Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid: Types of Cloud Computing

OpsWorks Co.
11 min readNov 10, 2020


Types of Cloud Computing

As if it wasn’t hard enough for businesses to choose between AWS, Azure, and Google, now they have to consider different types of cloud computing too. But don’t you worry, we’ve gathered our engineers’ knowledge and arranged it for you in one comprehensive guide. This article will walk you through challenging yet necessary cloud solutions that businesses usually go for.

Types of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has a rather long history (the concept originated back in 1960), but the term itself was established only a few years ago, in 2007. Despite its widespread and frequent use, this term still does not have a clear and unambiguous definition, since the formulation is subject to all the changes in the process of development of cloud technologies.

In this article, we will tell you about three main types of cloud computing and try to figure out which one is the best for your company.

Private vs. Hybrid vs Public Vs Community cloud

Public Cloud Definition

Most of the published materials on cloud computing concentrate on the concept of public clouds, a special feature of which is access to data through an external service provider. Public cloud solutions can scale quickly with minimal infrastructure to quickly meet the need for innovation. They also allow end-users to access computing resources (applications, storage, computing power, data) exactly when they are needed and for as long as they are needed. Some service providers offer console-oriented applications such as email systems and offer unique business applications. For example, they provide developers with access to highly-scalable shared development frameworks for building and improving applications.

What are the Benefits of the Public Cloud?

Benefits of the Public Cloud

Why Public Cloud Might Be Bad for You?

In 2018, Spotify spent $450 million on Google’s public cloud to maintain its infrastructure.

Prior to 2018, Spotify had been trying to maintain an in-house data center, which required a lot of time and resources that could have been used for product development. In 2018 Spotify spent $450 million to move its infrastructure to Google’s public cloud. As a result, Spotify increased its scalability while giving developers opportunities to be innovative.

Easy maintenance doesn’t mean the public cloud solution is better than private. In fact, when speaking about cloud computing, there is no “better or worse”, there is ‘it works/doesn’t work for me’. This is why every business needs to consult with specialists before making any decisions about migration.

Let’s dig deeper into public versus private clouds together!

Private Cloud

Private clouds are located within the corporate network. An organization can manage the private cloud independently or outsource the management.

Private Cloud Benefits

Benefits of the Private Cloud
  • Cost. This point might indeed be confusing. But no worries, we will break it down into simple pieces.
  • Control and security. Companies that are very preoccupied with their data security and speed of transactions generally prefer to use the private cloud solution.

Even though cloud providers have multiple policies about the customer’s data protection, this is still the question of trust. Can your data be trusted to a third party? If not, you’ll have to shell out a bit more since the TCO (total cost of ownership) is after you.

The difference between private cloud and public cloud is simple — if you want to secure your data, you will have to pay a double price.

Why would you think twice before going for the private cloud?

  • Cost. The private cloud will cost you more since you will have to pay not only for the hardware, but also for the software, operating system, licensing, and in-house professionals to maintain the infrastructure. This brings us to one more inconvenience — maintenance.
  • Maintenance. Not only is a private cloud more time and money consuming than developing infrastructure on a public cloud, but it is also a continuous investment.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud enables IT infrastructure to flexibly switch between private and public cloud resources within a single automated and orchestrated work environment. A hybrid cloud also allows you to optimize your IT infrastructure for the disparate needs and requirements of different workloads. Because these requirements are different for every organization, a hybrid cloud is not a “fit for all” solution. For example, fast-scalable, fast-time-to-market systems may gravitate towards a public cloud. For legacy systems, a private cloud or SaaS public cloud may be better suited for standard features. Core business systems typically run on an internal private cloud.

Hybrid cloud also enables an organization to balance the required investments in an on-premises cloud with third-party public cloud services (operating costs) using a build base, lease peaks deployment model to achieve an optimal total cost of ownership (TCO).

Hybrid Cloud Model Advantages

Benefits of the Hybris Cloud

Hybrid Cloud Is not Always the Best Solution

As technology is still evolving, the combination of two different cloud environments presents IT leaders with a number of technical challenges. Building an IT infrastructure on different platforms may require additional staff training. Aside from this:

  • Decentralization. Unlike other cloud solutions, the hybrid cloud model presupposes storing data in different places. This makes your cloud providers interdependent.
  • Maintenance. While businesses that go full cloud forget about server rooms and constant updates, you’ll still have to maintain them.

However, no matter how many disadvantages we list, companies that need digitalization to stay competitive and still secure their data will consider hybrid cloud solutions more carefully than others.

Is Cloud Computing the Right Fit for Your Organization?

When evaluating cloud computing technology for its applicability in a specific organization’s environment, a critical first step is deciding which type of cloud to choose. Understand which processes can best take advantage of these technologies. Finally, it is necessary to determine which environment these processes can be performed in public or private. In addition, we anticipate the emergence of a variety of business modems that include integrated services from various vendors (public and private) designed to support and drive business innovation and IT optimization.

Researching types of computing models and infrastructure needs can help an organization ensure that the service environment it builds today will successfully stand the test of time.

Cloud computing technologies can prove useful in three key areas.

  1. Business innovation. Cloud computing fosters innovation because it enables organizations to quickly and cost-effectively explore the potential of new IT-powered business optimization opportunities through flexible scalability with virtually no constraints.
  2. Service. Cloud computing technologies provide dynamic availability of IT applications and infrastructure. Acceleration of the service delivery process is a result of the organization’s ability to quickly address tasks such as creating, configuring, provisioning, and adding computing power to support IT and business services, much more quickly than would be possible with today’s computing infrastructure. Improved service delivery strengthens the organization’s efforts to retain customers, accelerate time to market, and expand horizontal markets. The cloud computing model has the potential to improve an organization’s performance in areas such as SOA, information management, and service management, which in turn will support a company’s service delivery initiatives.
  3. IT optimization. The cloud computing model provides a high degree of scalability. It allows an organization to quickly expand or access IT services without having to overhaul its underlying data center. This provides the organization with the important benefit of lowering the total cost of ownership, which in turn increases its profitability, makes it easier to reinvest capital in its infrastructure, and answers the question, “How can you do more with fewer resources?”

Verify Your Cloud Readiness

Any organization looking to implement any given computing technology should consider the following key points:

Datacenter maturity. The key is the organization’s ability to integrate the cloud computing model into a broader strategic and architectural plan to fully align IT resources with overall business goals, objectives, and needs. In some cases, the cloud computing model can be an effective solution for acquiring and / or delivering services.

SOA. Reusing and sharing components to deliver services is a necessary part of any effective cloud computing environment. These shared components can be hosted on the Internet by any solution provider, allowing an organization to pay only for the components it really needs.

Management of services. A fully optimized data center needs a robust service management platform deployed using industry best practices. Such a platform must support business processes and track the use of resources such as applications and IT infrastructure to provide billing capabilities. The service management platform is on-demand, capable of reallocating services, dynamically moving or optimizing workloads and data across a shared infrastructure, and integrating added resources as needed to scale, all with minimal intervention from the cloud provider’s staff or no such intervention at all.

Information on demand. To achieve this goal of an optimized data center, an organization must have the ability to provide access to information that must be simple yet secure. Private cloud computing enables more secure access to information. It allows an organization to take the necessary information components “from the cloud” and transfer them to their specific servers, all while maintaining complete transparency of the corresponding services for users.

Sustainability of IT. Sharing is at the heart of cloud computing, so any such environment supports resource optimization and virtualization, which helps to reduce energy consumption and associated costs. If an organization wants to make its IT environment greener, then the cloud computing model can be a big help in achieving that goal.

Web 2.0 / social media. Cloud computing as a service delivery model supports Web 2.0 technologies, which allows organizations to design their IT infrastructures with a focus on end-user capabilities, including information optimization.

Depending on the most frequent concerns that lead businesses to agencies like OpsWorks Co., we will break it down into the solutions that will fix the issues.

How do I Save Money on my IT Infrastructure?

The main reason many companies relocate to the cloud is that they can save considerable amounts of money on IT infrastructure maintenance. When the amount of the needed computing power shrinks, you simply pay for the exact time you’ve been using the power.

So, what cloud solution wins the debate ‘Public cloud vs Private cloud vs Hybrid cloud: Cost’?

Verdict — Public Cloud.

Can I Set up Auto Scaling on my Own Servers?

You definitely can, but not at the time, when you’re preparing your infrastructure for a sudden scale up. For instance, imagine you run an online store and Black Friday is coming. You don’t want your platform to fail in the middle of the biggest shopping spree of the year, right? So you get ready by adding some servers. However, if you’re managing your data yourself, it will be necessary to buy additional servers, set them up, install the operating system on top of them and basically establish a system with a corresponding configuration. This requires resources.

You shouldn't worry about whether your website is going to survive the traffic. The computing power will be added as the number of traffic increases. It works in the opposite direction too — when the traffic decreases, the cloud provider simply cuts out the resources you’re not using.

Well…the scalability issue: public vs private vs hybrid cloud. /drumroll/

Verdict — You can set up auto-scaling even on your own computer. It doesn’t matter what cloud computing model you chose: public, private, or hybrid.

How do I Forget about my Infrastructure Maintenance and Concentrate on Business more?

The cloud solution that covers your entire infrastructure maintenance is definitely a public cloud. However, the truth is you will still need a DevOps specialist in your team to handle the infrastructure drawbacks. If the financial question is sensitive you can simply hire a DevOps contractor. It would considerably cut the budget. Therefore, you can kill two birds with one stone: focus on business and cut the maintenance budget.

Verdict — Developing business while saving money is possible with public cloud solutions.

How Do I Secure my Sensitive Data While Still Being Able to Appreciate the Advantages of the Cloud?

When security is the main concern, it makes everything much more difficult. However, you can still appreciate all the benefits of cloud solutions. Your choice would then be a hybrid cloud.

While having your sensitive data protected, you will be able to scale up and down without paying extra for the additional server ownership. How does it work?

While implementing the hybrid cloud solution may be more difficult than simply migrating your infrastructure to the public cloud or even building your private cloud, it will still meet all of your security requirements. The main benefit of the hybrid solution is having all sensitive data on your own servers in your data center or on a rented server with limited access. The rest of the infrastructure will be hosted on the public cloud so that you can use its opportunities such as autoscaling, budget regulation, spot instances, ets.

Verdict — Consider hybrid cloud solutions when concerned about your data security.


Cloud computing is a paradigm for providing network access to a scalable and flexible set of shared physical or virtual resources, with self-service resource provisioning and administration on-demand. The commercial cloud computing market is very dynamic, and new cloud services continue to emerge as new informal cloud service categories. As cloud computing continues to grow, many other categories of cloud services will continue to appear. The selection between public cloud vs private cloud vs hybrid cloud types is conducted taking into account the main needs and aims of a company.

While you’re learning the resume on the differences between private cloud and public cloud at this picture, we’ll put every valuable point in this article in two paragraphs.

Public cloud vs. Private cloud vs. Hybrid cloud: Benefits

Any IT business has three options: buy servers, lease them, or go for a public cloud. The first two variants presuppose that you will have to install your software, set up the virtualization layer, and then build your infrastructure on top of it. The last variant — the public cloud — is the option where the cloud provider provides you with a VM(s) that already have its virtualization layer installed so you don’t need to worry about it.

NOTE: It doesn’t matter which option you choose, whether it’s a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, you will still have to hire an in-house or outsourcing DevOps specialist.

If you have a combined concern that requires enhancing security, reducing latency, and reducing the budget, consider a hybrid cloud. Isolate your sensitive data while enjoying the cloud opportunities.

Anyway, the most secure way of storing your data is a server which is switched off and buried in the backyard;)

No matter how many articles you read about cloud solutions, Cloud consultants will still have to review your infrastructure and will consider your goals in order to build the best cloud solution for you. Only this way will you be able to benefit your business and make a profit.