A VPC is a private cloud-like experience and computing environment that enterprises can set up and contain within a public cloud.
Deciding on the right cloud solution can be confusing: virtual private cloud vs public cloud; virtual private cloud vs private cloud; and then there’s the difference between private and public clouds!
However, when looking at private cloud solutions, setting up a VPC is an option that will allow you to leverage the scale and flexibility of shared public cloud infrastructure, while giving you the control to isolate a virtual network from other public cloud tenants. Sounds like the best of both worlds, right?
And it is in many cases. A VPC can offer you many of the advantages of private clouds, while leveraging public cloud resources and savings, but only at a large enough scale that the cost savings start to kick in, and the added benefits of a VPC makes sense for your specific requirements.
In this blog we’ll run through how a VPC is created, its benefits and why a virtual private cloud might be right for you.
To help understand what a VPC is in relation to a public cloud environment, let’s start with what a virtual private cloud looks like:
Within this type of cloud environment, VPCs are using a hypervisor in the virtualization layer to create virtual (rather than actual) private environments.
A VPC isolates your computing resources from other resources and customers on the public cloud, by using the following technologies:
Subnets: A range of IP addresses that aren’t visible or accessible via the public internet. They are a logical partition of an IP network, used to subdivide large networks into smaller private ones.
VLAN: A ‘virtual’ LAN is a way of grouping devices regardless of their location, so they appear to be on the same LAN. Similarly to subnets, they can be used to logically partition a network, but at layer 2 rather than layer 3 in the OSI model.
VPN: A virtual private network over the top of a public network creating a tunnel. VPNs use encryption to scramble data in transit across publicly shared internet infrastructure so it isn’t visible to anyone.
A VPC will typically have a dedicated subnet and VLAN that can’t be accessed within the public cloud by other tenants. You can then connect via the VPN so data being transferred in and out of your VPC is spared from the public internet.
Servers.com offers two types of self-service, highly customizable private cloud solutions.
If you’re looking for control and security, with cloud scalability, then a VPC could be a great option. A virtual private cloud can help your business to grow faster, become more agile and increase innovation.
Some key features you can expect with a virtual private cloud are:
Agility and scalability
Compared with shared hosting or bare-metal, VPCs usually offer some instant scalability. Since a VPC is providing virtual machines (VMs) within public cloud infrastructure, you can dynamically scale your resources up and down as you need to.
A good private cloud server provider will be able to offer you short-term contracts, and the flexibility of scaling down when your workload peak is over. Doing this in a virtual environment is typically easier as VMs are quick to provision and are portable across physical hosts running the same hypervisor.
Depending on how your solution is designed, you can plan for fault tolerance within your infrastructure. This means that if a server goes down, your VMs can be easily or automatically (depending on your hypervisor) moved to another physical host during this time. Very advanced solutions can even provide disaster recovery across geographically diverse data centers.
With such high availability, you can expect more reliable online experiences for your customers, building long-term trust in your brand. Just be sure to check the costs involved. More resilience can be expensive, but is generally worth it in the long run.
Since a VPC is a logically isolated network, you won’t be sharing compute resources or space with other tenants, giving you more peace of mind over the protection and performance of your applications, workloads and data.
Lower hardware costs
Depending on your setup, VPCs can be a cost effective part of your infrastructure, as they typically require less hardware. However, they can be tricky to set up, so the cost savings might not be as favorable as public cloud if you’re a smaller business.
Cost and scale considerations
Public and virtual private cloud products both use virtualization, but they do so at a much larger scale and as a multi-tenanted solution.
The hyperscale cloud companies typically operate with a large amount of available capacity and offer very short contract/billing models. These can be as short as per second billing, but more often are billed per minute or hour, allowing companies to scale up and down quickly.
The ability to buy a portion of a physical server and the flexibility to scale up and down is obviously a huge benefit to businesses of all sizes. However, the overheads of running these complex and underutilized environments can spiral. Even if only the largest customers demand extra resources, the cost is often passed on to every user.
To put it into context, public cloud offerings are commonly two-to-five times the price of the same resources with bare metal; albeit bare metal typically comes with a one-month minimum contract, so lacks the commercial flexibility that some workloads may need.
For enterprises with enough scale, a virtual private cloud server will likely save them significantly over public cloud, as they can size their solution to meet their needs.
VPCs come with many benefits, but whether a VPC is right for your business and network needs depends on what you’re trying to achieve.
Some questions to think about are:
Are your projects underutilizing the full capabilities of your current servers and hosting environment?
If so, then virtual private clouds can give you improved resource utilization and solid availability. By deploying workloads to cloud resources on a needs basis, a virtual private cloud is reactive to the fluctuating demands of growing businesses.
Are your requirements large and unpredictable?
VPCs deliver the flexibility of a public cloud, so if your requirements are unpredictable, your virtual private cloud server can be adjusted accordingly and sized to meet your changing needs.
Is security important to you?
Then virtual private cloud servers win over the public cloud. With a VPC, your data and applications are safe from other tenants. Although the physical infrastructure is shared, thanks to the logically isolated network, your VPC is yours and yours alone.
Are you looking for a cost-effective hosting infrastructure?
A VPC may well be the best ‘bang for your buck’ - as a multi-tenanted solution, the cost of physical infrastructure is split between all tenants, which helps to keep costs down. Plus, you have the flexibility to scale up and down, with shorter-term contracts than traditional hosting options, allowing you to only pay for what you need.
In summary, if you’re considering the benefits of migrating to the cloud, looking for guaranteed availability, flexibility, and strong security, then a VPC could be a powerful tool in your arsenal.
Contact our team today to discuss your requirements.
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