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Back to Basics – Private vs Public Cloud

by tapangarg on January 13, 2011

An important decision for most CIOs who are evaluating the Cloud computing space is the choice between the Public Cloud – shared by multiple organizations or a Private Cloud – offerred and managed by select vendors to organizations. The distinction is primarily based on whether the IT resources are shared among many organizations (Public Cloud) or dedicated to a single organization (Private Cloud).

Public Cloud

Very simply, Public Cloud (or External Cloud) is where resources are shared over the Internet and used/provisioned as per need, dynamically. This typically comprises applications and services on the web, available on pay-per-use models.

Private Cloud

Private Cloud (or Internal/Corporate Cloud), on the other hand refers to offerings that attempt to emulate Cloud computing on dedicated networks.

The idea is to harness the benefits of Cloud computing with higher data security and reliability. In this model a vendor offers a proprietary computing network, which offers hosted services to a few organizations.


A Hybrid Cloud may refer to a blend of the Public and Private Clouds (Combined Cloud), or the use of physical hardware and a virtualized Cloud server for a common service/application. It may further refer to a model of web hosting where both Cloud hosting and managed dedicated servers are leveraged. A hybrid storage Cloud typically uses a combination of Public and Private storage Clouds, fairly common for backup functions.

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