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Public Cloud vs. Private Cloud vs. Hybrid Cloud – How Do These Cloud Computing Technologies Differ?

Updated on June 7, 2022

7 Min Read
public vs private vs hybrid cloud

Public and private cloud technologies are often compared based on their accessibility, scalability, security, and cost-effectiveness. Curious to find out which suits your business needs best? Keep reading to find all the answers in this in-depth public vs. private cloud comparison. 

  1. Uses of Cloud Computing
  2. Types of Cloud Computing Models
  3. Comparison of Private, Public & Hybrid Cloud
  4. Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid Cloud – Price Comparison
  5. Difference Between Private and Public Cloud
  6. What’s the Better Cloud Deployment Model?

First things first – let’s learn why businesses need to adopt cloud computing methods. Or you can skip ahead in this piece to understand cloud deployment models and see how they differentiate from one another.

Why Do Businesses Need Cloud Computing?

In an ever-evolving digital market, scaling demands have become unpredictable. Businesses face several roadblocks like limited team size, unpredictable nature of demand, and limited resources while scaling.

Cloud computing comes to the rescue in circumstances like these. But before investing in a service, you need to understand in-depth cloud-based computing and the on-premise setup so you can choose the option that better suits your business. 

Usually, businesses choose cloud computing for the following benefits:

  • Easy scalability
  • Server storage
  • Maintenance
  • Remote access
  • Data recovery
  • Controlled costs

Whether private or public cloud, how well a cloud service performs depends on certain factors that maintain its stability. Managed cloud services cater to all your cloud requirements through professional and skilled workforces that handle cloud-related activities.

Features like disaster recovery, data backup plan, uptime, and a secure, scalable, reliable environment are all provided by managed cloud service providers.

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Cloud Deployment Models

Cloud computing can be classified into two models: the deployment model and the service model. The cloud deployment model defines the types of cloud environments businesses may choose to run their applications. 

Although there are three main types of cloud environments (public, private, and hybrid), there is an additional cloud deployment type known as the community cloud. I have described all of the models below.

Public Cloud

A public cloud uses the cloud computing models to ensure the remote availability of its resources to its users. Public clouds have huge spaces that allow easy scalability and are an optimal solution for software development and collaborative projects. 

You may think of a public cloud as an external cloud provider that provides its services to multiple businesses via the internet on the pay-per-use model. The cloud provider manages the creation and maintenance of the resources. 

Different service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and OpenStack offer public cloud services to businesses and organizations. 

Businesses that opt for this just have to pay for the service, saving them from additional operational and maintenance costs. Moreover, businesses have the freedom to scale up and down their businesses to meet their demands.

Private Cloud

Like a public cloud, a private cloud offers scalability, better usage of resources, and other benefits, with an added advantage of a remote server rather than a shared server. 

The private cloud exclusive offers its services to an individual, business, or organization. Anyone utilizing the private cloud service won’t have to share their resources with anyone; they can enjoy their dedicated access for better overall security & performance. 

Private cloud hosting can be costlier than the public cloud, but it is an optimal option for large-scale businesses that seek customization and added security. The additional control lets you limit access to your confidential data and information and lets you move your data anywhere. 

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud, as the name suggests, is an amalgamation of the two main cloud deployment models (public and private) combined with the on-premises infrastructure and methods for an integrated solution for businesses and organizations. 

A hybrid cloud typically follows a connection from an on-premises data center to a public cloud. The cloud deployment model combines various services and data to provide a highly organized and controlled computing environment.

Note: Remember that a company will not be considered to be using a hybrid cloud if it uses a public cloud service to model an application and has no connection with the private cloud or the data center. 

Following is a detailed comparison between the three cloud computing models:

Public Cloud Private Cloud Hybrid Cloud
Pros
  • Flexibility
  • Data Recovery
  • Reliability 
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Maintenance
  • Added security
  • Improved performance
  • Increased availability
  • Better control
  • Flexibility
  • Reliability
  • Scalability
  • Agility
Cons
  • Security vulnerability
  • Control issues
  • Customer support
  • Expensive
  • High maintenance cost
  • Too many options – can be difficult to make the right choice
  • Investment
  • Security
Pricing
  • More affordable
  • Pay for resources you use
  • Don’t have to pay for additional resources
  • Fairly expensive
  • Scaling is costly
  • Pays off in the long term
  • Combine the pricing models of both private and public clouds.
Providers
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Microsoft Azure
  • OpenStack
  • Linode
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Google Cloud
  • Microsoft Azure
  • OpenStack
  • Microsoft Azure
  • VMWare
  • Rackspace
  • IBM
  • CISCO

Community Cloud

Community clouds are not as popular as the other cloud deployment models, but they follow a cloud infrastructure that allows organizations to access the services to share information. They may be operated and owned by the organizations or by third parties, or in some cases, by both parties. 

The primary objective of a community cloud is to bring different customers together to work on a centralized cloud infrastructure. You may think of a community cloud as a hybrid form of a private cloud as it lets various organizations work on a shared platform. 

Community clouds are built for targeted organizations or groups with similar cloud requirements to fulfill their goals. It integrates various cloud solutions to solve the problems of different sectors by providing a distributed infrastructure. 

A community cloud system removes the dependency of the organizations on their cloud service providers as they are open systems and let the users share their infrastructure. The usage of shared infrastructure eliminates the cons of the private and public clouds.

Pros and Cons of Community Cloud

Pros:

  • Openness
  • Reliability
  • Added control

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Fixed amount of data storage and bandwidth

Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid Cloud – Price Comparison

Comparison of public vs private vs hybrid cloud

Costing is one element that plays a crucial role in a cloud deployment model’s selection. Let’s discover which cloud model offers the best pricing:

  • Public cloud platforms are more affordable than other cloud models as they are shared and operate on “pay for the resources you use” models. Also, with public clouds, you don’t have to pay for the additional resources as the cloud service provider covers them.
  • Private cloud platforms are fairly expensive as you have to pay for dedicated servers and hefty maintenance costs. Scaling with a private cloud is also costly. However, considering the strict focus on security and dedicated services, the private cloud’s pricing is quite justified.
  • Hybrid cloud platforms combine the pricing models of both private and public clouds. Their cost is justified as they let you manage the workload and assign resources as per your business requirements. They’re perfect for businesses seeking agility as they combine the best of both public and private clouds. 

Difference between Public Cloud vs. Private Cloud – Which One is Better?

Let us first understand the key differences between a public and a private cloud before concluding on the better cloud computing option.

  • A public cloud is used as a service via the internet. In contrast, a private cloud is deployed within certain boundaries like firewall settings and is completely managed and monitored by the users working on it within an organization.
  • Users have to pay a monthly bill for public cloud services, but they are charged per GB usage and bandwidth transfer fees with a private cloud.
  • The public cloud functions on the prime principle of storage demand scalability, requiring no hardware. Like the public cloud, the private cloud doesn’t require any hardware, but its data can only be shared amongst the users in an organization or with third parties. Also, the data in a private cloud is fully monitored by the business entity where it is running.

What’s the Better Cloud Deployment Model?

Although cloud technology is a boon for IT organizations, there are still several unanswered questions related to its future scope for businesses.

Nevertheless, in terms of performance, they share an almost similar nature that differs only in their architecture. 

Private Cloud

A private cloud functions independently for an organization, that too behind firewall settings, so it is quite secure. You cannot access a private cloud anywhere or anytime you wish as it is fully managed by the users working for an organization.

As far as the scalability factor is concerned, the private cloud is the clear winner. It also offers flexibility to expand as per users’ requirements. 

A private cloud also offers fewer data security risks as the data’s geographical location stored in a private cloud is visible, unlike a public cloud. Sure, the initial cost of a private cloud is quite expensive, but it pays off in the long term.

working of public vs private cloud

Public Cloud

The public cloud architecture creates a business environment that’s accessible from anywhere, anytime. Even though a public cloud isn’t as secure as a private cloud, it has several benefits, like:

  • The initial cost with a public cloud is minimal, but it can be costlier if you store data for an extended period. However, the public cloud supports different data types. 
  • Since it is available to users via web installed at a given server off-premises, it is more accessible than a private cloud. 

Apart from the technical ins and outs of cloud technology, research and conferences on cloud theory are ongoing. One study, discussed below, offers an overview of the industry’s thoughts about cloud computing and its managed services.

Vanessa Alvarez

In two statements on the cloud deployment models, Vanessa Alvarez, a Frost & Sullivan analyst on cloud computing said: “Private clouds will make the most money and drive the most revenue,” whereas “Public clouds can offer some level of security and reliability, but private gives you that comfy feeling.”

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Final Thoughts

It is difficult to say which cloud service stands out despite the public and private cloud differences. It really all comes down to your requirements. Nonetheless, factors concerning access, patterns, security, confidentiality, service level agreements, and professional workforce in public and private cloud computing get more and more advanced each year. 

FAQs

What is the main difference between the public vs private cloud?

The main difference between a public and a private cloud lies in their infrastructure. The former uses a shared infrastructure, and the latter uses an infrastructure owned by an organization, that is inaccessible outside the organization.

Is a private cloud better than a public cloud?

It depends upon your requirements. If you are looking for scalability and control, a private cloud is the better option. If you seek an easily accessible and affordable option, then the public cloud better fits your requirement.

Are AWS and Google Cloud private or public?

Both Google Cloud and AWS are public cloud providers. 

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Sarim Javaid

Sarim Javaid is a Digital Content Producer at Cloudways. He has a habit of penning down his random thoughts and giving words and meaning to the clutter of ideas colliding inside his mind. His obsession with Google and his curious mind add to his research-based writing. Other than that, he's a music and art admirer and an overly-excited person.

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