Public, private, hybrid – what cloud are you?

Cloud computing is pervasive. We use it all the time, for work, entertainment and all general daily life and benefit from the flexibility, agility, control of our assets and simple freedom of movement that it gives us. But when it comes to using cloud for business, how do you decide which version is the right one for you?

There are four main varieties of cloud: public, private, hybrid and virtual private. Public cloud utilizes outsourced Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers like Amazon Web Services to deliver applications and storage to customers over the internet, mostly on a pay-per-usage basis. It is easy and inexpensive to set up, scalable and resources are controlled – but also a fairly basic format lacking the security and managed services wraps. Using a public cloud provider means you will still need to, either by yourself or helped by a systems integrator or service provider, carry out design, installation and setup of the servers, the monitoring and management of OS and applications, you will still need to ensure information security and compliance and also overall service operations and management.

Private cloud brings the privacy and security not available through public cloud. Where enterprises must store sensitive data or have dynamic computing needs that require greater control, private cloud is a good option; it still offers scalability and self-service, but with the benefit of being located within the enterprise’s secure environment rather than a public or open one. Private cloud is a more dedicated service and logistically is a much simpler option for enterprises – it is a lot easier to move an on-premises environment to a private cloud.

Virtual private cloud (VPC) offers a blend of the benefits of both public and private. Since its inception, cloud computing has had security fears around it – CIOs who need to protect sensitive corporate data are often wary of moving data into the cloud, meaning their organizations missed the flexibility, scalability and agility benefits of the cloud model. VPC addresses this by marrying security, compliance and control within an enterprise shared environment and delivers the security, compliance, SLAs and service management feel of private cloud plus the flexibility, agility and scalability of public cloud.

The fourth option of recent times is hybrid cloud, formed by the co-existence of public, private and/or virtual private cloud within an organization. Different types of workloads with different levels of security, compliance and scalability need may be put into different environments. Hybrid however creates dispersed and distributed infrastructure with differing management consoles, which makes operations complicated. Hybrid cloud management creates a ’single pane of glass’ for monitoring and management of all these different types of cloud.

So how do you establish what you need?

First, evaluate and establish your needs. Make a checklist and work through it - is your cloud to be customer-facing or for back-office purposes? How important is security to your operation, how sensitive is your data? Is your cloud workload a consistent, predictable amount of data or do you experience usage spikes and troughs? How critical is the availability of the application for the business? Does it need to have a Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery plan? Do you want the infrastructure/application to be monitored to ensure minimized downtime? Are you fine with a self-service do-it-yourself IT operations model or do you want outcome-based managed services? Are your needs flexible to adapt to the standard services or you want infrastructure / services to be customized?  

There are many parameters where applications and processes must be assessed, and these can be done internally or using an expert consultant. This ensures each application and process can be kept within the buckets of public, private and virtual private – while an even distribution of applications in all buckets means you also need hybrid cloud.

How they compare

Each variety of cloud has its strengths and weaknesses, and organizations must make the right choice for their needs. The table below carries a summary.


Public Cloud

Private Cloud

Virtual Private Cloud

Hybrid Cloud




Moderate to high

Very high







Low to medium

Very high





Very high




Pay-as-you go model



Most optimum


Add-on service


Catalogue based

Catalogue based

SLA Commitment

Committed Infrastructure availability

Extended / Customized SLA

Extended / Customized SLA

Extended/Customized SLA


One cloud does not fit all

Cloud has matured – it is no longer just a hyped-up concept, it is a reality and a key ingredient of digital transformation. The question is not whether to adopt cloud, it is about how fast and to what extent to adopt it. Cloud assists not just the optimization of IT budgets of enterprises of all sizes but has also helps smaller companies mature more quickly.

However, success depends on selecting the right model to address what your applications and processes need. This approach can mean adapting all of public, private and virtual private cloud types. And if that happens, you should also know hybrid cloud is an option that helps you deal with that complexity in the most effective way possible.


Saving time and money by choosing the right infrastructure.
Regardless if you choose Public, Virtual Public, Hybrid, or Private Cloud, the infrastructure powering it matters more than you think and does impact your applications performance, security and reliability. Much like when choosing a car, the type of engine that runs a cloud service dramatically affects
performance and efficiency. Cloud customers want to know what technology their applications are running on because it has direct impact to their business. It has been reported that a heterogeneous cloud infrastructure environment may result in 40 to 60 percent performance variation. Therefore, end users are increasingly looking for more insight into the performance, capabilities and cost trade-offs of the many instances that are offered so they can get the right size and type of performance matched to their specific workloads.
To read more about Orange Business cloud computing, please visit: Embrace the cloud
To learn more about why underlying infrastructure powering your cloud services matters and impacts your applications performance and operating costs, please watch: Intel Cloud Technology Overview
If you would like to know more about how processor technologies can accelerate your workloads to save you time and money, please watch: Improving Cloud Performance with Intel Cloud Technology
Derrick Loi
Derrick Loi is currently the Senior Director for Orange Data Centre and Cloud, Asia Pacific, at Orange Business where he is responsible for the entire portfolio of managed data centre services, cloud services and professional services practice in Asia Pacific.
Prior to working for Orange, Derrick worked for SingTel, BT Infonet and Cisco, where he was involved in direct P&L management of sales, pre-sales, business development, channel sales, product management and professional services in data center, hosting, cloud and telco managed services in Asia Pacific.