are accessing your resources in a safe and secure connection, you can use both IPv4 and IPv6 in your VPC.

 

What Is A Virtual Private Cloud?

According to the Amazon Web Services User Guide, a virtual private cloud, or VPC, is a virtual network dedicated to your AWS account that is logically isolated from other virtual networks in the AWS cloud. You can launch your AWS resources, such as Amazon EC2 instances, into your VPC. You have complete control over your VPC – you can configure it, select its IP address range, create subnets, and configure route tables, network gateways, and security settings.

A subnet is a range of IP addresses in your VPC. You can launch AWS resources into a subnet that you select. Use a public subnet for resources that must be connected to the Internet, and a private subnet for resources that won’t be connected to the Internet. To protect the AWS resources in each subnet, you can use multiple layers of security, including security groups and network access control lists (ACL).

 

VPC Features

Multiple Connectivity Options. The following are your connectivity options for your VPC:

Public subnets – You can connect directly to the internet and launch instances into a publicly accessible subnet where they can send and receive traffic from the Internet.

Private subnets –You can connect through a Network Address Translation (NAT) gateway and launch instances without exposing their private IP address by routing their traffic through the NAT gateway in a public subnet.

Corporate datacenter – This option routes all your traffic to and from instances in your VPC to your corporate datacenter over an encrypted IPsec hardware VPN connection.

Peer-to-peer connection – You can privately connect your VPC to other VPCs and remotely share resources across different virtual networks with others who also have AWS accounts.

Amazon S3 connection – If you do not want to connect using an internet or NAT gateway, you can connect to Amazon S3. Connecting through S3 will allow you to control what buckets, requests, users, or groups are allowed through a S3 VPC endpoint.

Combination – You don’t have to settle for just one type of connectivity, since you can also combine the types that work best for you: connect your VPC to both the Internet and your corporate datacenter and configure Amazon VPC route tables to direct all traffic to its proper destination.

Safe and Secure Connection. The advanced, industry-standard security features that Amazon VPC employs enable inbound and outbound filtering of instances and subnets. These features include network control lists and security groups, making sure that no unwanted traffic enters or leaves from your resources. You can also store your data in Amazon S3 and restrict the access so it can only be accessed from your VPC.

Simple and Easy-to-use. Creating a VPC is extremely easy and quick using the AWS Management Console. You can select one of the common network setups that best match your needs and press “Start VPC Wizard”. The subnets, IP ranges, route tables, and security groups are automatically created for you, so you can concentrate on creating the applications to run in your VPC.
Same Scalability with AWS. Amazon VPC provides all the same benefits and reliability as the rest of the AWS platform. You can instantly scale your resources up or down, select Amazon EC2 instances types and sizes that are right for your applications, and pay only for the resources you use, which are all within Amazon’s proven infrastructure.

 

Launching Your Platform

As seen in the Amazon Web Services User Guide, these are the following activities you are able to do by launching your instances into a VPC:

Assign static private IPv4 addresses to your instances that persist across starts and stops

Optionally associate an IPv6 CIDR block to your VPC and assign IPv6 addresses to your instances

Assign multiple IP addresses to your instances

Define network interfaces, and attach one or more network interfaces to your instances

Change security group membership for your instances while they’re running

Control the outbound traffic from your instances (egress filtering) in addition to controlling the inbound traffic to them (ingress filtering)

Add an additional layer of access control to your instances in the form of network access control lists (ACL)

Run your instances on single-tenant hardware

Important Reminders

Don’t forget the following reminders about using Amazon VPC now:

You can have up to five (5) non-default Amazon VPCs per AWS account per region.

You can create up to two hundred (200) subnets per Amazon VPC.

You can have up to five (5) Amazon VPC Elastic IP Addresses per AWS account per region.

You can have up to ten (10) Hardware VPN Connections per Amazon VPC.

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