At Earthlink we called it a "pocket net", a private net segment with no public access except outbound through a NAT based router. An Amazon AWS VPC can provide such, but I found the setup cumbersome, the "wizard" didn't work, and worst of all, I was stuck with a Red Hat NAT instance that couldn't run any of my usual Ubuntu scripts (mostly due to apt dependencies). I wrote this doc because in all of google-space, I could not find a concise guide, and certainly not on AWS.
With a little fiddling to get the AWS networking correct, plus a reminder from this link (tyvm) on how easy it was to get IP Tables to do NAT, I got a nice, simple solution up and running. I'll assume familiarity around the AWS service console screens and IP networking basics.
Get logged in and choose the AWS region/datacenter you want to work in. Nav to the VPC Dashboard and get started.
Create a VPC. I like descriptive names, like that shown. All those AWS ids will drive you batty. Use a /16 private net segment, like that shown below
Create a /24 subnet, which will be your "pub" network for internet access. Be sure to put it on the VPC created above.
Create another /24 as your private net. When done, you should have
Create an Internet Gateway
Associate the gateway with your VPC
Go to the Route Table page. Notice the VPC create already put a default table in.
Rename that table as your public route table, that will route packets to the Internet Gateway
Create another route table on your vpc for the private routing, between instances without a routeable public IP and the gateway NAT router.
That private subnet we create above is associated with the default route table, which we're using as public. Go back to the subnet section and associated the private subnet with the private route table.
Now, back to the route tables. On the public route table, create a default route, 0.0.0.0/0, to the gateway.
If you go back to the subnet table, note that the public subnet now reflects that new route
Now we need Security Groups for the instances we'll create. For this project, a single SG that allows all traffic on the VPC, along with ssh from the outside. If I were creating a web cluster, I'd create another SG with the same, plus http and https for my webserver or load balancer.
We also need a key pair, to protect login access to the NAT instance. That private key will download, guard it well, and get it ready to use with ssh.
The only other routing work is to associate a default route on the private net, i.e., in the private route table, with the NAT gateway. However, we don't have a NAT gateway instance yet, so...head to the EC2 dashboard and create an Ubuntu instance. (Micro will do fine for non-production work, but I plan to use this instance for other duty besides NAT, so I'm using t2.small.)
Be sure to go through all the instance setup pages, especially the Instance Details. Get the right VPC and select your public subnet. VERY IMPORTANT: Change the "Auto-assign Public IP" value to "Enable".
Add the SG we created above to the instance...
...and add the key pair
When the NAT spins up, let's use an Elastic IP for it. Allocate a new EIP in the VPC
Select the instance, and associate that EIP with the NAT instance
Another tricky bit: Disable Source/Destination check on the instance
Go back to the VPC dash, route tables. Select the private route table, and create a default route with dest as your NAT instance
Ok, we're done with the AWS console stuff. Time to get on the NAT instance and do the final incantation to make it all work. Open a terminal, and using your public EIP
ssh -i ~/.ssh/slated/w-dev-2014.pem email@example.com
and once on the instance, confirm it has net access
And now, what makes the NAT and forwarding work (thank you iptables!):
echo '#!/bin/sh echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -s 10.0.0.0/16 -j MASQUERADE ' | sudo tee /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/nat-setup sudo chmod +x /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/nat-setup sudo /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/nat-setup
Done! Well, except for using it...create an instance without a public IP, make sure it's on the private subnet of the VPC and has the all VPC SG assigned. You'll need to put your private key on the NAT instance to ssh to the new private node, but you should be good to go!