3 Types of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing offers flexibility, accessibility, efficiency, and scalability to businesses and organizations. It allows businesses to concentrate on their core skills while it delivers multiple applications to run business operations. If you are managing data and applications, then choosing the right cloud computing will be vital. Businesses are able to achieve greater integration of sales and marketing campaigns, billing and invoicing, human resource management, and phone validation solutions among other applications in the cloud. The types of cloud computing can be classified in terms of the location of the cloud and the service the cloud provides.

The types in terms of location include:

Public cloud computing

It is offered as a service by cloud service providers. The most distinct feature of this type of cloud computing is sharing. Multiple users are hosted on a single cloud, which is managed from one location. Those users utilize and share the same resources to help with computing based on their business or organization needs. Different organizations within the same public cloud can share resources and as such, you do not need to own any resources for a public cloud. Since it is a multi-tenant cloud, different users can share the cost of computing which makes it inexpensive.

However, there are some drawbacks, especially if you are planning to store and process sensitive data. The security concerns in a public cloud are higher in comparison to other cloud computing types as it is a shared cloud which makes it prone to hacking. If you are looking for high scalability and efficiency in terms of cost, then this cloud makes a perfect sense. Amazon EC2, Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure, and IBM’s Blue Cloud are some of the examples of public clouds.

Private cloud computing

It is a single tenant cloud computing. All the computing resources, which include the virtual machines, software and hardware, are managed and controlled by a single organization. The cloud can be in-house or in a data center that is outside the business premises but managed by a single organization. This type of cloud computing is suitable for organizations that handle sensitive data, due to the high security of data and compliance requirements. It is thus highly secure. However, the single user will need to acquire and manage all the cloud computing resources that make up the private cloud. It is thus expensive as compared to the public cloud.

Hybrid cloud computing

It is a type of cloud computing infrastructure which possesses both the features of public and private cloud computing. It helps organizations to meet their unique needs, especially if they are running multiple applications. If an organization manages both sensitive and public data, a hybrid cloud will be the best way to go. For example, an e-commerce store with credit card and contact information of its customers and sales and marketing campaigns data will benefit from the use of a hybrid cloud. Among other operations, it will be able to run tests for different campaigns and address validation processes on a single hybrid cloud. This will minimize the cost of computing, while assuring security for the sensitive data without the need to switch the clouds.


The types of cloud computing in terms of service include:

Software as a service (SaaS)

SaaS is a cloud computing model or service which allows organizations or users to buy or lease on-demand software. It is a pay-as-you-go kind of model where the user will utilize the software based on the services needed on-demand. As such, there is no need to buy the software since you will only need to make subscriptions based on your organization needs. Buying the full license of a software can be expensive especially for small businesses.

With SaaS cloud computing service, such businesses can make subscriptions based on their current needs and upgrade in the future. With SaaS, users interact with the software applications hosted on the cloud. Examples include Google Apps and Office 365. They can be used to offer services, such as tracking performance, planning, and communication.

Platform as a service (PaaS)

It provides a computing platform on which software applications and hardware can run. It acts as an intersection between the IaaS and the SaaS. It comprises the operating system, web server, database and the programming language. Developers will use the computing platform to develop applications without the need to lease or buy the infrastructure. This makes it cost effective for developers who cannot afford to buy the infrastructure to power the cloud.

Thanks to PaaS, developers will be able to write the code, develop an app and deploy it on the same platform with ease. It helps to increase productivity since the cloud provider will offer a development platform that is not only affordable but also highly secure. Examples of PaaS include Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine, Force.com, and Mosso among others.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

It provides all the physical and virtual infrastructure you will need to run the cloud. It is the most common type of cloud computing service, which comprises the hardware, virtual machines, storage disks, and virtual servers. In this case, the cloud providers will have a full-service data center which has all the servers, hardware and storage disks for organizations to use. In short, as a user, you do not need to buy any kind of infrastructure as everything will be at your disposal. The cloud providers will always offer better security as compared to having an in-house data center managed by your IT department.

It is less expensive as you only pay for services based on what you are using. It eliminates the need for an organization to purchase fixed assets in order to manage their data, operations, and applications. On top of that, you will be able to upgrade the infrastructure based on the future needs of your organization. You get to save on the space you need to accommodate the infrastructure plus the IT experts needed to run it. Examples of IaaS include Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine, and Amazon EC2 among others.


In summary, you need to understand how each of the different types of cloud computing work and in what instances they are used. From there, you will be able to make a decision on the best cloud computing model based on your business needs and the resources available. If you are choosing based on location, you have to look at security and the data you are managing. However, for the cloud computing service it is all about the service your business requires the most based on operations. Understanding each cloud computing type and the options available will help you to improve security, increase scalability, reliability, and productivity, and save money as well.


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