Alibaba Cloud Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

This blog will help you understand what is a VPC and how it works in Alibaba Cloud. Additionally, I have created a step by step guide on how to deploy it using the Alibaba Cloud console.


  • What is a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and how it works
  • Plan and design a VPC Network
  • Deploy a VPC network
  • Know different options of connection VPC to the internet

What is Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)?

Virtual Private (VPC) is a logically isolated network environment. Where you have full control of the following:

  • IP address ranges
  • Subnets
  • Routing tables
  • Network Gateways and Connections
Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) icon

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) creates a Layer 2 isolated network environment at regional level for cloud customers to build private computing in a public cloud environment.

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) environment

How does VPC work?

VPC user Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) a tunneling protocol that encapsulates Layer 2 Ethernet frames in Layer 3 UDP packets, aka MAC-in UDP.

24- bit ID which scale it up to 16 million VXLAN segments

VXLAN enables cloud customers to create Virtualized Layer 2 subnets, or segments, that span physical Layer 3 networks.

Communication is allowed from Virtual Machines ( VMs) with the same tunnel ID only

Plan and design VPC-IP address range

Select Classless inter-domain Routing (CIDR) IP address range suitable for your VPC Network, from the Private Network as defined by RFC1918.

Some examples:

  •                   – 24 bits
  •             – 20 bits
  •           -16 bits
Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) environment

Plan and design VPC – VRouter

VRouter is like a hub in a VPC that connects all subnet in the VPC and also serves as a gateway device that connects the VPC with other Networks.

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) VRouter

Plan and design VPC – VSwitches

  • VSwitches are like a layer 2 switch from a subnet in the VPC.
  • The first and last three IP addresses of a VSwitch are reserved by the system.
  • Each VPC can have a maximum of 24 VSwitches
  • VSwitches cannot be distributed across different zones
Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) VSwitches

Creating a VPC and VSwitches

Now, we will walk through the steps used to create a simple VPC using the previous example.

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) in Singapore

Log on to the Alibaba Cloud console and do the following steps:

  1. Select Singapore from the region menu
Select the region

2. Click create VPC, Configure the VPC Name, and Select the CIDR Block

VPC creation and configuration

3. Scroll down, Configure the VSwitches Name, Zone, Destination CIDR Block, and the CIDR mask

VSwitches configuration

4. Click add ( or Create VSswitch from Vswitch console), to configure 2nd Vswitch Name, Zone, Destination CIDR Block, and he CIDR mask

VSwitches configuration

5. Click Ok and ensure the status is success

Check the VPC status

6. Click Complete and the newly created VPC instance will be listed

VPC details

VPC connections

Alibaba Cloud provides many solutions to connect a VPC to the internet, other VCPs or local data centers.

VPC connections

When the cloud products in a VPC needs to communicate with the internet, you can use Network address translation (NAT) Gateway, Elastic IP (EIP) and Server Load Balancer (SLB) to establish an internet connection.

When the cloud products in a VPC needs to establish a connection with other VPCs or local Inter Data Center (IDC), you can use Virtual Private Network ( VPN) Gateway, Express Connect and Cloud Enterprise  Network ( CEN) to build a Hybrid Cloud environment.

Wrapping Up

In summary, now you are able to:

  • Know what a Virtual Private Cloud is and how it works
  • Plan and Design a VPC Network
  • Deploy a VPC network
  • Know different options of connection VPC to the internet

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top