Modern applications are built using modular and distributed components. Each component is a service that implements its own subset of functionalities. To make these services communicate with each other, you need a way to let them discover where they are, authorize access, and route traffic. When troubleshooting issues, you need to keep communication configurations under control so that you can quickly understand what is happening at the application, service, and network levels. This can take a lot of your time.

Today, we are making available in preview Amazon VPC Lattice, a new capability of Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) that gives you a consistent way to connect, secure, and monitor communication between your services. With VPC Lattice, you can define policies for traffic management, network access, and monitoring so you can connect applications in a simple and consistent way across AWS compute services (instances, containers, and serverless functions). VPC Lattice automatically handles network connectivity between VPCs and accounts and network address translation between IPv4, IPv6, and overlapping IP addresses. VPC Lattice integrates with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to give you the same authentication and authorization capabilities you are familiar with when interacting with AWS services today, but for your own service-to-service communication. With VPC Lattice, you have common controls to route traffic based on request characteristics and weighted routing for blue/green and canary-style deployments. For example, VPC Lattice allows you to mix and match compute types for a given service, which helps you modernize a monolith application architecture to microservices.

VPC Lattice is designed to be noninvasive, allowing teams across your organization to incrementally opt in over time. In this way, you are able to deliver applications faster by focusing on your application logic, while VPC Lattice handles service-to-service networking, security, and monitoring requirements.

How Amazon VPC Lattice WorksWith VPC Lattice, you create a logical application layer network, called a service network, that connects clients and services across different VPCs and accounts, abstracting network complexity. A service network is a logical boundary that is used to automatically implement service discovery and connectivity as well as apply access and observability policies to a collection of services. It offers inter-application connectivity over HTTP/HTTPS and gRPC protocols within a VPC.

Once a VPC has been enabled for a service network, clients in the VPC will automatically be able to discover the services in the service network through DNS and will direct all inter-application traffic through VPC Lattice. You can use AWS Resource Access Manager (RAM) to control which accounts, VPCs, and applications can establish communication via VPC Lattice.

A service is an independently deployable unit of software that delivers a specific task or function. In VPC Lattice, a service is a logical component that can live in any VPC or account and can run on a mixture of compute types (virtual machines, containers, and serverless functions). A service configuration consists of:

To configure service access controls, you can use access policies. An access policy is an IAM resource policy that can be associated with a service network and individual services. With access policies, you can use the “PARC” (principal, action, resource, and condition) model to enforce context-specific access controls for services. For example, you can use an access policy to define which services can access a service you own. If you use AWS Organizations, you can limit access to a service network to a specific organization.

VPC Lattice also provides a service directory, a centralized view of the services that you own or have been shared with you via AWS RAM.

Using Amazon VPC Lattice We expect people with different roles can use VPC Lattice. For example:

Let’s see how this works in practice. In this quick walkthrough, I am covering both roles.

Creating Two Backend Services There is nothing specific to VPC Lattice in this section. I am just creating a couple of services, one running on Amazon EC2 and one on AWS Lambda, that I’ll use later when I configure networking with VPC Lattice.