Cloud usage is at an all-time high for consumers and businesses alike. We upload our personal pictures and videos from our phones to the cloud, we share information with friends via the cloud, and businesses are opting for cloud data storage solutions more and more.
Because of this, many businesses are starting to use all different kinds of clouds to keep their information secure and accessible. There are public clouds, private clouds, hybrid clouds and all kinds of cloud computing strategies available to businesses. With lots of options, it’s hard to know which one is right for which company.
One of the most valuable albeit most initially confusing kinds of cloud computing systems is the virtual private cloud. Not quite a public cloud and not quite a private cloud, a virtual private cloud exists in its own realm, providing the best of both worlds for businesses looking for scalability, security, accessibility and pre-existing infrastructure all at an affordable price.
What Is a Virtual Private Cloud?
A virtual private cloud, sometimes referred to as a VPC, is a lot like a public cloud—everything is stored virtually but instead of a purely public cloud system or via a public infrastructure, there’s a bit more isolation and security in place. It’s a bridge between a public cloud and a private cloud; it takes the best of both and combines them into one total cloud computing solution.
With a virtual private cloud, data is stored in a public cloud but with a defined virtual network of their own subnets, IP address ranges, route tables and network gateways. Essentially, what happens with a virtual private cloud is that you simulate a private cloud within a public cloud.
Your cloud provider isolates a particular portion of their cloud space solely for private use. The virtual private cloud is managed by the cloud provider or vendor, but the information is never shared with any other customers. Instead of being sourced by the company’s IT infrastructure like a private cloud, the cloud is hosted by a third party’s infrastructure like a public one.
A virtual private cloud is perfect if you have concerns about the security of cloud computing and want to have more control over the privacy of your data but still want the advantages of using the cloud.
Why Are People Flocking to Virtual Private Clouds?
So why are virtual public clouds so popular? It would be easy to sum it up in a simple sentence: You get more, and you pay less. But what are the real reasons that so many are choosing VPCs for their cloud storage solutions? Let’s break it down:
Virtual Private Clouds Are (Generally) Less Expensive
While spending for cloud computing varies, you can save a great deal of money (and resources) by using a virtual private cloud. Virtual private clouds are a practical way to achieve the security of an entirely private cloud but at a cost that’s more comparable to using a public cloud computing system.
Because a public cloud computing service is working to meet the needs of so many different kinds of businesses, they consider updates and improvements an investment, and they absorb the cost—not you. You don’t have to pay to create an entirely new, private cloud, you don’t pay for the same level of maintenance, and you get a more sophisticated cloud computing system in return. It’s a win-win.
The most crucial part of saving money with any cloud computing is not overbuying and managing space appropriately. With a VPC from Violin Systems, everything is scalable, which means that you spend only what you need to spend on storage.
When you work with a public host for a virtual private cloud, they handle all of the underlying maintenance, and they are the ones that have to worry about acquiring new hardware. This makes it much easier to apply updates—there’s no wait time and no downloading time because most of the major work has already been done for you. Your updates can happen in less time and with less effort.
Access to Better Infrastructure
There’s so much that’s already been established with public cloud infrastructure that when you choose a virtual private cloud, a lot of the groundwork for a really wonderful cloud computing system has already been laid.
This means that you have access to countless pre-existing infrastructure options without any upfront investment from you—you don’t have to fund their development. You get the cutting-edge technology of a public cloud because they have already invested in that technology themselves.
In addition to a stronger infrastructure, a VPC also is accessible more like a public cloud would be. When you create a private cloud, you are limited to using it within your network. There’s no access outside of the corporation, and in an increasingly mobile world, there’s no capability to retrieve data stored in the cloud anywhere but in the workplace.
Using a virtual private cloud frees this up a little bit. Not only is this beneficial for remote access, but it’s also helpful in disaster recovery.
How Secure Are Virtual Private Clouds?
The major reason some are skeptical about virtual private clouds is that they are worried that VPCs aren’t as secure, because they are hosted through a public cloud service. This concern stems from the fact that users have to use IP addresses on the public internet to link data from the cloud to their own sites.
However, with a virtual private network (VPN) in place, all of this can be protected. VPNs can provide seamless integration between your virtual private cloud and your enterprise sites so they work together as one secure unit. A VPN creates added security to protect even your most vulnerable data.
If you are concerned about security in addition to all of the security features available within a virtual private cloud, you also can set up your own custom ports using your own specific firewall rules to add further protections to your data. With a virtual private cloud, you get the safety of an established public cloud plus additional measures to lock down your information and keep it safe from intrusion.
Are you ready to make the jump into the clouds? There’s never been a better time or place to explore the world of virtual private clouds than with the security you get from Violin Systems. Together we can find the right cloud-based computing system for your company’s needs, pairing your expertise in your field with our knowledge of cloud storage solutions.