VPC Glossary

A Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is a private network interface for collections of DigitalOcean resources. VPC networks provide a more secure connection between resources because the network is inaccessible from the public internet and other VPC networks. Traffic within a VPC network doesn’t count against bandwidth usage.

This glossary defines the core concepts behind VPC to help build your mental model of how VPC work and understand what the documentation is referring to when it uses certain terminology.

Classless Inter-Domain Routing notation, or CIDR notation, is a method of representing an IP address network range.
cloud-init is an industry standard instance initialization tool that allows you to inject customized configurations into a Droplet at creation time, such as setting up a user with specific privileges. Using cloud-init can save you provisioning and setup time by allowing you to automate common setup tasks.
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network management protocol that automates the assignment of IP addresses.
A gateway is a server or router that provides access to networks from other networks or the public internet.
Internet Procotol (IP) is a communications protocol used to connect computers across a network, specifically the Internet. IP consists of rules and regulations for transmission of packets across a network including routing and addressing. IP ensures that the packets of data that travel across a network arrives at the correct location.

Network Size

Network size is the size of the VPC network. When configuring the private IP range, you can also customize the size of the network. The offered network sizes: /28 (16 usable IP addresses) to /16 (65536 usable IP addresses). The default size is /20 (4096 usable IP addresses).

Packets, or datagrams, are blocks of data that are transmitted by a computer or device and forwarded to other devices in a network, such as an application, server, or internet-accessible device. Packets are the the most basic unit of data transmission across networks and the internet.