AWS Virtual Private Clouds

Looks like I’m not the only one who thinks enterprises will pay for their own cloud-based infrastructure. Today, Amazon Web Services announced (h/t TechCrunch) a new service called Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) targeted at the exact demand I see.

I should pay more attention to when I post stuff. Note to self: Friday afternoons are not a good time for serious posts.

VPN addresses some of the open-ended questions I have around how this would work. Looks like all you need to do is assign a range of IPs to VPC and setup a VPN connection between VPC and your network. Easy peasy.

Photo by skyseeker on Flickr used under Creative Commons

Photo by skyseeker on Flickr used under Creative Commons

This approach combines your existing data center resources with EC2 (and possibly S3, not sure) creating a nice hybrid approach.

Having a combined approach has a bunch of benefits: no need to convert your infrastructure or disrupt production apps, flexible sandbox space to build and test new apps, no need to beef up your NOC and train your IT for ops duty, pay only for what you use, etc.

On the downside, if your security requires all corporate application data to live on corporate servers, you’re basically out of luck. Plus, you’re at the whim of AWS, and no service is up 100% of the time. Still, you’ll probably have uptime issues anyway, whether you’re building in the cloud or locally. That’s just how it goes.

Having a development sandbox for testing and building new apps would be great and saves a ton of time and money. You could kick the tires and squash bugs before moving apps from VPC inside the firewall. A solution like this would have been perfect for our development of Connect and various other apps we’ve tested and tried over the years.

So, I guess I answered one of my questions from last week. Someone is doing this. I’m sure there will be packaged options, a la cloud-in-a-box, that allow you to create your own clouds entirely inside your firewall. Both solutions meet a very real need for IT, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop.

What do you think? Would your company benefit from an internal cloud or from VPC?

Why would (or wouldn’t) your company go in this direction?

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