Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid Cloud: Which IT environment is right?

September 09 - 2021

Cloud computing comes in different shapes and sizes, and one size seldom fits all. These sizes, or types, are classified based on their architecture, mode of implementation, and ownership information.

Cloud computing refers to accessing services online in very simple terms, but the core concept is much more intricate. The three major types of cloud hosting environments are public, private, and hybrid. Each of these offers the same reliability, scalability, and flexibility that a cloud is supposed to. However, there are major differences when it comes to ownership, maintenance, employee requirements, and costs.

Difference Between Public, Private, and Hybrid Cloud

Private Cloud

Imagine buying your apartment. What are the first things that come to mind? Complete ownership? Costly? Full control? Completely safe and makes you feel secure and at ease? That’s what a private cloud is.

You own a private cloud, meaning you’ve set it up for your office premises or your employees within specific geographical restraints only. You get to decide the system configurations, the update schedule, the security standards, and the way your cloud should behave in a given scenario.

Of course, you must also take responsibility for timely maintenance by appointing qualified staff, the installation costs, the hassle of choosing your configurations, and managing possible downtimes. It also requires a very high amount of upfront capital investment.

Public Cloud

Now imagine if you lived in a rented apartment. All you’d need to worry about is your daily chores. No upfront investments, the freedom to move houses if you’re not comfortable, and you can expand anytime you want. If you want a bigger apartment, you can simply rent another one.

This sums up public clouds – while they’re not owned and managed by you, this can be a far less complex alternative to private clouds, especially if you don’t have expert IT teams to manage the cloud infrastructure. You can expand on-demand, pay only for what you use.

Hybrid Cloud

Most times, businesses believe each has its pros and cons. What if you could have both? Imagine that you and someone else share an apartment that you own, and you both have your private rooms.

It could be you and a 24-hour caretaker who carries out specific, assigned tasks. Or perhaps, it’s you and your family or friend, where tasks are flexibly distributed depending on the situation. Or maybe even with a stranger where you have your room where you do your thing, but the kitchen is the common space where you come together and prepare amazing meals. Like a team. This pretty much sums up what a hybrid cloud is like.

You own your private cloud, but you integrate it and link it to a public cloud to get the best features of both of them. The private cloud gives you the freedom of control and security that you need, while the public cloud complements it with its services so you needn’t worry about recurring or predictable tasks.

Benefits – Public, Private, and Hybrid Cloud


  • Low Costs

  • Highly Scalable – Expand and Contract as Per Immediate Business Needs

  • Different Service Tiers Offer Flexibility

  • Failover Strategies Often Fail-Proof and Exploitation Proof

  • No Fear of Redundancy

  • Maintenance is not Your Worry


  • Tight Security for Your Specific Business Domain and Practices

  • Tailor-Made to Meet Regulatory Compliances

  • Customized Throughput and Availability

  • Respond to Evolutions and Changing Business Needs Quickly


Apart from the combined cost of the above two, and the complexity of infrastructure, you get what you choose from private and public clouds, meaning the benefits are manifold – a combination of the above two.

The Cloud Cost Comparison

One of the most deciding factors, as we’ve already discussed earlier, is the costs. More than the costs, it is the type of spending you need to prepare for. Public clouds offer flexibility and a wide array of services, but each of them will individually cost you.

Private clouds are like one-time purchases, but the price tag can be massive. Hybrid clouds do have some initial investments for the private cloud integration, but if you plan well, you can keep the rigid, less likely to change aspects like security and compliance as private, and the rest can be integrated with public clouds.

Which Cloud Platform is Right for My Business?

Implementing a cloud is like buying clothes – you’ve got to know your size before you can make a pick. While one-size-fits-all doesn’t work here, we’ve got some handy general advice for you.

While it’s no rule of thumb, most small businesses and young start-ups utilize public clouds because of the restraints in capital and the need to hire expert IT teams. When it comes to medium and large businesses, the general implementation is hybrid clouds – these offer the highest flexibility and value-for-money.

However, in the case of highly regulated industries like finance and healthcare, where security is paramount, or where organizations require complete control of their IT resources, private clouds are preferred.

Conversely, when computing needs are service-based and predictable, or where there is high use of software testing and development, public clouds are preferred.

Some things you ought to keep in mind are, while public clouds seem to have an infinite number of resources, there are costs associated with almost every service they offer. Private clouds force you to buy more space and hardware, and you also need to keep in mind the maintenance and replacement costs of these spaces and hardware along with the private cloud.

Hybrid clouds are difficult to link, but once they are, they can be the answer to most of your questions.


The ultimate decision lies on two questions – what is your primary use case, and do you want to incur capital expenses, or operating expenses? It’s a simple question of whether to scale up or scale out from the very start.

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Topics: Hybrid IT

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