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What Are Public Clouds And Private Clouds?

Here is the complete guide to choosing the cloud model that best suits a company’s needs. In the last decade, cloud technology is assuming an unchallenged dominance, going faster and faster to replace the old on-premise model. The increase in demand is matched by an increase in supply, both in terms of small and large providers and due to the increase in possible options. There are currently four cloud services to choose from: public cloud, private cloud, and the combinations of these two models, hybrid and multi-cloud clouds. Since the extent of the service varies depending on the cloud chosen, it is worth knowing and understanding the differences between the two primary forms, as well as their positive and negative aspects.

What Cloud Models Are There?

It is clear to everyone that the technological developments of recent years have led us to have the cloud everywhere. Indeed, private end users increasingly rely on cloud services such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, not to mention cloud derivatives such as Alexa or Google Home. Businesses are also increasingly using aggregate computing performance, with flexible access and high cloud data security. Users currently have the choice between two different cloud models and two resulting combinations:

Public Cloud 

The public cloud is owned and operated by a third-party vendor. Users access the services of this model over the Internet. In summary, users can share storage, devices, or hardware with all participating tenants at no upfront cost. Vendors sometimes use subscription-based structures, where users pay based on their specific cloud usage.

Private Cloud

A private cloud is a single-tenant architecture with a dedicated hardware infrastructure. This arrangement can be implemented in a company’s on-premises data center or by the hosting third-party service provider. In this case, the service provider is responsible for looking after the underlying infrastructure. The servers are isolated from other components and accessible through a private network.

Hybrid Cloud

It is a service comprising a combination of different clouds, including private clouds, public clouds, and cloud service providers (CSPs). For example: in a three-tier application stack, the presentation service may reside on a public cloud, the application service may instead reside on a managed private cloud while, perhaps, the database service is located in an on-prem data center.

Multi Cloud

It corresponds to the simultaneous use of the same cloud model (both public and private) made available by different cloud service providers. Enterprises use multiple public and private clouds at the same time.

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Public Cloud Vs. Private Cloud: What Are The Differences?

No solution is suitable for choosing between the different cloud models. Depending on the needs, each cloud model can have advantages and disadvantages, so it is essential to analyze your processes and workload. In my opinion, if you choose a third party to carry out this type of analysis, you will undoubtedly have a better result. Often, the exclusively internal vision of one’s processes causes one to lose sight of the details that stand out the most when viewed from the outside.

One of the most popular cloud services is undoubtedly the public cloud which requires only a browser from users and has a wide variety. On the other hand, the private cloud offers advantages, especially for companies that prefer autonomous IT infrastructures and their own data centers, which third parties can still manage. Let’s see what the differences are between public and private clouds, even if the boundaries between the two services have become, in recent times, increasingly blurred; in some circumstances, even differences and similarities can overlap.


A public cloud is a multi-tenant architecture where the network is shared among multiple users. Here, the service provider hosts the offsite network and manages the infrastructure. A private cloud is a single-tenant system with dedicated hardware. The organization’s corporate network is managed exclusively by an internal technical team or third-party vendors. The infrastructure, including hardware, storage, and network structures, is entirely purchased by the tenant and configured and managed offsite or onsite.


Public clouds have a security compliance model offered by third-party service providers. Public cloud providers offer additional protection by providing security options to address security gaps. Private clouds offer an isolated environment that provides varying levels of security through private servers. Considering the various compliance requirements of different data protection laws, a private cloud offers greater security in such use cases.

Scalability And Reliability

A public cloud guarantees nearly unlimited scalability. This ensures the organization has ample resources to carry out its cloud operations. Public cloud providers also operate large networks with built-in infrastructure security modules. As such, public clouds are highly reliable. Private clouds offer limited scalability. This means that an organization can scale the model up to a specific limit, after which it may require additional hardware to run more workload. Private clouds perform well regarding reliability as the model can be configured to cope with contingencies. In an unexpected failure event,

Initial Investment

Public clouds require zero capital cost with little or no initial investment. Private clouds, on the other hand, require a high initial investment. Businesses must procure all hardware and configure and maintain it throughout its lifecycle.

Compliance And Performance

Public clouds provide a core security compliance model with additional options for added security. Here, the services are available on the go and are accessible to customers according to their needs. This allows companies to save time and achieve better overall performance. A private cloud can comply with desired privacy regulations, customizing the compliance model as needed. In addition, the private cloud uses a dedicated server to ensure efficiency and good network performance for users accessing the cloud via the organization’s intranet.

Deployment And Maintenance

Public clouds offer quick and easy deployment over the Internet without the need for long-term contracts. Additionally, because third-party vendors entirely manage public clouds, IT professionals within the organization must invest little or no time in maintaining the cloud model. A private cloud requires considerable time and effort from IT professionals for a successful implementation. Additionally, private clouds require more maintenance involvement as the tenant is solely responsible for maintaining the cloud infrastructure. This may also require monitoring and supervision by qualified IT personnel.

Control And Personalization

Public clouds offer less control over data governance and privacy policies that govern traffic on the public cloud network. In addition, public clouds are limited in adaptability and personalization. Private clouds do not have the participation of shared devices – so there is substantially more control over data governance and privacy policies. Since the private cloud is a single-tenant infrastructure, it provides a fully customizable and adaptable environment that can be optimized to meet your desired needs.


As a multi-tenancy model, the public cloud is available to multiple users who access the cloud from anywhere over the Internet. A private cloud is only accessible through private and secure network links. This implies that the single-tenant model allows exclusive access to its tenant.

Adaptability And User Access

In a public cloud environment, a single client cannot dictate resource adaptation strategies (a single client cannot adopt, i.e., resources) since multiple clients tend to log in and use the same computer or resource pool. Services offered by a public cloud are generally available to all users associated with the cloud. Although individual users operate independently, they use a shared resource pool for IT or operational purposes. 

On the other hand, a private cloud allows organizations to modify the cloud infrastructure to suit their needs. This may include changing the computer, network, and storage capabilities to a different configuration. Here, private parties can make changes and customizations in the technology that the private cloud leveraged. The services offered by private clouds are accessible only to authorized users with the right to access the cloud services. Therefore, the client.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Two Leading Cloud Models?

The advantages and disadvantages of public and private cloud models depend not so much on their weaknesses but the actual needs of the customers.

Public Cloud: Advantages

  1. Operational cost savings by outsourcing to the service provider and easy access to the cloud environment.
  2. Managed public cloud services reduce the effort required for server administration and compliance with compliance and security standards.
  3. High-security standards make things easier for small and medium-sized businesses with limited resources to devote to cybersecurity.
  4. Cloud software and applications are always up to date and can be expanded or scaled as needed.

Public Cloud: Disadvantages

  1. The multi-user approach can mean an unacceptable security risk for enterprises with high security and compliance standards.
  2. Using third-party cloud services can cause dependency on the provider’s IT environment.
  3. The cloud infrastructure is not always located in the customer’s country, which can lead to security breaches regarding data sovereignty in the case of different laws.

Private Cloud: Advantages

  1. The highest security standards thanks to an exclusive and company-owned cloud infrastructure.
  2. Possible both on-premises with its own IT resources and off-premises with virtualized IT resources, guaranteed through a managed cloud hosting.
  3. Flexible and fast access to the company’s internal IT environment for selected user groups.
  4. Custom cloud services, expandable and adaptable according to your needs.

Private Cloud: Disadvantages

  1. High investments in exclusive cloud services, IT resources, hardware, and software licenses.
  2. Less flexibility when compared to public clouds.
  3. A private and on-premises cloud without virtualization requires IT skills and more effort for administration and maintenance.
  4. In certain circumstances, on-premises cloud servers with inadequate IT security are more dangerous than servers guaranteed by cloud service providers.

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