What is a Virtual Private Cloud?
A virtual private cloud (VPC) is a single compartment within the entirety of a public cloud from a certain provider, similar to a deposit box within a bank vault. A private cloud consists of infrastructure that is dedicated to a single organization, with the organization typically buying the cloud infrastructure, installing the software, and hiring IT management. Alternatively, a VPC runs on shared infrastructure just like a public cloud, but the VPC offers a level of isolation between cloud customers sharing resources. Isolation is achieved through a private IP subnet or virtual local area network (VLAN). A VPC network can be thought of the same way you think of a physical network, except that it is virtualized within the cloud environment. A VPC network is a global resource that consists of a list of regional virtual subnetworks (subnets) in data centers, all connected by a global wide area network, with VPC networks logically isolated from each other1. VPC features include:
Security. Your data and applications will not share space or interact with other cloud environment clients because the VPC is a logically isolated network. You retain complete control over who can access your resources and how they can use them. Also, VPC providers are highly invested in keeping things running smoothly and securely, so they spend a significant amount of time ensuring services are reliable and secure.
Agility. The size of the virtual network can be dynamically and instantly scaled, and cloud resources can be installed as needed.
Affordability. VPC customers can benefit from the cost-effectiveness of the public cloud through savings on labor, hardware, and other resources.
Availability. Due to redundant resources and availability zone architectures with excellent fault tolerance, your applications and workloads are highly available.
Benefits of VPC include:
Better performance. Applications and websites hosted in the cloud often have superior functionality to those housed on local servers located on-premises.
Reduced risk. Instance, subnet, or both levels of security are high for VPCs.
Reduced downtime. VPC environments provide the redundancy and other features required to meet near-100% uptime expectations.
More resources. VPCs have easy, on-demand resources available.
Easy hybrid cloud deployment. VPCs can easily be connected to a public cloud or to on-premises infrastructure via the VPN.
Eco-friendly. A VPC operating within a cloud hosting company leaves much less of a carbon footprint compared to those running on dedicated hardware.
1 Google Cloud, 2022, “Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) overview”