Difference Between Public Cloud and Private Cloud

watch_later 7/09/2024

 As business organizations continue to adopt cloud computing, the difference between public and private clouds has now become really important. The right choice of cloud model can affect the performance, security, and cost-effectiveness of your business. In this paper, we take a step further in explaining the main differences of public and private clouds with illustrative examples.

Difference Between Public Cloud and Private Cloud

Truly, cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate, with flexible, scalable, and cost-effective solutions. The most common deployment models are public and private clouds, each having its requirements and needs. Public clouds are run by a third-party provider who offers shared resources and services over the internet, such that it can be accessible and scalable to general users. On the contrary, private clouds offer a dedicated environment for one organization; hence, they assure more security and control.

Knowing the finer nuance of these models can help organizations decide where their IT strategies are more aligned with their goals. This paper, therefore, gives a broad comparison that will help one decide which cloud model fits your organization's special needs.

What is Public Cloud?


A public cloud is a service over the internet and shared across all the other organizations in the course of doing their business. Services in a public cloud are owned by a third-party provider like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. 


  • Public clouds offer features of high scalability that can allow virtually limitless scaling up and down for the organization based on demand. 
  • Public clouds usually provide a very economical solution for many users, as resources are shared. 
  • The cloud provider maintains everything, including updates and security, so that the IT staff of the business doesn't have to. 

Use Case 

A startup needs to deploy an application without any upfront cost. It can accomplish this by using AWS to spin up its application on public cloud infrastructure but only pays for what it actually uses. This helps them in their scalability of the application without a glitch or hindrance arising out of rise in user counts. 

What is Private Cloud? 


A private cloud refers to a dedicated cloud computing environment for a single organization, whether it is hosted on- or off-premises, whereby the hardware, storage, and network are shared with others or not. 


  • Security and Compliance: Increased security and compliance since private clouds offer isolation of resources from any other user. 
  • Customization: Businesses can exercise better control over the environment with private clouds and are customizable to meet very specific business requirements. 
  • Cost: Cost is generally high as it provides increased control and more security since dedicated resources and their maintenance is required. 


A premier financial institution needs high security to safeguard the sensitive data of its customers. They opt for a private cloud on-premise, which can hence implement custom security protocols and be in compliance with industry regulations. A public cloud and a private cloud are two stark opposites. 

Key Differences Between Public Cloud and Private Cloud 

1. Ownership and Management 

  • Public Cloud: Owned and managed by third-party providers. 
  • Private Cloud: Owned and manager by the organization or a dedicated manager/provider. 

2. Cost Structure 

  • Public Cloud: Pay-as-you-go model with low upfront costs. 
  • Private Cloud: Higher initial investment due to dedicated infrastructure, but in the long term, it might be cost-effective for large-scale operation. 

3. Scalability 

  • Public Cloud: Provides scalability and is suitable for dynamic and fluctuating workloads. 
  • Private Cloud: It is constrained by the resource capacity of the dedicated infrastructure. 

4. Security 

  • Public Cloud: Shared environment can create more security risks with sensitive data. 
  • Private Cloud: It would increase security because it is isolated from any public environments with specialized security measures. 

5. Management and Customization 

  • Public Cloud: The client has almost no control over the cloud; there are few, if any, customization features. 
  • Private Cloud: The client has absolute control; the environment can be customized to cater to specific needs. 

6. Upkeep 

  • Public Cloud: The provider looks after the maintenance, updations, and security. 
  • Private Cloud: The organization must handle its own maintenance, or it may hand over the maintenance responsibility to a managed service provider. 


The choice of public cloud or private cloud is determined by the given needs of an organization at its time of investment: budget, security requirements, and scalability. They are cost-efficient and scalable for startups and businesses with ever-changing workloads that require public clouds. On the other hand, private clouds assure more security and control to organizations that have sensitive data or require personalized environments. Doing so shall facilitate the decision to be taken, an educated one, in relation to business objectives so that you can run your cloud infrastructure optimally and securely. 

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