When you spin up a Cloud Server or Bare Metal Server on our CloudNX platform, it’ll have a single network interface by default, with an assigned public IPv4 address. If you have two or more servers and want to communicate between them, you could use this public interface for internal communication. But, if increased performance and security sounds like a good idea (we think it does), you could set up a private network. Want the good news? You can create a private network for your servers on CloudNX in 6 steps!

But what is a private network and why should you set one up? Well, they’re exactly the questions we’re here to answer.

What is CloudNX?

It makes sense to start from the beginning and take a quick look at what CloudNX is. If you’re not familiar with it, our CloudNX platform allows you to enjoy the resource flexibility of the cloud (scaling CPU, RAM and SSD storage available on demand) combined with no contracts and usage-based billing. We’ve designed and engineered it with proven VMware technology leading to best-in-class orchestration capability.

It makes all our Cloud Servers and Bare Metal Servers completely manageable through one easy-to-use cloud panel. You can provision and manage them with full root access and everything can be connected and integrated with load balancers, firewalls and, you guessed it, private networks.

What is a private network?

If you know your IT you probably already know what a private network is.

But just in case, put simply, a private network is exactly what it sounds like – a network that’s private. It’s a way for machines and servers to communicate with each other away from the public network. That means that the data transmitted across it isn’t out in the wild and stays hidden from anyone outside the network. Using a private network keeps data more secure due to the limited access and also means that it doesn’t need to be encrypted.

How can you create a private network on CloudNX?

Creating a private network on CloudNX is super simple. In fact, our guide on creating a private network for your CloudNX servers shows you how to do it in 6 steps.

All you need to do is:

  1. Log in to your CloudNX Control Panel and navigate to ‘create’ under ‘private network’
  2. Give your new private network a name
  3. Enter an IP address for your private network
  4. Specify a subnet mask
  5. Choose the region you want to create your private network in
  6. Click create!

Enabling the private network feature when deploying a cloud server, will configure it during the build process. Enabling the private network feature on an already deployed cloud server will require a reboot in order to see the private network interface. You will also need to manually configure the IPv4 address.

It’s slightly different for bare metal servers – the private network is presented as a tagged VLAN on top of the same interface which carries the untagged public vlan. This is not currently handled during the deployment process and will need to be manually configured post deployment.

Benefits of creating a private network

On top of security, there are loads of other reasons why you’d want to configure a private network for your servers on CloudNX. Here’s a few of the best ones:

  • Traffic between servers in a private network is in an isolated L2 broadcast domain (aka Vlan)
  • The path between servers in a private network is more direct than via a public network. This results in higher reliability (fewer components to fail, no exposure to other public traffic) as well as lower latency
  • In the case of cloud servers, there is higher bandwidth available on the private network
  • You can leverage the private network to build more advanced multi-tier network topologies
  • You can enable jumbo MTU on the private interface
  • You can form a direct L2 adjacency between servers in the private network (this is required for certain applications)

With a private network you can divide your existing CloudNX Server network into several logical networks. This division gives you more flexibility if you want to assign your servers to individual network segments. Plus, you can increase the performance of your network by prioritising certain data packages and by the reduction of broadcasts.

Who might need a private network?

How useful a private network might be for your Cloud Servers and Bare Metal Servers depends on how you use them. But in general, a private network on CloudNX would be useful for:

  • Connecting teams and departments
  • Configuring a network that is connected to a load balancer
  • For a web server or database server

You can find more on our blog – we have a whole section on servers! Explore how to use CloudNX for building highly-available web applications or maybe dive into the difference between Bare Metal Servers and Cloud Servers.