Comparing The Advantages Of Public, Private And Hybrid Cloud Computing Models

The demands of modern-day business necessitate cloud computing services. As such, the majority (94%) of enterprises already utilize a cloud service. With the options available, how does an organization choose which type to best manage data? Below is a brief look into the three cloud services: public, private and hybrid.

Up first is public. Often the most popular model, public cloud computing involves cloud resources that are accessed by multiple users across the Internet. The resources within the system are owned and maintained by a third-party provider, including the servers, applications, hardware and software. 

The popularity of the public cloud arises from its high scalability and low cost. Consumers also frequently opt for it, since it’s flexible and highly accessible as only a web browser is required. There are drawbacks, however, as this option provides limited security features, as well as limited control and customization of the infrastructure. The benefits typically outweigh the risks for those using it to supplement their resource requirements, for web-based email or for testing and developing software.

Next is private. As the name suggests, this cloud computing model provides an exclusive environment dedicated solely to a single organization. The IT resources to run a private cloud may be located on-site or off-site, but are maintained via a private network. Offering the most control of the three infrastructure models, it is typically sought after by organizations with specific privacy, IT or resource requirements. Its emphasis on security and control makes it ideal for highly regulated industries, handling sensitive data and for sizable businesses with specific needs. Due to its highly customizable and private nature, it can be much more expensive and less scalable than public cloud models.

Last but certainly not least, there’s hybrid. These systems deliver resources in both private and public models, sharing data and applications as needed. Offering a middle ground between the flexibility of a public cloud model and the privacy and control of private, this option is ideal for organizations needing to provide varying requirements across infrastructure. This option typically includes on-site infrastructure to get the most flexibility, scalability and control.

Hybrid models are advantageous for growing companies that wish to develop and test out the various cloud features. Another advantage of hybrid cloud deployment models is that organizations can invest further in their security with more control over costs. The disadvantages include added complexity as more in-house management is required, and price, as switching between models could result in waste.

With the landscape of cloud computing being so vast and complex, how do organizations make a choice regarding which method of implementation to use? The answer is often that they don’t. An increasing number of companies are choosing to deploy all three to gain the advantages each provide and to better meet their workload, security, budgetary and scalability demands. 

For more information on the differences of these cloud infrastructures, please see the accompanying resource below.

Infographic created by HotWire Networks, a web hosting company.

Brian Farrell is a coach, helping clients achieve their personal and professional goals. He's also the creator of the "QA2 Method". For more about Brian, visit