Last updated: Types of cloud computing: Public, private, hybrid, and sovereign

Types of cloud computing: Public, private, hybrid, and sovereign

8 shares

Listen to article

Download audio as MP3

As organizations aim to optimize operations, improve customer experiences, and unlock new avenues of innovation, they’re turning to various types of cloud computing, which include public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and sovereign cloud.

From the tremendous scalability of public clouds to the heightened security of private clouds, each type of cloud computing presents a distinct value proposition to meet specific business needs:

The type of cloud computing you select is critical, with the potential to shape (or derail) an organization’s long-term efficiency, security, CX, and strategic goals.

Top software + technology providers build out cloud delivery options that align with specific customer needs and requirements.

As businesses increasingly pivot toward cloud solutions, they need to know the benefits of these delivery options – as well as the challenges.


Data privacy + security issues are keeping execs awake at night.
We’ve got the solutions HERE.


What is cloud computing: Definition

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of computing services and IT resources via the internet, AKA “the cloud.” Cloud computing services are typically priced within a consumption business model, where customers only pay for the services and technologies used instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data servers on site. Cloud computing is comprised of nearly all facets of technology services and solutions, including databases, networking, software, servers, storage, analytics and more.

Public cloud computing type: Supreme flexibility 

For driving innovation, public cloud has led the way, offering businesses a multitude of ways to redefine the way they operate and scale.

The top benefits of public cloud include:

  1. Unparalleled scalability: Traditional IT infrastructure often struggled to accommodate sudden spikes in demand or rapid expansion. The public cloud model, however, provides on-demand resources that can be easily scaled up or down based on changing needs. Whether it’s handling an unexpected surge in website traffic, launching new products, or supporting seasonal fluctuations, the public cloud enables businesses to respond swiftly and seamlessly, without disruption.
  2. Cost efficient: The pay-as-you-go pricing model allows organizations to pay only for the resources they actually use, eliminating the need for substantial upfront investments in hardware and infrastructure. This puts cutting-edge tools and capabilities within reach for businesses of all sizes, enabling innovation without breaking the bank.
  3. Global reach: By providing instant access to resources from virtually anywhere with an internet connection, the public cloud model transcends geographical boundaries. This takes collaboration to a new level, and speeds expansion into new markets without having to set up physical infrastructure in each location.

However, the benefits of public cloud must be weighed with data security concerns about the model’s shared environment.

While public cloud providers invest heavily in state-of-the-art security measures, such as encryption, identity and access management, businesses must implement their own best security practices. That includes strong access controls, data encryption, and regular security assessments.

Private cloud: Customized & controlled

As businesses seek to strike a balance between innovation and data protection, the type of cloud computing known as private cloud offers distinct advantages, providing a custom environment that meets specific requirements while ensuring robust security.

The top benefits of private cloud include:

  1. Tailored infrastructure: Organizations can design an environment that aligns exactly with their applications and workloads. Whether it’s computing power, storage, or networking components, this customization not only ensures optimal performance and efficient use of resources, but eliminates the constraints often associated with one-size-fits-all solutions.
  2. Dedicated resources: There’s no risk of resource contention or performance degradation due to activities of other tenants, as can happen in public cloud environments. This predictability and stability of resource allocation are crucial for enterprise applications with strict performance requirements.
  3. Heightened security: Since the infrastructure isn’t shared with others, organizations have the autonomy to implement security policies, access controls, and encryption measures according to their specific needs. This level of control helps reduce the risk of data breaches.
  4. Data privacy: For industries with stringent regulatory requirements,  data governance and compliance are top priorities. Private clouds provide an environment where data remains within the organization’s boundaries. By keeping data on-premises or in a dedicated hosted environment, businesses can ensure data privacy and reduce exposure to external threats.
  5. Compliance: For organizations subject to industry regulations such as HIPAA or PCI DSS, private clouds are a good option. Organizations can design their private cloud to meet specific compliance requirements and establish the necessary controls and auditing mechanisms. This helps them avoid regulatory pitfalls and potential legal consequences.

Compared to public cloud, however, private cloud can be more expensive to set up and run. This can make them more challenging, especially for smaller enterprises with limited resources.

Hybrid cloud: Bridging on-prem and public cloud computing types

In the evolving cloud landscape, the hybrid cloud computing model has emerged as a strategic solution that combines the best of both worlds: the control of on-premises infrastructure and the scalability of the public cloud. Hybrid cloud computing allows organizations to seamlessly integrate their existing resources with cloud services, ensuring optimal performance, data fluidity, and business continuity.

Here are five key benefits of the hybrid cloud model:

  1. Connectivity: An architecture that enables data and applications to flow seamlessly between on-prem and public cloud. This offers organizations the flexibility to leverage the scalability and cost-efficiency of the public cloud for specific workloads while keeping critical data or applications on-prem for enhanced control and security.
  2. Optimal performance: Allows organizations to allocate workloads to the most suitable environment. Applications with consistent and predictable resource requirements can reside on-prem, while those with variable or fluctuating demands can use the elastic resources of the public cloud. This dynamic workload distribution reduces the risk of performance bottlenecks, and ensures a seamless user experience.
  3. Data fluidity: Enables fluid movement of data across environments through data synchronization and efficient networking. Organizations can move data between their private infrastructure and the public cloud, enabling data-driven insights and collaboration without the constraints of physical boundaries. This flexibility is essential in scenarios where data needs to be processed, analyzed, and shared across multiple locations.
  4. Business continuity: Hybrid cloud architecture bolsters business continuity through redundancy and failover mechanisms. Organizations can replicate critical applications and data in both on-prem and cloud environments. In the event of hardware failures or unexpected disruptions, applications can seamlessly switch to the secondary environment, minimizing downtime. This is vital for disaster recovery strategies.
  5. Cost-effective scalability: Organizations can boost efficiency and reduce costs by dynamically scaling resources in response to changing demand. For instance, a retail business might experience peak traffic during the holiday shopping season. By leveraging the public cloud’s elastic capabilities, businesses can prevent over-provisioning, saving money associated with idle resources. Moreover, the pay-as-you-go model of the public cloud aligns costs with actual consumption, reducing upfront investments.

Sovereign cloud model: Keeping data close

The emergence of sovereign cloud has introduced a new type of cloud computing to address the convergence of data governance, security, and national interests. As nations and organizations strive to safeguard sensitive data, ensure regulatory compliance, and foster technological advancement, sovereign clouds have gained traction as a strategic solution in the global digital landscape.

Key characteristics and benefits of the sovereign cloud model include:

  1. Data sovereignty: With increasing concerns about the potential misuse of citizen data and intellectual property, maintaining data sovereignty is crucial for preserving national security, economic interests, and citizens’ privacy. Sovereign clouds keep data within national borders.
  2. Regulatory compliance: Nations have varying data protection and privacy laws. Sovereign cloud options help organizations comply by storing data within national borders and adhering to local regulations. This ensures that personal and sensitive information is treated in accordance with national standards, which builds trust among citizens, businesses, and international partners.
  3. Increased security: Cloud providers can implement security measures tailored to a country’s specific needs, ensuring protection against cyber threats, data breaches, and unauthorized access. This heightened security not only safeguards sensitive information but also bolsters public trust the ability of an organization or nation to handle citizen data responsibly.
  4. Foster innovation: Sovereign cloud options promote technological innovation within a nation’s borders. With domestic cloud infrastructure, countries can nurture their technological ecosystem, supporting the growth of local startups, innovation hubs, and digital transformation initiatives. This boosts economic growth, reduces dependency on foreign technologies, and enhances a nation’s competitiveness.
  5. Balance collaboration & independence: Nations can selectively engage in international data sharing and cooperation while retaining control over critical assets.

Choose your cloud type to building a resilient future 

In the digital era with its endless possibilities, the cloud isn’t just about data storage and computing resources; it’s about transforming the way we do business and connect with the world. The choices we make today will have lasting impact, shaping industries, fostering growth, and helping us navigate the digital future with confidence.

As you embark on your cloud journey, remember that the right path is the one that best aligns with your organization’s unique values, resources, and goals. Decoding cloud delivery is more than just choosing a technology; it’s about shaping a resilient future for your business.

Cloud dreams?
Make them a reality.
Get started with a free trial HERE.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

Public cloud is a computing model where third-party providers offer services like storage and computing power over the Internet. Furthermore, these services are available to use either for free or subscribed to from third-party providers. Public cloud computing model is unique in that it is available to any individual or organization wanting to tap into its resources. This computing model is known for its cost-efficiency, scalability, and ease of access, eliminating the need for organizations to manage on-site hardware.

A private cloud is a cloud computing model that provides dedicated infrastructure for a single organization. It presents the best scenario in terms of control and customization, allowing you to tailor everything from storage to compliance requirements, unique to your organization’s needs. While it offers many of the cloud’s hallmark benefits like scalability and elasticity, it adds an extra layer of security and privacy, making it the choice for businesses that handle sensitive data or have stringent compliance requirements.

The key differences between private and public cloud lie in ownership, control, cost, and scalability. 

Private cloud is owned by a single organization, offers dedicated resources and extra security specific to that organization; it can be customized and scaled to meet the organization’s needs; it is managed internally, and provides greater control and security but all of this control and ownership come at a higher cost. 

On the other hand, public cloud is owned by a third-party provider, offers shared resources and standard security accessible to multiple users; while it can scale to accommodate many users and be a cost-effective option through a pay-as-you-go model, the benefits of ease and affordability come at the expense of limited control and customization.

Hybrid cloud is a cloud computing model that combines both private and public cloud structures, allowing the sharing of data and applications between them. By leveraging such a computing environment, businesses can have greater flexibility and more deployment options. For instance, sensitive and critical workloads can be run within the private cloud, while less-sensitive workloads can be run on the public cloud. This model offers more control and customization compared to a purely public cloud environment, while still allowing for the cost-effectiveness and scalability of a public cloud.

Sovereign cloud is a specialized cloud computing model designed to meet the regulatory and compliance needs of a specific country or jurisdiction. Unlike public or private clouds, a sovereign cloud stores data within national borders and adheres to local data protection laws. This ensures that sensitive information is treated according to national standards, enhancing data sovereignty and security. It’s particularly useful for government agencies, healthcare organizations, and other entities that handle sensitive or regulated data. This model offers a balance between technological advancement and compliance with local regulations.

Share this article

8 shares

Search by Topic beginning with