VPC to VPC connectivity - Building a Scalable and Secure Multi-VPC AWS Network Infrastructure

VPC to VPC connectivity

Customers can use two different VPC flow patterns to set up multi-VPC environments: many-to-many, or hub-and-spoke. In the many-to-many approach, the traffic between each VPC is managed individually between each VPC. In the hub-and-spoke model, all inter-VPC traffic flows through a central resource, which routes traffic based on established rules.

VPC peering

The simplest way to connect two VPCs is to use VPC Peering. In this setup, a connection enables full bidirectional connectivity between the VPCs. This peering connection is used to route traffic between the VPCs. VPCs across accounts and AWS Regions can also be peered together. VPC peering incurs costs only for traffic traveling over the connection (there is no hourly infrastructure fee).

VPC peering is point-to-point connectivity, and it does not support transitive routing. For example, if you have a VPC peering connection between VPC A and VPC B and between VPC A and VPC C, an instance in VPC B cannot transit through VPC A to reach VPC C. To route packets between VPC B and VPC C, you are required to create a direct VPC peering connection.

At scale, when you have tens to hundreds of VPCs, interconnecting them with peering results in a mesh of hundreds to thousands of peering connections, which are difficult to manage and scale. For example, if you have 100 VPCs and you want to setup a full mesh peering between them, it will take 4,950 peering connections [n(n-1)/2] where n=total number of VPCs. There is a maximum limit of up to 125 active peering connections per VPC.


        A diagram depicting network setup using VPC peering

Network setup using VPC peering

If you are using VPC peering, on-premises connectivity (VPN and/or Direct Connect) must be made to each VPC. Resources in a VPC cannot reach on-premises using the hybrid connectivity of a peered VPC, as shown in the preceding figure.

VPC peering is best used when resources in one VPC must communicate with resources in another VPC, the environment of both VPCs is controlled and secured, and the number of VPCs to be connected is less than 10 (to allow for the individual management of each connection). VPC peering offers the lowest overall cost when compared to other options for inter-VPC connectivity.