Public Cloud vs Private Cloud. Know the difference


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Cloud computing is one of the trending technologies in the IT domain today. There are many architecture models in cloud computing, and two of the most popular ones are public cloud and private cloud. The public cloud says that it is a cloud computing infrastructure. It is basically about the cloud computing infrastructure located on the company’s premises that offer the services. So, wherever the company is located at which is providing you the public cloud services, the infrastructure. The data center would be located at their premises itself. The private cloud means using a cloud infrastructure only for the dedicated customers or the organization. So, you can have a dedicated infrastructure for your clients or the organization, and that would not be shared with the other users. In this article, I will discuss both public cloud and private cloud in detail and their key differences.

What is a Public Cloud?

Public cloud is an on-demand computing services managed by a third-party provider, and it is shared among many organizations on the public internet. The services can be software as a service, platform as a service, or infrastructure as a service on a pay per use or a monthly fee. By using the public cloud, the users need not host computing services in their own data center. Normally the public cloud is shared by multiple users. Organizations use the public cloud because it helps them in scaling the resources on-demand without giving any commitment towards physical IT infrastructure. The public cloud also has very good storage solutions where the public cloud data can be stored and accessed from anywhere. Many organizations out there get a lot of traffic during a certain period of the year. For them, the public cloud is a very good solution that can help them keep their infrastructure in a very short time and meet their customer’s demands in the peak period.

Organizations get virtualized environments from the public cloud to host their application and services. There are many popular public cloud providers out there, such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, etc., with a wide variety of offerings and price ranges. But because the public cloud is shared by multiple organizations, security is an issue here. So, you need to be sure when you select a public cloud provider looking at their security features. The companies moving to the public cloud also need to be careful about the long-term contracts in which they can get locked into.

Below are the advantages of using the public cloud:

  • It saves a lot of costs because you only pay for the service, and you don’t need to purchase any hardware or software
  • All the maintenance is given by the service provider you choose
  • As per your business needs, you can scale the resources on-demand, offering unlimited scalability
  • Provide high reliability as there are a big group of servers which will ensure you don’t face any downtime
  • It helps the IT team focus on writing business logic rather than spending their time managing the infrastructure

What is a Private Cloud?

Private cloud is another model of cloud computing where the resources and infrastructure are dedicated to a single user organization. The private cloud can be hosted add a third-party facility or at the organization’s data center, all add private cloud provider locations.

A private cloud does have certain benefits over a traditional multi-tenanted cloud. One of the main benefits has to be security. It’s dedicated infrastructure. You are not sharing it with anyone else. You have your own server, your own firewall. Some customers will want this for peace of mind, but others might need it for compliance reasons. Some of their customers may insist that there’s no shared data storage at all. Another benefit of dedicated hardware will be raw processing power. All of the CPUs within that cloud is dedicated to you.

Below are the advantages of using the private cloud:

  • It provides better security than the public cloud as infrastructure is used only by a single organization
  • It provides better performance which is predictable as the hardware is dedicated to a single user and not shared between multiple tenants
  • The costs incurred by using private cloud are predictable and primarily the same every month
  • Many compliance bodies do not allow public cloud providers in their regions, and this is where private cloud is easily leveraged and used
  • If the organizations have the necessary hardware at their location, hosting a private cloud is cost-effective in the long term

Key Differences: Public Cloud vs Private Cloud


There is one feature in the cloud deployment models, which is called the tenancy. The tenancy is basically kind of a virtual partitioning of the resources, and all those resources will be kept isolated. In the case of a public cloud, it is basically a multi-tenant kind of a setup in which data of many organizations, probably different organizations in different geographies, can store the data in a shared environment. Since it is multi-tenant, so their data would be completely isolated to other organization’s data as well. Now in the case of a private cloud, it will be only a single tenancy since the private cloud infrastructure is only dedicated to a single customer or a single organization.

Exposure to Public

This is about how the public accesses these cloud models. So, the public cloud is accessed by everyone. There are very few or no restrictions. Anyone from any geography or any device can access the services, whereas the access of the private cloud can only be done by the administrators inside the organization.

Data Center Location

The data center locations for the public cloud are on the same premises where the cloud provider is located, so the data center or the infrastructure can be accessed over the public Internet. The data center location of a private cloud would be inside the organization’s network only. So it will not be on the public network or the internet, it will be within the organization.

Cloud Service Providers

With respect to the public cloud, the cloud service provider manages services wherever the organization uses them. So, this is one of the features of a public cloud service provider. In the case of private cloud service providers, the organizations need to have their administrators inside the organization from where the private cloud is accessed from.

Hardware Components

In the case of a public cloud, the cloud service provider provides all the hardware and ensures it works properly. So, nothing has to be implemented or supplied by the organization or the client to the cloud service provider. The cloud service provider would provide everything, and that’s why people who don’t have their infrastructure or basically do not want to procure the infrastructure go for the public cloud. Since it’s available on the internet, it can be accessed by anyone. In the case of a private cloud, the organization offers the hardware. So the organization says that this is our specification. We just want you to put this particular infrastructure with the mentioned specifications into your premises. The organization admins can access it over the dedicated or the internal network, making it more expensive.


The public cloud service provider provides the infrastructure applications, and they host the applications on their infrastructure at their premises. They give access to those applications and the infrastructure over the network, probably mostly on the internet. Hence, it becomes a cheaper option in accessing the services using a public cloud. Now looking at the private cloud model, the costing of hardware and network has to be provided by the organization, and hence it becomes expensive for the clients to work on the private cloud model.

Top Companies

The public cloud is primarily used by Amazon Web Services, one of the largest cloud service providers, and Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud. Earlier, they were more focused on the private cloud, and now they are into the public cloud sector as well the private cloud. But let’s say if the organization or the clients require that the setup be done on a private cloud, they should look for private cloud providers like VMware, Dell, Oracle, or Cisco.

Below is a summarized table that shows the key differences between public cloud and private cloud.


Comparison Public Cloud Private Cloud
Access Multiple organizations can access it Only a single organization can access it
Security It is less secure compared to private cloud It is more secure compared to public cloud
Hosting It is hosted at the service provider’s site It is hosted at the enterprise or service provider site
Monitoring No dedicated monitoring support It comes with dedicated monitoring support
Deployment This is formulated by the service provider This is formulated by the enterprise
Compliance Might not adhere to many compliance requirements such as HIPAA, PCI, SOX, etc. Adheres to all compliance requirements
Cost Comparatively cheaper than private cloud Higher than public cloud
Connectivity Supports connectivity over internet Supports connectivity over private network/fiber or the internet
Suitability This is more suited for less confidential information This is more suited for secured confidential information and core systems


Final Thoughts

So that was all about public cloud, private cloud, and their key differences. Depending on the use case and a variety of factors, you need to choose between the public and the private cloud for your organization. If your organizations have sensitive data, private cloud is a better option as the data will not be shared with other organizations on the cloud. But in case you are a small business organization, you can start with a public cloud, which can help you in scaling up and scaling down as per your business requirement, and the cost incurred would be lesser than private cloud. There are many organizations that also go for a combination of public and private cloud, which is called as a hybrid cloud solution. So go ahead and choose your cloud computing model and get started.


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