Amazon Web Services Inc. today announced the general availability of Amazon VPC Lattice, a service that helps companies manage the network traffic in their cloud environments.
Many enterprise applications implement a so-called microservices architecture. A microservices-based application is not one program, but rather a collection of several independent software modules. Those modules are linked together by network connections that allow them to exchange data and coordinate their work.
Historically, managing the connections that link together an application’s various components required significant time and effort. AWS’ newly launched VPC Lattice service is aimed at reducing manual work for customers.
Before two components of an application can establish a network connection, they have to perform a task known as discovery. During discovery, each component collects the technical information that it requires to start sending data to the other module. AWS says VPC Lattice can automate the process.
After the discovery process is complete, VPC Lattice uses the cloud giant’s AWS identity access management security service to authenticate connections. It also provides authorization features. Those features enable administrators to regulate which systems a given workload may access over the network and how.
VPC Lattice can monitor the network connections that it manages for errors. It tracks other metrics as well, such as the amount of traffic that an application generates and what type of network requests it sends. That information can help administrators identify potential technical issues.
According to AWS, VPC Lattice is capable of establishing connections between workloads running in different instances and software containers. Moreover, it can provide connectivity for serverless functions. Those are components of an application that run on the cloud giant’s Lambda serverless computing service.
Besides linking together an application’s components, VPC Lattice also provides the ability to connect different networks. AWS customers often deploy their applications in a virtual private cloud, or VPC. A VPC is an isolated network that shields business applications from the public internet. Using VPC Lattice, such isolated networks can be linked together to facilitate the sharing of data.
“VPC Lattice handles the complexity of setting up connectivity across VPC boundaries and permission across accounts,” Danilo Poccia, AWS’ chief evangelist for EMEA, detailed in a blog post. “By using VPC Lattice, you can focus on your application logic and improve productivity and deployment flexibility with consistent support for instances, containers, and serverless computing.”
AWS first detailed VPC Lattice its annual re:Invent conference last December. On occasion of the service’s launch into general availability today, the cloud giant is rolling out a number of new features.
VPC Lattice is receiving improved support for Kubernetes that will make it easier to use in container environments. Additionally, AWS is adding support for IPv6, the latest version of the Internet Protocol standard that networks use to manage their IP addresses. IPv6 includes security and reliability optimizations, as well as features that ease network management tasks.