Canadian web host Cirrus Hosting has become the latest cloud host to allow clients to build virtual private networks within its public cloud.
Cloud-based private networking tools are already available on public cloud services. Amazon, for instance, launched its Amazon Virtual Private Cloud solution back in 2009, and Microsoft Azure also has virtual network functionality.
However, Cirrus Hosting’s rollout of virtual private networks on its public cloud signals a shift in which more cloud providers may be offering more advanced functionality in their shared Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings. It also provides public cloud users with some of the features often only found in private cloud offerings, which Cirrus Hosting also offers.
According to its announcement this week, Cirrus Hosting makes it simple to setup and manage a cloud-based private network. Its private networking tools can now be used to create networks with multiple subnets on its public cloud IaaS, allowing users to deploy network topologies such as Internet-facing subnets and firewalled private subnets.
This gives clients the ability to securely isolate key parts of their infrastructure with strict access controls such as security groups and network access control lists.
But, as cloud security provider Dome9 notes in a blog post, private connections to virtual networks can sometimes be redundant when it comes to securing cloud services where there are already policies in place. They mention that it can potentially give too much power to authenticated users, and that it doesn’t eliminate the need for firewalls, data encryption and other security technology and procedures.
However, Cirrus CEO Ehsan Mirdamadi said it is a significant enhancement to its public cloud platform. He said in a statement, “By allowing clients to easily create private and public subnets within their own private network, we have empowered them to leverage our technology to create flexible infrastructure deployments with fine-grained control over security, access, and scaling.”