Private Cloud vs. Public Cloud: What Are the Differences?


The global cloud computing market had an estimated worth of $445.3 billion in 2021. Come 2026; experts forecast it to reach a staggering value of $947.3 billion.

Public cloud services, in turn, account for the largest share of the market. In 2021 alone, end-users spent an estimated $396 billion on them.

However, public cloud services aren’t the only players in the market. Although not as popular as their public counterparts, private cloud services exist, too.

So, if you’re in the market for such services, it’s best to learn more about the private cloud vs. public cloud debate.

To that end, we created this guide comparing those two types of cloud computing services. Read on to learn more about them so that you can determine which one is best for your organization’s needs.

What Is a Public Cloud?

A public cloud is a cloud service shared by different customers. That means multiple users can access the service’s resources, including servers and storage. They can do so by simply using a web browser.

So, with a public cloud, you share the service’s features with other companies. However, the other tenants won’t see the data and apps you use. For the same reason, the data and apps they use remain hidden from you.

Public cloud providers are responsible for managing their entire cloud system. After all, they own the hardware, software, and infrastructure behind their cloud services.

One way to imagine how a public cloud service works is to liken it to an apartment building. Each tenant gets a unit and can use the building’s facilities. At the same time, the building owner is responsible for managing the building.

What Is a Private Cloud?

As explained in this hosted private cloud guide, a private cloud is a service dedicated to a single user. That tenant is the only one with access to the private cloud and its resources. There’s no sharing that occurs in this single-tenant cloud computing environment.

In some cases, a private cloud’s physical location is its tenant’s on-site data center. However, it can also be offsite, which is the case with a hosted private cloud. The location of a hosted cloud service is the data center of a third-party service provider.

Either way, all the services and infrastructure of a private cloud are on a private network. The named tenant also has dedicated access to the service’s hardware and software.

Private Cloud vs. Public Cloud: When to Choose Which

Private and public clouds vary in flexibility, control, security, scalability, and costs. That’s why it’s best to consider your cloud requirements and budget first.

Take a look at the sample situations below to help you decide whether to go private or public.

When a Private Cloud Makes More Sense

Let’s say your organization has specific IT requirements. In that case, it might be best for you to invest in private cloud services. That’s because they’re more flexible, allowing you to customize your cloud environment.

Private cloud solutions may also provide a greater level of security. That’s once again due to their dedicated, single-tenancy environment. Since only one user can access a private cloud, it usually has fewer security risks.

A private cloud may also be the better option if you need a higher level of control over a cloud environment. After all, this cloud deployment model gives you dedicated access to its resources. Moreover, you can build your cloud to conform to your organization’s core operations.

You can still go for a private cloud if you don’t want more control but rather more time for other core operations. In that case, it’s best to opt for a managed cloud service. That way, the cloud provider will handle all the aspects of your business cloud.

Another crucial benefit of private clouds is their reliable network performance. In most cases, they perform better than public clouds since they only have one entity to serve. By contrast, public cloud performance can fluctuate because multiple users share their resources.

When to Go For a Public Cloud Service

According to statistics, 31% of enterprises relied on public cloud services in 2020. On the other hand, only 9% used on-site private cloud, while 6% depended on a hosted private cloud.

Lower costs, in turn, are a chief reason behind public clouds’ more extensive usage.

Public clouds cost less since you don’t have to buy hardware or software. Instead, you only have to pay for the services you use. That makes a public cloud service a good choice if you have a tight business budget.

You don’t need to worry about hardware and software maintenance costs, either. The public cloud provider takes care of that on your behalf. They own the entire public cloud infrastructure, after all.

Moreover, opting for a public cloud service frees you from the need to get more physical space. That can further reduce your cloud-related costs. By contrast, you can expect to spend more if you build an on-site private cloud infrastructure.

A public cloud may also be a better choice if scalability is more important to you. That’s because these cloud services provide on-demand resources. So, you can always downscale or upscale your environment, depending on your needs.

You may also want to use a public cloud if you don’t have the resources to put strong security measures in place. That’s common among small businesses, as they often have limited budgets.

Fortunately, public cloud providers can help reduce some of those risks. That’s because it’s their responsibility to manage and secure their cloud infrastructure. So, with a public cloud, you’re essentially outsourcing part of your cybersecurity, too.

Choose the Right Cloud Deployment for Your Business

There you have it, the most crucial facts regarding the private cloud vs. public cloud debate. Now that you know, it’s time to make a list of your business’ cloud computing needs. That way, you can decide which cloud deployment is best for your organization.

Are you looking for other informative guides like this? If so, then feel free to check out and read our latest blog posts!

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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10 months ago

Now technology is very important, my SEO agency says that a private cloud will be the best solution and more flexible in future work. I was not quite sure before your article, thanks for explaining the difference