Cloud Computing Types: A Comprehensive Guide – IQCode

Cloud Computing: Types and Characteristics

Cloud computing is a technology that allows accessing and storing data and programs over the internet instead of local hardware. There are four main types of cloud computing- Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, and Community Cloud. In this article, we will explore the characteristics and advantages/disadvantages of each type.

Characteristics of Cloud Computing:

1. On-demand self-service

2. Broad network access

3. Resource pooling

4. Rapid elasticity

5. Measured service

Types of Cloud:

1. Public Cloud:

A public cloud is accessible to anyone over the internet. It is cost-effective and requires no maintenance. However, the user has to compromise on security and privacy. Examples include Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Advantages of Public Cloud:

1. No maintenance cost

2. Cost-effective

3. Scalable

Disadvantages of Public Cloud:

1. Limited control

2. Questions around security and privacy

2. Private Cloud:

A private cloud is hosted on private servers. It is more secure and offers better control. However, it is expensive due to maintenance and infrastructure requirements. Examples include OpenStack and VMware.

Advantages of Private Cloud:

1. More control

2. Better security and privacy

3. Flexibility as per requirements

Disadvantages of Private Cloud:

1. Expensive

2. High maintenance cost

3. Hybrid Cloud:

A hybrid cloud is a mix of public and private clouds. It provides a highly customizable, secure, and flexible environment. However, it is more complex and expensive to manage. Examples include IBM Cloud and Google Cloud.

Advantages of Hybrid Cloud:

1. Customizable

2. Highly secure and flexible

3. Scalable

Disadvantages of Hybrid Cloud:

1. Complex to manage

2. Expensive

4. Community Cloud:

A community cloud is a shared infrastructure among organizations with shared interests in security, compliance, and jurisdiction. It provides better privacy and security than a public cloud. Examples include FedRAMP and UKCloud.

Advantages of Community Cloud:

1. Better privacy and security

2. Shared resources lead to reduced management cost

3. Easy collaboration and sharing

Disadvantages of Community Cloud:

1. Limited scalability

2. Limited options for service providers


Q.1: Which cloud type should be used where?

Ans: The choice of cloud type depends on the organization’s requirements and the level of control they need.

Q.2: Which is the safest and most secure cloud type?

Ans: Private cloud and community cloud are considered the safest and most secure cloud types.

Q.3: Which is the most cost-effective cloud?

Ans: Public cloud is considered the most cost-effective cloud type.

Q.4: Which cloud offers the best resources?

Ans: All cloud types offer a different set of resources. Organizations must choose the cloud type that suits their resource requirements.


Cloud computing utilizes shared computing resources such as applications, storage, development platforms, and business processes. It simplifies resource usage through standardization and automation. A cloud is a collection of services, networks, hardware, and storage that provides computing as a service. There are three types of cloud users: end-users, business management users, and cloud service providers. Cloud computing increases scalability and efficiency for product-based companies and startups.

Key Characteristics of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing offers several key characteristics, including:

  • Agility: Allows for quick and cost-effective resource re-provisioning.
  • Location Independence: Resources can be accessed from any location.
  • Multi-tenancy: Multiple users can share the same resources.
  • Reliability: Accessibility is dependent on resource and computation availability.
  • Scalability: Highly scalable systems can be created through dynamic data provisioning.

Learn more about cloud computing characteristics from reliable sources.Types of Cloud in Cloud Computing


Cloud computing has four basic types of clouds which are private, public, hybrid, and multi-cloud based on an organization’s needs, which can deploy them accordingly. There are three categories of cloud computing services, which are Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

* Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offers operating systems, storage, networking, and utility software.

* Platform as a Service (PaaS) abstracts middleware services, software development, and deployment tools with IaaS to enable organizations to design and deploy applications in a uniform manner, either on-premises or in a cloud environment.

* Software as a Service (SaaS) is a business application hosted by a provider in a multi-tenant architecture.

* Function as a Service (FaaS) allows customers to design, manage, and operate app functionality without managing infrastructure, creating a "serverless" architecture.

Choosing a cloud type or service is a fundamental decision. Although no two clouds or cloud services are identical, understanding their commonalities can help organizations better understand how the limitations of each could affect them.


The public cloud is a cost-effective pay-per-use service that allows users to store and retrieve data over the internet. The cloud service provider (CSP) manages and operates computer resources on public clouds, which are used by multiple users simultaneously. These clouds may be owned and administered by businesses, colleges, government entities, or a combination of them. Some examples of public cloud computing platforms include Amazon EC2, IBM SmartCloud Enterprise, Microsoft, Google App Engine, and Windows Azure Services Platform.

Advantages of Public Cloud

  • Lower cost compared to private and hybrid clouds
  • Accessible from anywhere since it is internet-based
  • Users can focus on other tasks while the CSP provides the cloud resources
  • Quick and easy to set up through remote deployment and configuration
  • Scalability and reliability – allows for the addition or removal of connections based on requirements at any time

Disadvantages of Public Cloud

  • Less secure since resources are publicly shared
  • Performance solely depends on internet speed — poor connectivity could cause lower performance
  • Less customizable than private clouds

Private Cloud

Private cloud is a software service provided to a private internal network, mostly within an organization or to exclusive users, instead of being publicly available. This type of cloud helps organizations develop and operate their own data centers internally or with third-party providers. Private clouds, also known as corporate clouds or internal clouds, ensure data security and privacy by implementing firewalls and internal hosting. Two ways to establish private clouds are by having infrastructure set up for intranet or private networks or by using a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

– More control over the cloud since the company manages it exclusively.
– Higher security and privacy since it limits access to selected users.
– High performance metrics compared to hybrid and public clouds.

– Higher cost due to maintaining costly hardware resources.
– Location dependent since it is only available within the business.
– Limited scalability and the need for skilled labor to operate and manage the cloud.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private clouds that produces an automated, unified, and well-managed computing environment. The public cloud handles non-critical operations, while the private cloud manages crucial operations. Hybrid clouds can consolidate IT assets and connect many computers, primarily used in finance, healthcare, and higher education. Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Cisco, and NetApp are the top providers of hybrid cloud.

* Low cost
* Adaptable or flexible
* Safety and security
* Risk assessment and management

* Networking issues
* Infrastructure compatibility
* Less secure

In hybrid clouds, infrastructure compatibility is a significant issue because the private cloud controls the company, while public cloud does not. This means there are public clouds for less critical operations, creating vulnerability in the system.

Community Cloud

Community Cloud is a type of cloud infrastructure that allows a group of companies to share information and resources while being owned, administered, and run by one or more community organizations or third parties. It is widely used in industries such as media, healthcare, energy, and scientific research.

Advantages of Community Cloud include low cost, scalability, adaptability, security, and sharing of infrastructure. However, there are also some disadvantages, such as difficulty in sharing responsibility among multiple companies, fixed storage and bandwidth, higher cost compared to public cloud and lower security compared to private clouds.

With the understanding of all types of clouds, such as public, private, hybrid, and community clouds, one may have questions related to their usage and implementation.

Cloud Deployment Recommendations

For high-volume or fluctuating-demand workloads, Public Cloud is recommended. Private Cloud is suitable for workloads with regular usage patterns. For any task, regardless of hosting requirements, a Hybrid Cloud is the best option.

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The Safest and Most Secure Cloud Type

Public clouds may pose more security risks due to multi-tenancy and a wide range of access points. Security responsibilities are often shared in public clouds. In contrast, private clouds are considered safer as workloads are behind the user’s firewall. However, complete safety depends on your own security measures.

To limit data exposure and enhance security, hybrid cloud security combines the best aspects of each environment. This enables users and administrators to transfer workloads and data between environments based on compliance, audit, policy, or security requirements.

Most Cost-Effective Cloud

When it comes to scaling up, private clouds require purchasing or renting new hardware and resources. On the other hand, public clouds charge you only for what you use. In some cases, tenants are not charged at all. As a result, public clouds are generally more cost-effective than private clouds.

Comparison of Cloud Resources

Public cloud resources may seem unrestricted, but they can result in additional operational costs. Private cloud resources require capital expenses for additional hardware. Hybrid clouds provide flexibility to scale out using operating expenses or scale up using capital expenses.

Additional Resources

Check out these resources to learn more about cloud computing:

  • Cloud Computing Projects
  • Cloud Engineer Salary
  • What is a Cloud Engineer?
  • Cloud Computing MCQ
  • Applications of Cloud Computing
  • Virtualization in Cloud Computing

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