Improved Amazon Private Cloud Security: EC2 Dedicated Instances

Back in October last year I posted an article titled ‘How Dedicated is Your Private Cloud ?‘. The main theme was that whilst organisations like Amazon offer private clouds on Amazon infrastructure, your virtual machines may actually be co-hosted on the same physical hardware as other organisations virtual machines. What is private in such scenarios is the virtual network your instances are connected to.

Without a good understanding of cloud computing and the underlying technologies that make this possible, private cloud means one thing, yet to those with a good understanding of cloud computing will know that there are different levels of ‘private’ cloud when that cloud is hosted by a third party. Amazon, as part of their AWS have offered a virtual private cloud (VPC) for some time now. With the Amazon VPC, instances are co-hosted with instances from other organisations. Until today that is. Today, Amazon have announced EC2 dedicated instances which ensure that all EC2 compute instances will be isolated at the hardware level. It is possible to create a VPC in EC2 that has a mixture of dedicated and non-dedicated machine instances all on the same network based on application requirements.

In addition, earlier this month Amazon made some changes to the way VPC’s can be accessed. Originally, the only way of accessing an Amazon VPC was from an IPSec Virtual Private network (VPN). This required extra onsite resources for many organisations. The VPN restriction has now been relaxed and and Amazon VPC can now be accessed by the Internet. Amazon are certainly making the private cloud something that is now comfortably within reach of all organisations.

For anybody who would like to gain an understanding of what cloud computing is, the underlying technologies and how it can benefit their organisation, Learning Tree have developed a Cloud Computing course that provides hands-on exposure to a variety of cloud computing tools and services. In addition, currently under development is a course dedicated specifically to Amazon AWS. If you are interested, more details are provided here.


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