The Intricacies of Cloud Environment Types: A Comprehensive Guide

Marek Majdak

Jul 26, 20235 min read

The Intricacies of Cloud Environment Types: A Comprehensive Guide

Table of Content

  • What is Cloud Computing?

  • Cloud Deployment Models

    • Public Cloud

    • Private Cloud

    • Hybrid Cloud

    • Community Cloud

  • Types of Cloud Services: IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS vs. Serverless Models

    • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

    • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

    • Software as a Service (SaaS)

    • Serverless computing

  • Multi-Clouds

  • Which Type of Cloud Should You Use?

  • FAQs on Cloud Computing and its Types

Cloud computing has become a fundamental element in the world of IT. The exponential growth in data generation and the need for effective computing power to manage it has necessitated a shift from traditional on-premises infrastructure to cloud-based systems. However, this realm is layered with complexities, particularly when we venture into the arena of cloud environment types. Let's delve deep into the world of cloud computing and its types.

What is highlightCloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing services, such as servers, storage, databases, networking, software, and analytics, over the Internet or "the cloud". This model enables the availability of data and applications anywhere, anytime, leading to a significant increase in flexibility and efficiency.

In a cloud computing environment, users can utilize the resources of a cloud service provider, who manages the infrastructure, thus freeing the user from managing physical servers or data centers. This paradigm shift has resulted in substantial cost savings in IT infrastructure for businesses globally.

Cloud Deployment Models

In cloud computing, the deployment model refers to the type of cloud environment where the cloud services are implemented. There are several cloud computing deployment models, each with its advantages and drawbacks. These models provide different levels of control, flexibility, and management. The four main types of cloud computing deployment models are Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, and Community Cloud.

Public Cloud

Public clouds are owned and operated by third-party cloud service providers, which deliver their computing resources, such as servers and storage, over the Internet. Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Alibaba Cloud are examples of public cloud environments. With a public cloud, all hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the cloud provider. In a public cloud, you share the same hardware, storage, and network devices with other organizations or cloud "tenants".

Private Cloud

Private clouds are the exclusive domain of a single business or organization. The private cloud model offers the most security and control, making it suitable for businesses handling sensitive data or executing complex transactions. These can be physically located in a company's on-site datacenter or hosted by an outside cloud service provider.

In private cloud environments, resources are not shared with others, ensuring higher levels of control and security. However, private clouds may incur more costs than public clouds.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds, bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. This type of cloud environment enables businesses to harness the benefits of both deployment models. With a hybrid cloud, companies can maintain control of an internally managed private cloud while relying on the public cloud as needed.

Community Cloud

A community cloud is shared among multiple organizations with similar needs and requirements, such as security, compliance, or data privacy. It can be managed internally by organizations or by third-party providers.

Types of Cloud Services: IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS vs. Serverless Models

Beyond the types of cloud deployment models, there are various ways to deliver cloud computing resources. These models are often referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Serverless computing.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS is the most basic category of cloud services. In this model, cloud providers offer physical or virtual servers, along with the necessary resources for their operation, such as operating systems and virtual machines.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS offers an environment for developers and companies to build, test, and deploy software applications. It includes infrastructure – servers, storage, and networking – but also middleware, development tools, business intelligence (BI) services, database management systems, etc.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS 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.

highlightServerless computing

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.


Multi-cloud is the use of multiple cloud computing services from different cloud vendors, in a single heterogeneous architecture. This approach allows organizations to distribute their cloud assets, software, applications, and more across several cloud-hosted environments, reducing the risk of data exposure and data loss because of a localized component failure.

Which Type of Cloud highlightShould You Use?

The choice of cloud environment largely depends on the specific needs of your business, including factors like the type of data you're working with, regulatory requirements, the level of control you need, and the IT resources and expertise at your disposal.

Remember, data security is paramount, regardless of the cloud environment. All cloud service providers should offer a suite of security features to ensure your data remains secure. When considering cost-effectiveness, usually, public cloud services tend to be more affordable than private clouds. However, this depends on the nature and scale of your operations.

In conclusion, the world of cloud environments is wide and varied, with solutions to accommodate every business. Now that you've got a better understanding of the different types of cloud environments, you're better equipped to navigate this landscape. Remember, the right cloud solution is the one that aligns with your business goals and operational requirements, all while minimizing data exposure and maximizing cost-effectiveness.

FAQs on Cloud Computing and its Types

  1. What is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)? Infrastructure as a Service, often referred to as IaaS, is a cloud computing approach that provides virtualized computing resources over the Internet. IaaS is one of the three primary models of cloud services, alongside Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
  2. Can you explain how cloud computing works? Cloud computing operates by hosting software, platforms, and databases remotely. The data is stored in data centers, and users can access these resources and services via the Internet. This way, the need for on-premises infrastructure is significantly reduced.
  3. What is a deployment model in cloud computing? A deployment model in cloud computing refers to the specific type of cloud environment where the cloud services are implemented. There are several cloud computing deployment models including public clouds, private clouds, hybrid clouds, and community clouds.
  4. How does Software as a Service (SaaS) work? Software as a Service, or SaaS, is a cloud computing model in which a service provider hosts applications and makes them available to users over the Internet. This model eliminates the need for users to install and run applications on their own computers or in their own data centers, reducing the cost of software ownership.
  5. What is Google App Engine used for? Google App Engine is a cloud computing platform as a service for developing and hosting web applications in Google-managed data centers. It allows developers to take advantage of the powerful Google infrastructure without worrying about server management and infrastructure.
  6. How is data security maintained in cloud computing? Data security in cloud computing is maintained through a range of measures including encryption, access control, firewalls, and compliance audits. These measures help to protect sensitive data and keep it away from malicious threats.
  7. What is the difference between public cloud services and private cloud model? Public cloud services are provided by third-party providers over the Internet and are available to anyone who wishes to use them. On the other hand, the private cloud model involves a cloud infrastructure dedicated solely to a single organization. Private cloud provides enhanced security and control, making it suitable for businesses handling sensitive data.
  8. What is a cloud platform? A cloud platform, also known as Platform as a Service (PaaS), provides a platform and environment to allow developers to build applications and services. This cloud computing model includes infrastructure such as servers, storage, and networking, and development tools like databases and operating systems.
  9. How does cloud computing reduce costs? Cloud computing reduces costs by eliminating the need for large-scale, on-premises IT infrastructure. Companies can rent computing power, storage, and other services from a cloud service provider, paying only for what they use.
  10. What are multi-clouds? Multi-clouds refer to the use of multiple cloud computing services from different cloud vendors in a single heterogeneous architecture. This approach is commonly used to minimize the risk of data exposure and data loss due to a localized component failure.
  11. What is the role of third-party providers in cloud computing? Third-party providers in cloud computing offer cloud services to businesses. These services can range from storage, servers, and networking to software, applications, and more. Providers such as Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Alibaba Cloud host and manage the cloud infrastructure.
  12. What does minimizing data exposure mean in the context of cloud computing? Minimizing data exposure in cloud computing means implementing practices and controls to limit the amount of data potentially exposed to risky environments or malicious entities. This can be achieved by using secure cloud service models, implementing data access controls, and encrypting data both at rest and in transit.
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Published on July 26, 2023


Marek Majdak Head of Development

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