What is a Virtual Private Cloud and What are its Benefits?

Difference between private and virtual private cloud

The widespread adoption of the cloud has led to the emergence of hybrids, multi-clouds, and other cloud computing strategies. Still, confusion remains regarding the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), especially with some hardware vendors masquerading as a true cloud provider. So before we delve into what makes a VPC a VPC, here's a recap of other clouds and cloud strategies.

On-Premise: An internal, physical infrastructure dedicated entirely to one user.

Public Cloud: A large physical and virtual infrastructure shared with thousands or perhaps millions of users. Heavyweights Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are prime examples.

Hybrid Cloud: A strategy in which a user separates workloads between on-premise servers and a public cloud or VPC, acting as one single “hybrid cloud.”

Multi-Cloud: The strategy of utilizing multiple cloud providers for different workloads depending on needs and sensitivity of data.

The Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

So where does the VPC fit in? VPCs are just as virtual as the public cloud, however instead of sharing resources and space in a public infrastructure, these clouds operate with a certain level of isolation between customers. This is achieved through a private IP subnet or Virtual Local-Area Network (VLAN) on a per customer basis, which provides a greater level of security. This isolation is what lends itself to the term “virtual private”—the user is in a cloud, but is not dependent on any physical hardware, which is an important distinction. On-premise clouds, sometimes referred to as physical private clouds, are dedicated entirely to one customer, including the hardware.

VPC Benefits and How to Spot a Fake

Some hardware vendors have been inaccurately marketing their physical servers as enabling customers to create their own “private cloud”; we call these the cubic zirconia of the cloud world. Running on a physical server is not a true VPC, it’s more akin to on-premise hardware and misses the basic fundamentals of the cloud: A cloud is ultimately an infrastructure destination that is reliable, elastic, and scalable. You only pay for resources consumed, and more can be added instantly without needing to acquire new hardware. Therefore, pure-play cloud companies now state that they offer Virtual Private Clouds to ensure customers know they are getting the real deal.

Five More Benefits of a Virtual Private Cloud

The VPC offers numerous benefits; here is the top five.

  • Security: Information passed through a VPC stays within a customer’s control without crossing the internet. In addition, with all customers operating on the same back-end infrastructure, VPC providers have a highly-vested interest in keeping things running smoothly and securely, while maintaining high levels of uptime. To keep clients satisfied, reputable VPC providers typically spend much more time than any individual would to obtain this level of reliability and security.
  • Savings: Because VPCs are within a public cloud, customers still benefit from economies of scale, sharing costs with other organizations without compromising the aforementioned security.
  • Easy integration. A VPC can be integrated with other VPCs, the public cloud, or an on-premise infrastructure. Once in place, it effectively becomes a hybrid cloud, which by definition, is more than one cloud working in synchronization.
  • Seamless upgrades. With all customers operating on the same hardware, the VPC provider can upgrade everyone incrementally and with no downtime; most providers will refresh the underlying hardware while constantly acquiring faster and better hardware. Over time, customers’ workloads actually get more secure and quicker!
  • Eco-Friendliness. Tightening government legislation and consumer pressure is forcing more and more companies to go green; in fact, 40% of companies now say they are taking action to improve their eco-friendliness. A VPC operating within a cloud hosting company leaves much less of a carbon footprint versus running on dedicated hardware, something that can be promoted to new clients.

Migrating to a Virtual Private Cloud

Whether you’re moving to the cloud or looking to switch providers, we can help. DSM, Florida’s preferred cloud provider, can easily and seamlessly transition you to a secure, compliant, high performance VPC. You’ll only have one portal to manage, and you’ll have IT experts available to you 24/7/365. Interested in learning more? Speak with one of our IT experts today about the benefits of the VPC.

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