Types of Cloud Computing – Public, Private, Hybrid & Community

Cloud computing is essentially an assortment of IT infrastructure services various providers offer. Reduced costs and improved resilience make it a viable solution for many IT needs.

Not all cloud solutions are the same. There are some key differences in deployment that businesses need to understand to choose the right cloud solution for their unique needs, as the deployment model can impact the cost as well as the capabilities of a cloud architecture.

Types of Cloud

Let’s take a closer look at the four main types of cloud computing, including

  1. Public Cloud
  2. Private Cloud
  3. Hybrid Cloud
  4. Community Cloud
Types of Cloud Computing
Types of Cloud Computing

Public Cloud

The public cloud is a model where a third-party provider owns computing resources and makes these resources available to users. While the subscription model is common, there are free public cloud services.

They offer additional tools to help users get more out of their cloud architecture, including cloud-based apps, data storage, and more. Some public cloud service providers also offer a development environment where users can deploy their own apps.

A common use of public cloud services is to deploy virtual machines. Virtual machines allow you to build a customizable infrastructure with the OS of your choice. It also facilitates remote work by making your work environment accessible from anywhere.

It’s an on-demand model where a third-party cloud service provider can deliver customized solutions based on the needs of each user. At the same time, the providers can pool resources to accommodate the needs of a large group of users.

Public Cloud

Pros Cons
It’s a scalable model where users can add or remove resources as needed. Relying on a third-party cloud provider gives you minimal visibility over the back-end process.
Pooled resources help keep the cost down, and most providers have flexible pricing models. Not ideal for resource-intensive applications that require dedicated servers to run properly.
Offer built-in backup solutions to facilitate recovery.
Public cloud environments are a viable solution for businesses with limited IT teams and internal resources.
Major companies like Amazon or Microsoft offer reliable public cloud services and innovative business solutions.

Private Cloud

Private cloud models leverage the advantages of on-premises hosting while giving you access to the flexibility of a cloud-based architecture. It’s a flexible model where you can decide how much of your architecture you want to outsource.

This cloud computing model is used exclusively by a particular organization and never shared with other organizations. Some cloud service providers also offer services to manage private clouds, including handling app deployments, security, updates, and other aspects of managing your IT infrastructure.

Private Cloud

Private cloud infrastructure can be a good match for businesses that must meet strict industry requirements regarding data handling and privacy. It also ensures that resource-intensive applications have the computing resources needed to run as expected.

Pros Cons
Managing your software and hardware resources yourself gives you complete freedom. A private cloud architecture comes with a significant upfront cost if you purchase hosting hardware.
There are no limits over the number or type of apps that you can deploy in the private cloud. Building a private cloud infrastructure can be complex due to the number of options available.
You can protect your entire cloud environment behind a firewall that you control.
Owning your cloud architecture hardware can increase the valuation of your business and protect you from potential fluctuations in subscription prices.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud deployment model uses public and private infrastructure elements. It’s a flexible model that allows you to leverage benefits from these two deployment models.

A hybrid environment can help cut costs if your needs and requirements vary from one process to another. Sensitive data, legacy systems, and apps that require a configuration not supported by the public cloud service provider may remain in the private portion of the architecture. Moreover, workloads that require more bandwidth and SaaS solutions can run on a public cloud server.

The public and private elements of the infrastructure can communicate with each other, and exchange data as needed.

Nowadays, more and more businesses are using hybrid cloud infrastructure. Many of these businesses rely on third-party providers for applications that don’t require advanced security measures or a specific environment.

Pros Cons
It can facilitate the transition from a public to a private cloud or the other way around. Hybrid infrastructures can become complex and challenging to manage if you have too many elements.
It lowers your deployment time and allows you to leverage public resources to add new capabilities to your IT infrastructure. Managing the private portion of your architecture can be expensive.
A scalable hybrid cloud gives you access to more public resources as needed.
You don’t have to compromise your security or regulatory requirements.

Community Cloud

The community cloud model is relatively recent. This deployment model is similar to the public cloud but solves issues linked to implementing a one-size-fits-all model.

The cloud provider creates an environment that meets your unique needs by adjusting the server configuration, implementing cybersecurity solutions, or following specific data storage requirements.

Community Cloud

As community cloud continues to grow in popularity, finding a solution that matches your needs will become easier. Businesses in industries like finance, insurance, healthcare, or the legal field can already choose from a wide range of community cloud solutions.

Pros Cons
This cloud platform gives you more visibility and control over your cloud environment. Community cloud is relatively recent, and not all providers offer this model.
The community cloud is compatible with a hybrid architecture if you want to retain some elements of a private cloud model. Its price is higher compared to a traditional public cloud solution.
You can reduce costs by outsourcing compliance to your cloud provider.
Your cloud provider will cater to your industry’s unique needs and requirements.


These four cloud deployment models match different needs and requirements:

  • There are four main types of cloud computing are: 1. Public cloud, 2. private cloud, 3. Hybrid cloud, and 4. community cloud
  • Public cloud infrastructure is ideal if reducing costs is a priority. It remains the most scalable and flexible solution.
  • Private model makes more sense for businesses with specific security or configuration requirements. This solution costs more, but it gives you more control over your IT infrastructure.
  • You can leverage the benefits of the public and private cloud by investing in a hybrid model that lets you run some workloads on a public infrastructure while storing your data in a private environment.
  • A community cloud platform can be a good fit if your industry has specific regulatory requirements.