AWS makes it easier to link to virtual private clouds

The web services giant introduces a new feature that could reduce the cost and security risks of linking virtual instances on its platform.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is making it simpler to communicate with servers, databases, and other resources sat within a "virtual private cloud" on its platform.

AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) allows users to rent virtual machines situated within a logically isolated section of the AWS cloud platform.

Choosing VPC when creating an instance offers control over network configuration such as IP address range, routing, subnets, and access control lists, as well as allowing users to use features such as AWS Enhanced Networking and the recently introduced Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) T2 instances.

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Previously EC2 instances not running within a VPC, referred to as EC2-Classic, had to use public IP addresses or tunnelling to communicate with AWS resources in a VPC.

"They could not take advantage of the higher throughput and lower latency connectivity available for inter-instance communication. This model also resulted in additional bandwidth charges and has some undesirable security implications," said AWS evangelist Jeff Barr in a blog post.

AWS has now enabled users to link their EC2-Classic instances to other resources sat within a VPC via a new feature called ClassicLink, which enables communication between EC2-Classic and VPC instances using private IP addresses..

"For example, you can use a new Amazon RDS T2 Instance (available only within a VPC) to launch a cost-effective DB instance that can easily accommodate bursts of traffic and queries," said Barr.

ClassicLink is free of charge and can be enabled by a few clicks within the AWS management console, as explained here. It is also accessible from the AWS Command Line Interface, AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell, and the AWS SDKs.

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