AWS VPC: Creating Your own Virtual Private Network on Cloud

Suhas Hegde 18 Oct, 2022 • 9 min read

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.


There are several reasons organizations should use cloud computing in the modern world. Businesses of all sizes are switching to the cloud to manage risks, improve data security, streamline processes and decrease costs, or other reasons.

Many services are available from top cloud service provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) to integrate local resources with the cloud. One such service provided by Amazon is Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). You can use Amazon services in the mentioned virtual network using the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC). A virtual private cloud is a network that closely matches the one you would use in your data center (VPC).

Amazon’s Virtual Private Cloud is a core AWS service for both the Compute and Network AWS categories (VPC). Because it is mainly a VPC network is necessary in order to access other AWS services like Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

What is AWS VPC?

Using Amazon VPC, you may create a virtual private network between your on-premises resources and the AWS infrastructure. Using this network, you can benefit from AWS’s scalable infrastructure while keeping your environment’s appearance and functionality close to that of a general network you may run in your data center.

Each virtual private cloud (VPC) you create on the AWS cloud is programmable and logically distinct from other virtual networks. You can select the IP address range, set up root tables, create subnets, set up network gateways, and more. Security settings can also be mentioned using security groups and network access control lists. You are in complete control of your virtual networking environment, including the IP address range, , route table setup, network gateway setup, and subnet configuration.

The user can regulate security much more in detail VPC by choosing which AWS resources are usable by the public and which are not. It uses the hybrid approach, according to Amazon, but it also wants to meet the rising popularity of private clouds.

Your Amazon Web Services includes a default VPC with each Amazon Web Services Region. Your default VPCs are configured to allow you to launch and connect to EC2 instances immediately.


How does AWS VPC Work?

With Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), you have total control over your virtual networking environment, including resource distribution, connectivity, and security. To begin, configure your VPC in the AWS service panel. Then add resources, like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instances and Amazon Relational Database Service instances.

Each VPC builds its virtual network for your AWS account in the cloud. To use cloud services, other AWS resources and services are executed inside of VPC networks. Anyone used to managing a physical Data Center will identify AWS VPC (DC). A VPC works similarly to a conventional TCP/IP network that may be grown and expanded. However, a VPC does not explicitly have any DC parts you are accustomed to working with, like routers, switches, VLANS, etc. They were redesigned and abstracted into cloud software. A virtual network that AWS instances will launch can be quickly created using VPC.

Define the communication paths your VPCs will use to interact with one another throughout accounts, Availability Zones, and AWS Regions. The sample below segregates network traffic across two VPCs in each Region. You have the choice of installing it on secure and scalable virtual server like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). Your e-commerce firm must take care of scaling, backups, failovers, updates, and security fixes. Your main line of work usually has little to do with such tasks. It would be likely to use Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS).

You can set up and start using any RDBS in the AWS Management Console with just a few clicks. RDS is a managed service. It performs several time-consuming database admin tasks for you, including provisioning, patching, backup, recovery, failure detection, and repair.

AWS VPC Architecture and Elements

There are many elements involved in creating an AWS VPC. Below are the elements involved in the architecture of AWS VPC:

1. Route Table:

Route Tables are a set of guidelines used in AWS Virtual Private Cloud to decide the destination of all the network traffic. The target (IP address) and destination are mentioned in the routeing table (where do want to send the traffic of that destination). The target can be a virtual private connection, NAT gateway, Internet gateway, or virtual private cloud.

The main/primary route table is the default route table that VPC produces. All VPC subnets are automatically integrated into the main route table.

2. Subnet:

It is a section of the network which uses a single address. The same subnet includes all devices with the same prefix on their addresses. Subnets come in two different flavors. Resources on a Public Subnet can be accessed via an Internet Gateway, while those on a Private Subnet cannot be accessed from the outside world. Each subnet’s CIDR for IP addressing contains a part of of the VPC CIDR block. Each subnet separates its traffic from that of the other VPC subnets. There can only be one CIDR block per subnet. Different subnets can be assigned to handle different kinds of traffic.

3. NAT Gateway:

When more bandwidth, availability, and administrative effort are needed, a network address translation (NAT) gateway is used. An Availability Zone’s public subnet is where the NAT gateway is always located. It makes the necessary changes to the private subnet’s route table to direct traffic to the NAT gateway. When generating, Elastic IP is connected to the NAT gateway. Only the TCP, UDP, and ICMP protocols are supported.

4. Security Groups:

A group of firewall rules called security groups governs the traffic to and from the instance. The only action that may be taken in Amazon Firewall is allowed. There can be no rule that forbids it. The VPC instance on which the service security group is operating is always the destination. A single security group can be associated with many instances. VPCs use security groups to protect instances statefully (the state of the connection session is preserved). Security groups are also known as virtual firewalls by AWS.

5. Peering:

Using IPv4 or IPv6 private addresses, you can route traffic between two Virtual Private Clouds using a VPC peering connection. Instances in either VPC can communicate with one another like they were on the same VPC network. You can create a VPC peering link between your VPCs or with a VPC in another account. A VPC peering connection lets you to speed up data that is in transit.

6. IPv4 and IPv6 address blocks:

Classless interdomain routing (CIDR) blocks are used to build VPC IP address ranges for IPv4 and IPv6. If the second CIDR block is from the same address range of IP as the primary block, you can add primary and secondary CIDR blocks to your VPC.

AWS recommends that you use CIDR blocks from the RFC 1918 private address ranges.

7. Network Access Control Lists (NACL):

An optional firewall-like security layer for your VPC regulates traffic entering and leaving one or more subnets. To secure your VPC, you can configure network ACLs with rules corresponding to those in your security groups. All traffic is allowed to enter and exit the subnets to which the default NACL is connected.

8. Elastic IP:

It is a reserved public IP address that is static, never changes, and can be given to instances in a specified area. AWS reserves an elastic IP for the account; it belongs to you until you release it. They are allocated to your AWS account for as long as you want.

9. VPC endpoints:

VPC endpoints allow private connections between your AWS VPC and other AWS services without accessing the internet. The scalable, redundant, and highly available VPC endpoint devices. AWS Virtual Private Cloud endpoints come in two types: Interface endpoints and Gateway Endpoints.

10. Traffic mirroring:

To do deep packet inspection, copy traffic from the network interfaces and deliver it to security and monitoring equipment.

11. Gateway:

The VPN concentrator on the Amazon side of the VPN connection is also called a virtual private gateway. To the VPC from which you wish to establish the VPN connection, you create a virtual private gateway and then attach it. Your data center and your Amazon VPC are connected to each other by a VPN (virtual private cloud). An anchor on your side of the connection is a customer gateway. A kind of hardware or software appliance may be used.

12. Network Interface:

The aim of the connection between a public and a private network is called a network interface. The primary network interface is the default one that comes with each instance. If you switch the network traffic from one instance to another, it is instantly routed to the fresh instance.

13. VPC flow logs:

The IP traffic to and from the network interfaces in your VPC is maintained in a flow log.

Source: Created by Author


Benefits of AWS VPC

AWS VPC has many advantages over our general cloud. Below are the advantages of AWS VPC over any private cloud:

1. Security:

The benefit of VPC that is most crucial is security. VPC in AWS provides superior security at the instance and subnet levels. With VPC, you can define which users may access cloud resources and which ones cannot. The benefit of VPC that is most crucial is security. VPC in AWS provides superior security at the instance and subnet levels. With VPC, you can define which users may access cloud resources and which ones cannot.

2. Performance:

Congestion on the Internet significantly affects application performance. The application traffic may potentially become sluggish as a result.

3. Ease of use:

AWS VPC is easy to set up, just like all of AWS’s other services. Setting up an Amazon VPC is made simple by the AWS Management Console. Because your account’s default VPC is already configured, you can concentrate on creating and distributing apps.

Apart from these, there is various advantage of using VPC in AWS over other services. They are:

· The membership of an EC2 Instance security group can be modified while it is active.

· Build a resource network that is tiered.

· Control the flow of instances both in and out.

· A static IPv4 address is assigned to persistent instances that run continuously.

· EC2 Instances support the attachment of multiple network interfaces.

· Your Instances may receive more than one IPv4 address.

Best Practices and Use Cases of AWS VPC

A computer with mission-critical workloads needs many security layers to run properly. By using some of these helpful methods, you can secure Amazon Virtual Private Cloud much like your on-site data center:

· You can get a web application firewall, a firewall virtual appliance, and a few additional solutions on the Amazon Web Services marketplace that you may employ to protect your Amazon VPC.

· You may audit and keep track of Administrator access to your VPC using Configure Privileged Identity access management.

· You can quickly create a Site-to-Site VPN for securely moving data between Amazon VPCs in different regions or Amazon VPCs connected to on-premises data centers.

· Secure resources that don’t need to be accessible via the internet, including database services, using private subnets. It gives you the freedom to start a service in the subnets.

· CIDR blocks in an Amazon VPC can range in size from 16 to 65,536 IP addresses, so you should be selective when selecting them. You can choose your CIDR block based on the required number of instances.

· Additionally, you want to establish distinct Amazon VPCs for your development, staging, test, and production environments. Making an Amazon VPC with distinct subnets for each production, development, staging, and testing is an additional alternative.

· A region should contain numerous availability zones and subnets for your Amazon VPC to span. This aids in the high availability architecture of your VPC.

· The name pattern makes it considerably simpler to operate and administer Amazon VPC for large-scale deployments by following a security group.

Source: AWS


So, you may create a virtual network in the AWS cloud using Amazon VPC without hardware, VPNs, or real data centers. You can control how your network and the Amazon EC2 resources it contains are accessible to the Internet, and you can design your own network space.

Some of the key points of VPC are:

· It helps us in creating a virtual private network on the cloud. You can have your own private network on the cloud rather than on a local network.

· It has many elements like subnets, NACLs, route tables, etc. These elements are used to create a VPC and maintain its availability and security.

· You can also give security settings in your private network using security groups and NACLs options. This helps us secure our cloud network.

· It is very easy to set up and can be integrated with other AWS services. We can integrate with various AWS services that we are using and make it more of an integrated environment.

When integrating your remote networks with Amazon VPC, AWS offers several effective, secure connectivity solutions to help you make the most of the platform. You can launch AWS resources into a defined virtual network using AWS Virtual Private Cloud. While closely mimicking a traditional network that you would run in your own data center, this virtual network provides the advantages of using the scalable infrastructure of AWS.

The media shown in this article is not owned by Analytics Vidhya and is used at the Author’s discretion.

Suhas Hegde 18 Oct 2022

Frequently Asked Questions

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit,

Responses From Readers