Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Ruby-On-Rails, @CloudExpo

Ruby-On-Rails: Article

Amazon's Virtual Private Cloud Service Goes Live

Amazon Launches Virtual Networking in the cloud

Well not to say I didn't see this coming over a year ago, Amazon has finally seen the light and rolled out a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Amazon describes their new Virtual Private Cloud in much the same way we do at Enomaly.

To recap, my original definition of a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is as a method for partitioning a public computing utility such as EC2 into quarantined virtual infrastructure. A VPC may encapsulate multiple local and remote resources to appear as a single homogeneous computing environment bridging the ability to securely utilize remote resources as part of an seamless global compute infrastructure. A core component of a VPC is a virtual private network (VPN) and or a virtual LAN (Vlan) in which some of the links between nodes are encrypted and carried by virtual switches.

According to the new VPC website, the "Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) is a secure and seamless bridge between a company’s existing IT infrastructure and the AWS cloud. Amazon VPC enables enterprises to connect their existing infrastructure to a set of isolated AWS compute resources via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection, and to extend their existing management capabilities such as security services, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems to include their AWS resources. Amazon VPC integrates today with Amazon EC2, and will integrate with other AWS services in the future."

VPC definitions and terminology aside the new service is important for a few reasons.

1. In a sense Amazon now has publicly admitted that private clouds do exist and the core differentiation is isolation (what I call quarantined cloud infrastructure), be it virtual or physical.

2. Greater Hybrid Cloud Interoperability & Standardized Network Security by enabling native VPN capabilities within their cloud infrastructure and command line tools. Amazon's VPC has added a much greater ability to interoperate with existing "standardized" VPN implementations including:

  • Ability to establish IKE Security Association using Pre-Shared Keys (RFC 2409).
  • Ability to establish IPSec Security Associations in Tunnel mode (RFC 4301).
  • Ability to utilize the AES 128-bit encryption function (RFC 3602).
  • Ability to utilize the SHA-1 hashing function (RFC 2404).
  • Ability to utilize Diffie-Hellman Perfect Forward Secrecy in “Group 2” mode (RFC 2409).
  • Ability to establish Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) peerings (RFC 4271).
  • Ability to utilize IPSec Dead Peer Detection (RFC 3706).
  • Ability to adjust the Maximum Segment Size of TCP packets entering the VPN tunnel (RFC 4459).
  • Ability to reset the “Don’t Fragment” flag on packets (RFC 791).
  • Ability to fragment IP packets prior to encryption (RFC 4459).
  • (Amazon also plans to support Software VPNs in the near future.)

3. Further proof that Amazon is without any doubt going after the enterprise computing market where a VPN capability is arguably one of the most requested features.

4. Lastly greater network partitioning, using Amazon's VPC, your EC2 instances are on your network. They can access or be accessed by other systems on the network as if they were local. As far as you are concerned, the EC2 instances are additional local network resources -- there is no NAT translation. A seemless bridge to the cloud.

In the blog post announcing the new service, I found their hybrid cloud use case particularly interesting; "Imagine the many ways that you can now combine your existing on-premise static resources with dynamic resources from the Amazon VPC. You can expand your corporate network on a permanent or temporary basis. You can get resources for short-term experiments and then leave the instances running if the experiment succeeds. You can establish instances for use as part of a DR (Disaster Recovery) effort. You can even test new applications, systems, and middleware components without disturbing your existing versions."

This was exactly the vision I outlined in my original post describing the VPC concept. I envisioned a VPC in which you are given the ability to virtualize the network giving it particular characteristics & appearance that match the demands as well as requirements of a given application deployed in the cloud regardless of whether it's local or remote. Amazon seems to realize that cloud computing isn't a big switch to cloud computing where suddenly you stop using existing "private" data centers. But instead the true opportunity for enterprise customers is a hybrid model where you use the cloud as needed, when needed, and if needed and not a second longer then needed.

I also can't help wondering how other cloud centric VPN providers such as CohesiveFT will respond to the rather sudden addition of VPN functionality, which in a single move makes third party VPN software obsolete or at very least not nearly as useful. (I feel your pain, remember ElasticDrive?) I am also curious to see how other IaaS providers such as Rackspace respond to the move, it may or may not be in their interest to offer compatible VPC services that allow for a secure interface between cloud service providers. The jury's still out on this one.

Let me also point out that although Amazon's new VPC service does greatly improve network security, it is not a silver bullet and the same core risks in the use of virtualization still remain. If Amazon's hypervisor is exploited, you'd never know it and unless your data never leaves an encrypted state it's at risk at one end point or another.

At Enomaly we have also been working on enhanced VPC functionality for our cloud service provider customers around the globe. For me this move by Amazon is a great endorsement of an idea we as well as others have been pushing for quite awhile.

On a side note, before you ask, Yes, I'm just glad I bought the VirtualPrivateCloud.com./.net/.org domain names when I wrote the original post. And yes, a place holder site and announcement is coming soon ;)

More Stories By Reuven Cohen

An instigator, part time provocateur, bootstrapper, amateur cloud lexicographer, and purveyor of random thoughts, 140 characters at a time.

Reuven is an early innovator in the cloud computing space as the founder of Enomaly in 2004 (Acquired by Virtustream in February 2012). Enomaly was among the first to develop a self service infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform (ECP) circa 2005. As well as SpotCloud (2011) the first commodity style cloud computing Spot Market.

Reuven is also the co-creator of CloudCamp (100+ Cities around the Globe) CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas and is the largest of the ‘barcamp’ style of events.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...