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The Difference Between Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud

        posted by , May 22, 2013

Technology terms are always in flux. Popular ideas such as cloud computing get twisted, turned and flipped upside down before anyone can agree on common definitions.

It's refreshing to step back from the conversation once in a while for a back-to-basics sanity check.

Here's an important one: the difference between public, private and hybrid cloud.

Public Cloud

Cloud first emerged as an architectural approach on the public internet.

Cloud architecture solved a problem for internet pioneers: how to handle millions of concurrent users and process big data sets at high speed.

Cloud computing is an architectural model that wraps many physical resources in a single service.

Definition of Public Cloud

Public cloud are internet services available to the general public that employ cloud architectures. Public cloud services may be at the infrastructure, platform or software level. They may be offered free of charge or for a fee.



Private Cloud

Cloud architecture has several advantages over traditional computing models.

Cloud has economic benefits driven by increased automation and economies of scale. It also has superior performance characteristics such as scalability and fault tolerance. Cloud approaches can also process big data sets at high speed.

All in all, cloud is a superior approach to computing.

Early cloud services were consumer-focused. However, it wasn't long before business services were available on the public cloud.

Many organizations have security, integration and data privacy concerns about public cloud. They don't want their critical business data traversing or stored on the internet. Many businesses view their IT services as proprietary secrets that they don't feel comfortable entrusting to third parties.

For these reasons, many organizations develop their own clouds.

Definition of Private Cloud

Private cloud are services deployed by a single organization or partners that employ cloud architectures. Private cloud is typically not connected to the internet and/or is protected by boundary security measures such as firewalls.



Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud is a mixed approach whereby an organization has both public and private cloud services that are integrated. Typically, organizations deploy mission critical, proprietary services to private cloud and less critical services to public cloud.

Security and data privacy requirements are primary considerations in the mix between public and private cloud.

Definition of Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud is an architecture that integrates private and public cloud services.


This is the 6th in a 12-part series of posts called How to Win at Cloud.


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