Types of Cloud Computing Explained

Cloud computing is a broad term that refers to a collection of services that offer businesses a cost-effective solution to increase their IT capacity and functionality. Depending on their specific requirements, businesses can choose where, when, and how they use cloud computing to ensure an efficient and reliable IT solution. Below we explore the different types of cloud computing, including the three main deployment models and the cloud services that can be hosted within these environments.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a collection of different services provided by different companies. It mainly depends on resource sharing using internet-enabled devices that allow the function of application software. The cloud can serve a wide range of functions over the Internet, such as storage from virtual servers, virtual applications, authorization of desktop applications, etc. By implementing resource sharing, cloud computing can achieve reliability and economies of scale.

types of cloud computing

Types of Cloud Computing

When people talk about the subject of cloud computing, it can all become quite confusing pretty quickly. One of the main reasons for this is that there are multiple types of clouds available, and they can all provide different capabilities. The three main types of cloud computing are:

Public Cloud

A public cloud is a type of cloud computing run by a third-party cloud provider. These cloud providers deliver cloud services to their clients over the public internet. A cloud provider keeps ownership and control of the cloud storage, hardware, infrastructure, and resources. This means that the cloud provider typically handles any updates or issues that require troubleshooting.

Some public clouds give their clients free use of their cloud services. Other public clouds use a tiered subscription system where clients can choose how much storage and other cloud resources they need. Since public clouds offer shared resources to multiple clients, they’re usually the most cost-efficient type of cloud deployment.

Private Cloud

A private cloud, on the other hand, is reserved for a single organization or business. There aren’t any shared resources with a private cloud. All hardware and software are dedicated to the owner of the cloud.

You can create a private cloud using owned resources, such as a data center, or you can also use a third-party provider. If you choose a third-party provider, specific hardware and software are dedicated solely to your organization.

Some organizations choose a private cloud over a public cloud for improved flexibility and security. With a private cloud, a business can customize the cloud to meet its specific needs. It also allows for more control when it comes to security because resources are not shared.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is the combination of public and private cloud elements connected securely over the internet by the virtual private network (VPN) or a dedicated private channel.

For example, you could use the near unlimited storage capacity of the public cloud for storage while data processing could happen on your premises. Or you could extend your computer network into the cloud to save having to buy additional permanent hardware.

A hybrid cloud solution offers benefits from the best of both options and makes cloud bursting possible. In the example of extending your private cloud network, this means that if you are running out of computing capacity on-premise, it can be supplied by the public cloud. This is a cost-effective way for businesses to increase compute capacity on demand while still utilizing the already paid-for on-premise resources.

types of cloud computing

Types of Cloud Computing services

Cloud computing services fall into 3 main categories: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Functions as a Service (FaaS) is a relatively new Cloud service model. These are sometimes called the Cloud computing stack because they build on top of one another.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service, known as IaaS, is a cloud service that provides customers and instant computing infrastructure through the use of the internet. Using IaaS, a third party provides and manages the infrastructure, but you can purchase, install, configure, and manage your software. This includes operating systems, middleware, and applications.

Instead of purchasing hardware, you purchase the resources you need on-demand, often using a pay-as-you-go model. This type of service is the most flexible, as you are in charge of everything besides the infrastructure. You’ll have complete control over your system, leveraging the same technologies and capabilities as a traditional data center, but without having to maintain the hardware.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) gives organizations the opportunity to develop, test, manage and debug applications within the cloud environment. Like with SaaS, third-party cloud providers that offer PaaS services host the underlying cloud infrastructure, hardware, and other components. However, with PaaS, organizations can control the deployment and management of the applications on the cloud. Professionals in the field of coding often use PaaS clouds to easily create, modify and test their new computing programs.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service (SaaS) provides you with a completed product that is run and managed by the service provider. In most cases, people referring to Software as a Service are referring to end-user applications. With a SaaS offering, you do not have to think about how the service is maintained or how the underlying infrastructure is managed; you only need to think about how you will use that particular piece of software. A common example of a SaaS application is web-based email where you can send and receive email without having to manage feature additions to the email product or maintaining the servers and operating systems that the email program is running on.

Functions as a Service (FaaS)

Functions as a Service (FaaS) adds another layer of abstraction to PaaS so that developers are completely isolated from everything in the stack below their code. FaaS is the concept of Serverless Computing. Instead of handling the hassles of virtual servers, containers, and application runtimes, they upload narrowly functional blocks of code and set them to be triggered by a certain event. FaaS applications consume no IaaS resources until an event occurs, reducing pay-per-use fees.

types of cloud computing


Every business can benefit from one or more types of cloud computing as they help improve efficiency and cut down costs. Businesses can adopt one or more cloud computing services based on their requirements, areas of expertise, business processes, and other priorities. A key consideration point when choosing a cloud computing service provider is to do enough research to understand business requirements and find providers who can offer desired cloud solutions that will work perfectly based on the requirements.


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