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Different Types of Cloud Computing: A Comprehensive Guide

types of cloud computing

We use cloud computing daily, and sometimes we’re unaware we’re doing so. This is because cloud computing’s become so widely adopted and commonplace, and it’s rapidly become the default way of handling IT-related tasks. However, there are many different categories of cloud computing, and it can be challenging to differentiate between them.

This article details the various types of cloud computing, why it’s safe, and the different cloud computing models and services. It wraps up with an excellent opportunity to upskill in cloud computing.

Let’s begin with the basics.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing consists of services hosted over the Internet, such as databases, data storage, servers, networking, and software. The cloud service provider’s data center houses physical servers used to store the data and information the service provider manages. As a result, cloud computing environments offer users on-demand access to computer system resources that clients would otherwise need a physical data center for, particularly computing power and data storage, without the user needing to manage and maintain those resources directly.

As long as the customer has access to a web browser and the Internet, they can store and access files in the cloud instead of using in-house storage devices or hard drives and can do so from anywhere.

Cloud computing models include the public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud. Let’s examine the models closely.

Also Read: How to Become a Cloud Engineer?

What Are the Cloud Computing Models?

Depending on which source you consult, there are conflicting numbers of types of cloud computing models. No worries: when it comes to IT terms, there tend to be variations in definitions. However, most sources agree that we can divide cloud computing into four major categories.

Public Cloud Computing

Public clouds are computing services provided over the Internet by a third-party provider. In contrast to a private cloud, a public cloud allows customers to rent numerous services (CPU, memory, networking, and storage) and only get what they need. The customer needs an Internet connection and a web browser to access these resources. These resources are typically coupled with managed services like applications, database servers, and security systems. Leading public providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure, although there are others.

Advantages of public cloud computing

  • Public clouds are less expensive than hybrid or private clouds
  • It’s very easy to integrate
  • Public cloud resources are highly scalable
  • The cloud provider takes care of maintenance

Disadvantages of public cloud computing

  • Cloud performance relies on Internet connection speed
  • The data is not under the customer’s control
  • Public clouds share resources among the customer base, making them less secure

Private Cloud Computing

Private clouds are computing resources pooled together on a private network of computers used exclusively by a single organization. Private clouds are also known as internal, enterprise, or corporate clouds. The organization’s internal resources usually manage private clouds restricted to anyone outside the company. This type of cloud computing offers benefits such as scalability, self-service, and elasticity. Additionally, the customer takes advantage of additional resources such as controls, security, and customizations.

Advantages of private cloud computing

  • Private clouds enjoy enhanced security and privacy thanks to sensitive data encryption and internal hosting
  • Private clouds typically offer faster speeds, better performance, and greater storage capacities than their public cloud counterparts
  • The organization’s IT team can allocate necessary resources on demand and deliver quickly

Disadvantages of private cloud computing

  • Organizations need IT staff dedicated to private cloud operation and maintenance
  • Since private clouds are exclusively available within the company, they work within a limited operational area
  • Organizations with a large user base and lacking sufficient staff and pre-built infrastructure to manage and maintain a private cloud won’t benefit from private cloud use

Hybrid Cloud Computing

Of all the categories of cloud computing, hybrid cloud computing offers the best of both worlds, combining the advantages of private and public clouds. Workloads can shift between public and private clouds, depending on workload costs and the organization’s computing requirements. Hybrid clouds let organizations scale their on-premises infrastructure up to the public cloud (or away from it) as the demand for computing and processing rises and falls. This flexibility lets the company handle any overflow without concerns about data being accessible to unauthorized third parties. Additionally, companies don’t have to buy and maintain resources they don’t need. So, hybrid computing gives the company access to flexible processing and storage power without sacrificing security.

Advantages of hybrid cloud computing

  • Hybrid computing poses fewer security risks than public cloud computing models
  • Public and private clouds work together and, as a result, offer greater flexibility
  • Hybrid clouds deliver new services and products faster

Disadvantages of hybrid cloud computing

  • The cloud service provider decides on hybrid cloud reliability
  • Hybrid clouds aren’t as secure as private clouds
  • Since hybrid clouds combine private and public cloud computing, they are more complex than the other types

Multicloud Computing

We come to our final type of cloud computing. The multi cloud computing approach uses multiple cloud services from different types of cloud computing vendors, regardless of if they are public or private clouds. For instance, a hybrid cloud can be either a multi cloud or a hybrid cloud, but a multi cloud configuration isn’t necessarily a hybrid cloud. Enterprises typically employ the multiple clouds model to enhance performance and security by leveraging a variety of different platforms.

Advantages of multicloud computing

  • It’s easier for organizations to change providers because they can keep a backup on a different provider (and there’s no such thing as having too many backups!).
  • Different cloud vendors offer different service pricing models that can significantly lower an organization’s cloud costs
  • Organizations can play to the strengths of different cloud providers. For instance, the business can use one cloud platform for hosting their website and associated resources and another for more sensitive information such as payroll, HR, or Research and Development.

Disadvantages of multicloud computing

  • Multicloud computing may use much of an organization’s IT budget or overall purchasing power, making tracking and managing costs more challenging.

Now that we’ve established the different types of cloud computing, it’s time to check out the various services offered by cloud computing providers before we share how you can gain cloud computing skills and experience through online training.

Also Read: Cloud Computing Technology: Your Complete Guide

A Look at the Different Cloud Computing Services

There are four primary cloud computing services and a handful of minor ones gaining different acceptance levels.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS manages your infrastructure through the Internet, including data storage, networks, servers, and virtualization, allowing users to access these resources through dashboards or APIs. The customer manages their applications, operating systems, and middleware. The provider oversees data storage, hardware, networking, hard drives, and servers, as well as problems such as repairs, outages, and hardware issues. IaaS is typically an organization’s first foray into cloud computing. So, the company rents an entire virtual IT infrastructure. Examples include AWS EC2 Instance, Google Cloud VM Instance (Google Compute Engine), and the Azure Virtual Machine.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

A PaaS service involves an outside cloud service provider offering and managing both the hardware and software platforms, while the user is responsible for the apps and their required data. PaaS services are ideal for developers and programmers to develop and manage their applications without building and maintaining the necessary infrastructure, which is a critical component of DevOps. So, PaaS lets consumers create on-demand environments developing, testing, delivering, and managing software and services. Examples include AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Google App Engine, Google Cloud SQL, and Microsoft Azure Web Apps.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS delivers software applications to users managed by the cloud service provider. SaaS apps are typically web applications or mobile apps that users access through a web browser, connecting to the applications via dashboards or APIs, with the provider responsible for updates and bug fixes. Additionally, SaaS eliminates the need for installing software locally on users’ computers. SaaS also allows more significant opportunities for team and group collaboration, making the process easier and smoother. Although IaaS is typically the first cloud-based service that cloud-using neophytes begin with, SaaS is the most used service. Examples include DocuSign, Dropbox, Google GSuite, MailChimp, Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, and Slack.

Serverless Cloud Computing

This term is somewhat of a misnomer, as there are still servers, but they’re abstracted away from app development. Serverless is a cloud-native development model that lets developers create and run applications without managing the servers. Serverless computing provides backend services as needed, including handling underlying infrastructure issues and allowing users to focus solely on writing and deploying code. Examples include AWS Lambda, Azure Function, and Google Cloud Functions.

Why is Cloud Computing the Safest Way to Handle Data?

There are two outstanding reasons cloud computing is the best available data handling method. First, the data is encrypted. The information is scrambled so that even if a cybercriminal could somehow access it, the data would be incomprehensible, unusable gibberish. Second, servers are typically located in multiple offsite locations that workers can’t access, and if one system fails, others serve as backups.

Do You Want a Career in the Clouds?

Cloud computing offers aspiring IT professionals many employment opportunities, especially as increasing numbers of organizations leverage the different types of cloud computing. Additionally, a cloud-based career pays well. According to, cloud developers in the United States earn a yearly average salary of $112,781.

If this career interests you, or you want to boost your existing cloud skills, you should consider taking this cloud computing bootcamp.

This comprehensive, six-month online cloud computing bootcamp will help you fast-track your career by understanding popular cloud architecture principles, with an emphasis on today’s two most popular cloud platforms: Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure. In addition, you will work on hands-on industry projects designed to help you acquire skills in designing, planning, and scaling complex cloud implementations.

You will gain relevant, in-demand skills like:

  • Application Migration
  • Autoscaling
  • Cloud Migration and Deployment
  • Cloud Provider Selection
  • Cloud Workloads
  • Database Management
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Identity Access Management
  • Multicloud Deployment
  • Performance Testing
  • Storage Services
  • Web Services and API

You will benefit from applied learning, featuring over 40 hands-on projects, sandboxed labs, and a capstone project in four domains.

You might also like to read:

Virtualization in Cloud Computing

IaaS: A Comprehensive Guide

What Are the Different Types of Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing Salary: 2023 Guide, Trends, and Predictions

Cloud Computing Bootcamp

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Dive into the world of multicloud strategy with our expert guide. Explore benefits, challenges, and practical tips for designing a robust multicloud architecture.

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