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Breaking Down Public Cloud vs. Hybrid Cloud vs. Private Cloud

December 16, 2020

The cloud environment enables users to manage storage, applications, network, and compute resources over the internet. Users rely on IT infrastructures not installed on their local server or computer to manage these resources. This is referred to as cloud computing.

Cloud computing can be either public, private, or a hybrid (a combination of private and public clouds).

This article will explore public, private, and hybrid cloud environments, their benefits and drawbacks, and help users decide on the best cloud solution according to their needs.

To introduce cloud computing and the three cloud deployment models (public cloud, hybrid cloud, and private cloud), have a look at this article.


  • Application Packaging Standard (APS) – To integrate an application software with a hosting platform, you need to follow the technology defined by APS.
  • Zero Touch Provisioning – This technology allows you to install a networking appliance anywhere while eliminating the need to configure these appliances locally.
  • A Service-Level Agreement (SLA) – Anytime you enter into business with a vendor, you expect to receive a certain level of service. You agree (through an SLA) with the vendor on the metrics to measure the service and penalties for not achieving the agreed-on service.
  • Legacy Application – With technology advancement, software applications become outdated unless updated to reflect the current technology standard.
  • Industry Verticals – Specialist organizations on a shared market niche spanning multiple industries.

Benefits of public cloud, hybrid cloud, and private cloud

All three public, hybrid, and private cloud environments have unique strengths that make them a better choice for individuals and organizations with cloud computing needs (depending on those needs). Below are the benefits of using public cloud, hybrid cloud, and private cloud.

Public cloud

  • It is simple to set-up a public cloud. It does not require you to associate the Application Packaging Standard (APS) to the cloud key or the cloud key to the cloud account.
  • It is reliable since it does to have a single point of failure. Failure of one part does not affect the entire system like in the hybrid cloud.
  • It supports Zero-touch provisioning. Thus, you can provision and configure devices automatically.
  • The public cloud is flexible. It integrates with many third-party applications and systems to provide you with features of your preference.
  • It supports on-demand scalability. Providers of public clouds are resource-intensive, allowing you to scale up to meet peak demand and scale down during off-peak periods.
  • It is affordable and offers a flexible pricing model based on service-level agreement (SLA).

Hybrid cloud

  • A Hybrid cloud is agile because it allows you to integrate public and private cloud deployments to meet changing opportunities and needs. It also enables you to modernize legacy applications gradually. You can rebuild and migrate these applications into the cost-effective public cloud infrastructure at your convenience.
  • Its high flexibility allows you to respond immediately to unpredictable demand changes. You can use the public cloud when the demand surges and scale down when demand reduces without affecting other workloads running in the private cloud portion.
  • It allows users to use their equipment to respond to compliance and security requirements.

Private cloud

  • Private cloud guarantees security. Since a private cloud provides an environment strictly dedicated to a single customer, the protection against data theft or unauthorized information access is high.
  • It offers flexibility to help you respond to changing needs. A private cloud environment is for your use alone. That means you can transform it to match changing market needs, opportunities, and evolving technology.
  • It can meet strict compliance, legal, and security requirements.

Drawbacks of a public cloud, hybrid cloud, and private cloud

A public cloud, hybrid cloud, and private clouds also have their weaknesses, as we will highlight below.

Public cloud

  • Data privacy and security in a public cloud is an area of concern for many users. You must implement strict cybersecurity practices to ensure information privacy and security.
  • The public cloud allows limited customization of services and resources. Organizations with complex application processes and network architecture find this disadvantageous.
  • Its one-size-fits-all approach with standard options limits organizations from addressing their unique needs.
  • Public cloud providers and other companies dealing with confidential data operate under government regulations. The services they offer are subject to industry rules and legal guidelines that ensure proper maintenance and data security. However, this may sometimes bring compliance issues.

Hybrid cloud

  • With a hybrid cloud, you need to deploy an extra hardware device for data storage and remote control. This increases the number of devices to deploy.
  • Failure of a single element disrupts centralized configuration capabilities and remote visibility of the entire hybrid cloud system. This is because the controller hardware devices, including cloud keys and hardware controllers, represent a single point of failure.
  • A Hybrid clouds’ architecture is complicated, making it challenging to build adequate security. You have to manage different security platforms simultaneously.

Private cloud

  • Exclusivity in private clouds comes with increased costs. Building your own private cloud requires considerable capital. A less expensive alternative is to rent a private cloud from hosting service providers. With this option, you will still benefit from all the private cloud features.
  • It takes a long time and many resources to deploy a private cloud, especially globally. Besides, you need the assistance of IT experts to maintain deployments.
  • Public clouds have limited remote access. This is due to increased security that mainly affects mobile users in the private cloud. These users may not connect to the required business functions as they wish.

When to use a public cloud, hybrid cloud, and a private cloud

Each of the three cloud deployment models fits particular cloud computing needs. For instance, the public cloud is better suited for high volume workloads and those with fluctuating demands.

The private cloud better accommodates workloads with predictable user patterns well. Hybrid cloud can handle any workload. More details on when to use public cloud, hybrid cloud, and private cloud are explained below.

You can use public clouds when:

  • You have predictable computing needs, for example, communication services for a specified number of users.
  • You require additional resources to address varying peak demands.
  • You require less expensive software development and test environment.
  • You do not have the services and applications required to perform IT and business operations at your disposal.

You can use hybrid clouds when:

  • Serving multiple industry verticals facing different regulatory, performance, and IT security requirements.
  • Optimizing cloud environments while ensuring to not compromise the value that the private and public cloud technologies offer.
  • Enhancing security on already available cloud solutions such as SaaS that are delivered through a secure private network.

You can use private clouds when:

  • Dealing with highly regulated government agencies and industries.
  • Dealing with sensitive data that require strong control over the security of workloads and the associated infrastructure.
  • Dealing with large workloads that require more advanced data center technologies to operate cost-effectively and efficiently.
  • You can afford to invest in high-performance technologies.


The choice to deploy private, hybrid, or public cloud mainly depends on your needs. Understanding all different cloud types’ strengths and weaknesses is key to helping you chose which will give the best return on your investment.

Peer Review Contributions by: Lalithnarayan C