Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud | Microsoft Azure (2023)

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Hybrid cloud computing

A hybrid cloud is a type of cloud computing that combines on-premises infrastructure—or a private cloud—with a public cloud. Hybrid clouds allow data and apps to move between the two environments.

Many organizations choose a hybrid cloud approach due to business imperatives such as meeting regulatory and data sovereignty requirements, taking full advantage of on-premises technology investment, or addressing low latency issues.

The hybrid cloud is evolving to include edge workloads as well. Edge computing brings the computing power of the cloud to IoT devices—closer to where the data resides. By moving workloads to the edge, devices spend less time communicating with the cloud, reducing latency, and they are even able to operate reliably in extended offline periods.

The benefits of a hybrid cloud platform

A hybrid cloud platform gives organizations many advantages—such as greater flexibility, more deployment options, security, compliance, and getting more value from their existing infrastructure. When computing and processing demand fluctuates, hybrid cloud computing gives businesses the ability to seamlessly scale up their on-premises infrastructure to the public cloud to handle any overflow—without giving third-party datacenters access to the entirety of their data. Organizations gain the flexibility and innovation the public cloud provides by running certain workloads in the cloud while keeping highly sensitive data in their own datacenter to meet client needs or regulatory requirements.

This not only allows companies to scale computing resources— it also eliminates the need to make massive capital expenditures to handle short-term spikes in demand, as well as when the business needs to free up local resources for more sensitive data or applications. Companies will pay only for resources they temporarily use instead of having to purchase, program, and maintain additional resources and equipment that could remain idle over long periods of time.

Read more about hybrid cloud capabilities and getting started with Azure

Advantages of the hybrid cloud:

  • Control—your organization can maintain a private infrastructure for sensitive assets or workloads that require low latency.
  • Flexibility—you can take advantage of additional resources in the public cloud when you need them.
  • Cost-effectiveness—with the ability to scale to the public cloud, you pay for extra computing power only when needed.
  • Ease—transitioning to the cloud doesn’t have to be overwhelming because you can migrate gradually—phasing in workloads over time.

Understanding your deployment options—Public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud?

There’s no one type of cloud computing that’s right for everyone. Several different cloud computing models, types, and services have evolved to meet the rapidly changing technology needs of organizations.

There are three different ways to deploy cloud services: on a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud. Which deployment method depends on your business needs.

(Video) Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud - Major Differences Explained & Examples

What is a public cloud?

Public clouds are the most common type of cloud computing deployment. The cloud resources (like servers and storage) are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider and delivered over the internet. With a public cloud, all hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the cloud provider. Microsoft Azure is an example of a public cloud.

In a public cloud, you share the same hardware, storage, and network devices with other organizations or cloud “tenants,” and you access services and manage your account using a web browser. Public cloud deployments are frequently used to provide web-based email, online office applications, storage, and testing and development environments.

Advantages of public clouds:

  • Lower costs—no need to purchase hardware or software, and you pay only for the service you use.
  • No maintenance—your service provider provides the maintenance.
  • Near-unlimited scalability—on-demand resources are available to meet your business needs.
  • High reliability—a vast network of servers ensures against failure.

What is a private cloud?

A private cloud consists of cloud computing resources used exclusively by one business or organization. The private cloud can be physically located at your organization’s on-site datacenter, or it can be hosted by a third-party service provider. But in a private cloud, the services and infrastructure are always maintained on a private network and the hardware and software are dedicated solely to your organization.

In this way, a private cloud can make it easier for an organization to customize its resources to meet specific IT requirements. Private clouds are often used by government agencies, financial institutions, any other mid- to large-size organizations with business-critical operations seeking enhanced control over their environment.

Advantages of a private cloud:

  • More flexibility—your organization can customize its cloud environment to meet specific business needs.
  • More control—resources are not shared with others, so higher levels of control and privacy are possible.
  • More scalability—private clouds often offer more scalability compared to on-premises infrastructure.

Frequently asked questions

  • Some practical examples of the hybrid cloud in action:

    • Many customers take advantage of the hybrid cloud to achieve global scale, increased reliability, AI-enabled security, and cost savings offered by the public cloud. In highly regulated industries, data residency requirements may mandate that certain sets of data must be kept on-premises, while other workloads can reside in the public cloud.
    • If an application resides on-premises or in a private cloud, sudden spikes in demand may overload the capacity—such as season events like online shopping or tax filing. When demand spikes, organizations can tap into additional computing resources in the public cloud, sometimes called “cloud bursting”—where the hybrid cloud environment allows the on-premises infrastructure to “burst through” to the public cloud.
  • Most cloud computing services fall into four broad categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), serverless, and software as a service (SaaS). These are sometimes called the cloud computing “stack” because they build on top of one another.

    (Video) AZ-900 Episode 6 | Public, Private & Hybrid cloud deployment models | Azure Fundamentals Course

    Browse a dictionary of common cloud computing terms

  • This is the most basic category of cloud computing services. With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure—servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, and operating systems—from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.

    Learn more about IaaS

  • Platform as a service refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering, and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network, and databases needed for development.

    Learn more about PaaS

  • Overlapping with PaaS, serverless computing focuses on building app functionality without spending time continually managing the servers and infrastructure required to do so. The cloud provider handles the setup, capacity planning, and server management for you. Serverless architectures are highly scalable and event-driven, only using resources when a specific function or trigger occurs.

    Learn more about serverless computing

  • Software as a service is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet, on demand and typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure, and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet, or PC.

    Learn more about SaaS

  • Edge computing allows customers to run VMs, containers and data services at edge locations. By bringing the power of cloud computing to IoT devices closer to where the data resides, companies can use machine learning and AI to unlock new business opportunities. Connecting IoT devices and systems closer to your users, the data, or both allow for real-time insights and experiences, delivered by highly responsive and contextually aware apps.

    Learn more about intelligent cloud computing and the intelligent edge

  • Azure hybrid is all about flexibility and choice, so however you want to say it is fine by us—they’re really both correct.

Get started with building hybrid cloud solutions on Azure

Find a comprehensive approach that fits your own scenario across on-premises, multicloud, and edge environments. Explore unique hybrid offerings such as Azure Arc and Azure Stack—with the flexibility to innovate anywhere in your hybrid environment, while operating seamlessly and securely in the trusted Microsoft cloud.

Get started with hybrid cloud solutions

Related hybrid cloud products and services

(Video) Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud

Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud | Microsoft Azure (1)

Azure hybrid cloud solutions

Deliver innovation anywhere with Azure across on-premises, multicloud, and the edge

Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud | Microsoft Azure (2)

Azure Arc

Extend Azure services and management to any infrastructure

Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud | Microsoft Azure (3)

Azure Stack

Build and run hybrid apps across datacenters, edge locations, remote offices, and the cloud

Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud | Microsoft Azure (4)

Azure Hybrid Benefit

Migrate your workloads cost-effectively to the best cloud for Windows and SQL Server

Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud | Microsoft Azure (5)

Azure VMware Solution

Seamlessly run VMware workloads across Azure and on-premises environment

Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud | Microsoft Azure (6)

Azure Sentinel

Gain AI-enabled threat protection with a cloud-native SIEM

(Video) Azure Fundamental Part 4: High level Overview of Public vs Private vs Hybrid Cloud

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Azure Defender

Protect hybrid cloud workloads against threats with streamlined security

Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud | Microsoft Azure (8)

Azure ExpressRoute

Privately connect on-premises networks to the cloud, and enjoy high speed and reliability

Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud | Microsoft Azure (9)

Azure VPN Gateway

Connect your infrastructure to the cloud and enable remote user access at scale

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(Video) Public Cloud vs Private Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud-Cloud Deployment Model In Cloud Computing |Simplilearn


Is Azure a public/private or hybrid cloud? ›

Microsoft Azure is an example of a public cloud. In a public cloud, you share the same hardware, storage and network devices with other organisations or cloud “tenants,” and you access services and manage your account using a web browser.

What Is public cloud Vs private cloud vs hybrid cloud? ›

Public cloud is cloud computing that's delivered via the internet and shared across organizations. Private cloud is cloud computing that is dedicated solely to your organization. Hybrid cloud is any environment that uses both public and private clouds.

What are three types of clouds in Microsoft Azure are? ›

Types of Cloud Services: IAAS, PAAS, SAAS

Most cloud computing services fall into three broad categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).

Is public cloud and hybrid cloud the same? ›

A hybrid cloud is a type of cloud computing that combines on-premises infrastructure—or a private cloud—with a public cloud. Hybrid clouds allow data and apps to move between the two environments.

Is Azure a hybrid cloud? ›

Enable remote work, take advantage of cloud innovation and maximise your existing on-premises investments by relying on an effective hybrid and multicloud approach. Azure provides a holistic, seamless and more secure approach to innovate anywhere across your on-premises, multicloud and edge environments.

Does Azure have private cloud? ›

Two models for cloud services can be delivered in a private cloud. The first is infrastructure as a service (IaaS) that allows a company to use infrastructure resources such as compute, network, and storage as a service.

What are the 4 types of cloud computing? ›

There are four main types of cloud computing: private clouds, public clouds, hybrid clouds, and multiclouds. There are also three main types of cloud computing services: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Is AWS a public/private or hybrid cloud? ›

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is considered a pioneer in public cloud services. Along with Microsoft Azure, AWS is among the top public cloud providers most companies think of first. Public cloud is one side of the coin, and for many businesses, it makes the most sense for their needs.

How hybrid cloud is different from private cloud? ›

A hybrid cloud is a type of cloud computing that combines on-premises infrastructure—or a private cloud—with a public cloud. Hybrid clouds allow data and apps to move between the two environments.

What are the three 3 main cloud service models? ›

IaaS, PaaS and SaaS are the three most popular types of cloud service offerings. They are sometimes referred to as cloud service models or cloud computing service models.

How many cloud models are there in Microsoft Azure? ›

Azure supports three approaches to deploying cloud resources - public, private, and the hybrid cloud. Selecting between them will change several factors of the services you move into Azure including cost, maintenance requirements, and security.

How many clouds does Azure have? ›

The Azure cloud platform is more than 200 products and cloud services designed to help you bring new solutions to life—to solve today's challenges and create the future. Build, run, and manage applications across multiple clouds, on-premises, and at the edge, with the tools and frameworks of your choice.

What is an example of a hybrid cloud? ›

These hybrid cloud platforms connect public and private resources in different ways, but they often incorporate common industry technologies, such as Kubernetes to orchestrate container-based services. Examples include AWS Outposts, Azure Stack, Azure Arc, Google Anthos and VMware Cloud on AWS.

Is Facebook a hybrid cloud? ›

And that's why Facebook opts to construct their own infrastructure rather than spending millions on a cloud service like AWS, or Azure to store their information. So, that is the reason why Facebook doesn't use AWS or Azure, or any cloud services.

What are examples of public and private cloud? ›

Companies may set up private clouds in their own data centers or with a hosting provider. Private cloud providers include Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Dell, IBM, Oracle, and some familiar names from the public cloud provider space, including AWS, Google, and Microsoft.

What are the two types of hybrid cloud? ›

Now that there are two different hybrid cloud architectures -- heterogeneous and homogeneous -- enterprises need to find the right fit in terms of cost, performance and ease of management. In a heterogeneous model, the environment is built with public and private technologies from different vendors.

How do I know if my Azure is a hybrid? ›

Locally on the device
  1. Open Windows PowerShell.
  2. Enter dsregcmd /status .
  3. Verify that both AzureAdJoined and DomainJoined are set to YES.
  4. You can use the DeviceId and compare the status on the service using either the Azure portal or PowerShell.
Aug 15, 2022

What is hybrid cloud model in Azure? ›

A hybrid cloud—sometimes called a cloud hybrid—is a computing environment that combines an on-premises datacenter (also called a private cloud) with a public cloud, allowing data and applications to be shared between them.

Is Microsoft 365 a private cloud? ›

Office 365 is a public cloud. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a series of public cloud services. Dropbox is a public cloud service.

What is an example of a private cloud? ›

Some vendors sell private clouds as an all-in-one bundle of hardware and software. It's generally a simple platform that exists on the user's premises and may or may not be provider-managed environments. Examples include HPE GreenLake and Azure Stack.

Which cloud service is most private? ›

What Is the Most Secure Cloud Storage?
  • — The best secure cloud storage on the market.
  • pCloud — A great all-around cloud storage with optional client-side encryption.
  • Icedrive — Zero-knowledge encryption and a gorgeous interface.
  • Egnyte — Enterprise-focused cloud storage with top-notch security.

What are 5 main types of clouds? ›

Names for clouds
  • Stratus/strato: flat/layered and smooth.
  • Cumulus/cumulo: heaped up/puffy, like cauliflower.
  • Cirrus/cirro: high up/wispy.
  • Alto: medium level.
  • Nimbus/Nimbo: rain-bearing cloud.

What are the 8 main types of clouds? ›

Summary: What Are the Types of Clouds?
  • Altocumulus.
  • Altostratus.
  • Cirrocumulus.
  • Cirrostratus.
  • Cirrus.
  • Cumulonimbus.
  • Cumulus.
  • Nimbostratus.
Jun 22, 2018

What are 3 types of cloud deployment models? ›

There are four cloud deployment models: public, private, community, and hybrid. Each deployment model is defined according to where the infrastructure for the environment is located. There are three main cloud service models: Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service.

Is Google Cloud private or public? ›

Public cloud platforms, such as Google Cloud, pool resources in distributed data centers around the world that multiple companies and users can access from the internet. Rather than an in-house team, the public cloud providers are responsible for managing and maintaining the underlying infrastructure.

Who is the owner of Hybrid cloud? ›

IBM's hybrid cloud strategy has been foundational to the company's business efforts ever since its 2018 acquisition of Red Hat. In 2021, IBM spun off its GTS managed services business to become Kyndryl.

Is hybrid cloud better than private cloud? ›

Scale up and scale down is very easy to perform at a minimal cost. Private Cloud is scalable within the capacity of internal resources, but it is expensive. Hybrid Cloud provides better scalability than the private cloud but is not as good as the public cloud.

Why do companies choose hybrid clouds? ›

The primary benefit of a hybrid cloud is agility. The need to adapt and change direction quickly is a core principle of a digital business. Your enterprise might want (or need) to combine public clouds, private clouds, and on-premises resources to gain the agility it needs for a competitive advantage.

What are the limitations of hybrid cloud? ›

Disadvantages of hybrid clouds: Increased complexity increases cost and the need for organizational expertise to manage public and private cloud environments, including vendors, platforms, and internal IT resources. Capital expenses associated with on-prem environments.

Is OneDrive public or private cloud? ›

All files that you store in OneDrive are private unless you decide to share them. You can share files and folders with co-workers so you can collaborate on projects. If you're signed-in to Microsoft 365, you may even be able to share with partners outside of your organization, depending on what your company allows.

What are the 6 most common cloud services? ›

Top 7 Most Common Uses of Cloud Computing
  1. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) ...
  2. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ...
  3. Hybrid cloud and multicloud. ...
  4. Test and development.
  5. Big data analytics.
Aug 1, 2022

What is the difference between PaaS and SaaS? ›

Using a PaaS solution means that while developers can build and run their own solutions, their data is still secured on a third-party controlled server. Using a SaaS solution means that the third-party vendor will manage the application for you.

What is SaaS PaaS IaaS in Azure? ›

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a type of cloud computing service that offers essential compute, storage, and networking resources on demand, on a pay-as-you-go basis. IaaS is one of the four types of cloud services, along with software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and serverless.

Is Azure a PaaS or SaaS? ›

Azure offers five main PaaS service elements: Web apps, Mobile apps, Logic apps, Functions, and Web jobs.

What are the three components of Azure? ›

A wide range of Microsoft's software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) products are hosted on Azure. Azure offers three core areas of functionality; Virtual Machines, cloud services, and app services.

What are the 3 pricing models of Azure? ›

Azure Pricing Models

Microsoft offers three main ways to pay for Azure VMs and other cloud resources: pay as you go, reserved instances, and spot instances.

Is Microsoft discontinuing Azure? ›

We're retiring Azure VMs (classic) on March 1, 2023 - Azure Virtual Machines | Microsoft Learn. This browser is no longer supported. Upgrade to Microsoft Edge to take advantage of the latest features, security updates, and technical support.

Why Azure is better than AWS? ›

While Azure has more functionality in general than AWS, it is simpler to use. AWS can be complex and is known for lots of documentation, whereas Azure uses technologies that you and your users are already accustomed to using, like Windows, Active Directory and Linux, so the transition to the cloud is less obvious.

Is Azure bigger than AWS? ›

Contents. Amazon's AWS and Microsoft's Azure are the big boys of the cloud computing world, even though AWS is much bigger than Azure. How much bigger? Well, AWS's server capacity is about 6 times larger than the next 12 competitors combined.

Is AWS public or hybrid cloud? ›

AWS Storage Gateway is a set of hybrid cloud storage services that provide on-premises applications with access to virtually unlimited cloud storage.

Is Google a hybrid cloud? ›

The most common hybrid cloud example is combining a public and private cloud environment, like an on-premises data center, and a public cloud computing environment, like Google Cloud.

Who needs hybrid cloud? ›

The primary benefit of a hybrid cloud is agility. The need to adapt and change direction quickly is a core principle of a digital business. Your enterprise might want (or need) to combine public clouds, private clouds, and on-premises resources to gain the agility it needs for a competitive advantage.

What are the benefits of Azure hybrid? ›

Azure Hybrid Benefit helps you get more value from your Windows Server licenses and save up to 40 percent* on virtual machines. Each two-processor license or each set of 16-core licenses, either Datacenter or Standard editions, are entitled to two instances of up to 8 cores, or one instance of up to 16 cores.

How does hybrid Azure work? ›

These devices are joined to your on-premises Active Directory and registered with Azure Active Directory. Hybrid Azure AD joined devices require network line of sight to your on-premises domain controllers periodically. Without this connection, devices become unusable.

How does Azure hybrid benefit? ›

Ways to use Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server

There are few ways to use Windows virtual machines with the Azure Hybrid Benefit: You can deploy VMs from one of the provided Windows Server images on the Azure Marketplace. You can upload a custom VM and deploy using a Resource Manager template or Azure PowerShell.

Is Amazon a private cloud? ›

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) gives you full control over your virtual networking environment, including resource placement, connectivity, and security.


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