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An Introduction to Cloud Computing Deployment Models


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In today’s ever-evolving digital age, cloud computing has emerged as a transformative force, reshaping how businesses operate, innovate, and scale. As organizations strive to become more agile and customer-centric, the selection of an appropriate cloud deployment model becomes paramount. 

This guide delves deep into the multifaceted world of cloud computing, shedding light on various deployment models from the popular Public and Private clouds to the more specialized Intercloud, Mobile, and Edge Cloud models. 

Each model presents its unique advantages, challenges, use cases, and understanding nuances can empower businesses to make informed decisions, optimizing their operational efficiency, security, and scalability. 

This evaluation aims to give you a complete understanding of different cloud models, not as a promotion or endorsement of any specific model but as a resource to help guide the decision-making process.

What Is Public Cloud?

A public cloud is a cloud computing deployment model where services are delivered over the internet. Available to anyone who wants to use or purchase them, it’s a vast online store for computing services. The public cloud model operates on shared resources, meaning multiple users share the same infrastructure, similar to sharing an apartment building. Yet, every tenant has its own secure space and cannot access others’ data or applications. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, and Google Cloud Platform are all popular public cloud providers.

Use Cases and Benefits

Consider a small start-up company. They need to manage their costs, scale up quickly, and possibly lack the resources for large IT infrastructures or teams. For them, the public cloud might be the ideal solution. Here’s why:

  • Cost-Effective: With a public cloud, you pay for what you use. No need for a large upfront investment in servers and software. It is covered by the cloud service provider. It’s like renting instead of buying a house.
  • Scalability: If you need additional resources, public clouds can instantly provide more storage or computing power.
  • Maintenance: The cloud provider takes care of maintaining servers or updating software.

Limitations and Concerns

Despite its advantages, the public cloud has potential pitfalls. The biggest concern is security. Because of its open nature, some worry that sensitive data may not be as secure on a public cloud as it would be on a private one. Moreover, while the public cloud is incredibly scalable, it may not be the best fit for every situation. If your needs are very specific, you might find that the shared resources of a public cloud don’t quite meet them.

What Is a Private Cloud?

The private cloud is a unique type of cloud computing, providing a personalized experience for users. It allocates exclusive resources to a single entity, typically an organization, giving you a higher level of control and privacy. The private cloud can be on-site, using your servers, or hosted by a third-party provider. Regardless, its infrastructure is dedicated to one organization, ensuring greater control over data, flexibility for customization, and enhanced security measures.

Use Cases and Benefits

Imagine a large enterprise with rigid data security regulations, like a bank or healthcare provider. They handle sensitive customer information and need top-notch security measures. The private cloud is ideal in these scenarios, offering several advantages:

  • Security and Compliance: Dedicated resources offer more control over security measures, making it easier to meet rigorous compliance requirements.
  • Customization: Private clouds let you modify the infrastructure to meet your specific needs. 
  • Performance: Unshared resources often deliver higher performance levels, making a private cloud ideal for resource-intensive workloads.
  • Flexibility: Private cloud gives greater flexibility of control over cloud resources.

Limitations and Concerns

The private cloud isn’t suitable for every situation. Its major challenges include cost and the need for in-house expertise. Unlike the pay-as-you-go model of the public cloud, a private cloud requires a significant initial investment, along with ongoing costs for maintenance, updates, and infrastructure management.

Managing a private cloud demands a team of IT experts for setup, maintenance, and troubleshooting. This may not be feasible for smaller organizations. Increased control also means more responsibility. As the owner and manager of the infrastructure, you’re accountable for all components, including security, updates, and troubleshooting.

Hybrid and Community Clouds

What Is a Hybrid Cloud?

A hybrid cloud model combines both public and private cloud infrastructure, allowing organizations to leverage the benefits of both. It involves the integration of on-premises data centers with external cloud environments, enabling data and application portability, flexibility, and scalability. This enables businesses to manage sensitive workloads on a private cloud while utilizing the public cloud for less sensitive tasks or for handling variable workloads efficiently. Hybrid clouds provide a balance between control and cost-effectiveness, offering increased agility and optimization of resources.

What Is a Community Cloud?

A community cloud model is a collaborative computing environment shared by multiple organizations with common interests or requirements. It involves the pooling of computing resources, infrastructure, and services to serve the specific needs of a community, such as industry partners, regulatory bodies, or research consortia. This cloud model provides a shared platform for members to collaborate, share data, and access shared applications while maintaining a level of exclusivity and control over the community’s specific requirements and policies.

Hybrid vs. Community Clouds

Hybrid and Community Clouds, while sounding similar, are quite different. A Hybrid Cloud combines public and private clouds, allowing data and applications to move between the two. This model offers the scalability of the public cloud and the security of the private cloud.

Conversely, a Community Cloud model involves shared cloud computing resources among several organizations. These organizations typically share similar goals or compliance requirements. It’s akin to a neighborhood club where residents share facilities and resources for mutual benefit.

Applications and Advantages

The Hybrid Cloud model is effective when an organization needs to balance operational efficiency with security. For example, a retail business might use a public cloud to manage high-demand web traffic during a sales event, while storing sensitive customer data on a private cloud. This approach ensures excellent customer service and robust data security.

The advantages of a Hybrid Cloud include:

  • Flexibility: Organizations can scale with the public cloud while maintaining data security in the private cloud.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: It minimizes the need for major capital expenditure on IT infrastructure by renting public cloud services as needed.
  • Security: The private cloud offers superior security for sensitive data.

Meanwhile, the Community Cloud model is perfect for entities with similar requirements and goals. Government agencies, for instance, could form a Community Cloud for resource sharing and project collaboration, optimizing resource usage.

Advantages of a Community Cloud include:

  • Shared Costs: Infrastructure and maintenance costs are divided among the participants due to shared resources.
  • Customization: Community Clouds can be tailored to meet the unique needs of its members.
  • Security: Community Clouds offer enhanced security as users are trusted entities.

Challenges and Concerns

Hybrid and Community Clouds also present challenges. The Hybrid Cloud model can be complex and requires expert IT management. Ensuring consistent security across both the public and private clouds can also be difficult.

For Community Clouds, the shared model can lead to governance and management issues. Determining the division of costs, responsibilities, and resources can be a difficult task. Concerns may also arise around data privacy if one entity’s data becomes accessible to another. Also, because of its restricted bandwidth and storage capacity, the challenges community resources pose is good to be aware of.

Intercloud, Mobile, & Edge Cloud Models

Continual evolution in cloud computing has led to the introduction of Intercloud, Mobile, and Edge Cloud models. The Intercloud model integrates multiple cloud systems, both private and public, creating an interconnected web of clouds to enhance scalability and service delivery across various regions and platforms.

Mobile Cloud brings the power of the cloud to handheld devices by using the internet to provide access to cloud-based applications and services. This model allows you to work on extensive projects or manage large datasets on your smartphone.

Edge Cloud model focuses on bringing cloud computing closer to the data source, be it a user device or an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor. This reduces latency and offers real-time processing and analysis.

Applications and Benefits

The unique benefits of these models find applications in various scenarios.

The Intercloud model benefits businesses operating in multiple countries by improving service delivery, ensuring consistency and reliability regardless of geographical location. It distributes workloads and data across multiple clouds located near business operations.

For teams that need mobility and easy access, the Mobile Cloud model is ideal. It enables sales teams to access customer data, analytics, and CRM tools directly from their mobile devices, enhancing efficiency and productivity.

Industries heavily reliant on IoT devices, such as manufacturing or logistics, are finding the Edge Cloud model particularly useful. It processes data closer to the source, enabling real-time decisions.

  • Intercloud: Improves global service delivery, enhances scalability, and aids disaster recovery.
  • Mobile Cloud: Boosts mobility and accessibility, enabling work from anywhere.
  • Edge Cloud: Facilitates real-time data processing and decision-making, perfect for IoT-heavy industries.

Challenges and Concerns

As with other cloud models, it is important to consider the potential pitfalls or challenges that come with these models. The Intercloud model, though excellent for global service delivery, can be difficult to manage and secure, as it involves working across multiple cloud systems and service providers.

While the Mobile Cloud offers flexibility, it can face security issues due to the variety of devices and networks it must accommodate. Moreover, it depends on constant internet connectivity, which may not always be available.

The Edge Cloud model, despite its real-time capabilities, can face data privacy issues. With data processed closer to the source, ensuring privacy and security becomes critical. Furthermore, managing and maintaining edge computing devices scattered across various locations can be challenging.

What’s Running on Those Clouds?

Cloud computing has transformed the way businesses leverage technology, and understanding the different cloud service models is essential for making informed decisions. The three primary cloud service models are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

IaaS provides virtualized computing resources over the internet. It offers virtualized hardware resources such as servers, storage, and networking. One of its key features is giving users control over operating systems, applications, and development frameworks. Additionally, scaling in IaaS is flexible, allowing users to adjust resources based on demand. This model is ideal for businesses that require full control over their infrastructure and want the ability to customize to meet specific needs.

PaaS, on the other hand, offers a platform that includes both infrastructure and development tools for building, deploying, and managing applications. With PaaS, businesses no longer need to manage the underlying infrastructure. Instead, the focus is on application development, with tools and services for coding, testing, and deployment. PaaS simplifies the process of scaling and managing applications by abstracting away the complexities of infrastructure management. This model is advantageous for businesses that prioritize application development and want to streamline the deployment process.

Finally, SaaS delivers software applications over the internet on a subscription basis. Users can access these applications through a web browser without the need for installation or maintenance. The software is managed and maintained by the service provider, which removes the burden of updates and patches from businesses. SaaS is commonly used for applications such as email services, customer relationship management (CRM) tools, and collaboration platforms. This model is ideal for businesses seeking ready-to-use software solutions without the hassle of managing infrastructure or software updates.


Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides users with virtualized infrastructure, including servers, storage, and networking, while giving them control over the operating system and applications. Platform as a Service (PaaS) offers a platform with development tools, abstracting away the complexities of infrastructure management to simplify application development and deployment. Software as a Service (SaaS) delivers software applications over the internet, eliminating the need for installation and maintenance. These cloud service models represent a spectrum of abstraction and responsibility, with IaaS providing more control and responsibility to the user, PaaS abstracting away more of the underlying infrastructure, and SaaS delivering fully managed applications.

Understanding Cloud Computing Models

Cloud computing models come in various forms, each presenting its unique advantages and challenges. The key is to identify the one that best suits your needs. Perhaps you appreciate the cost-effectiveness of public cloud, the security of private cloud, or hybrid and community clouds’ adaptability – a cloud solution exists for everyone. Continuous progress in technology means these models keep changing, offering additional ways to utilize the power of the cloud. We invite you to explore Split’s library of resources further, helping you better define your path in the energetic space of cloud computing.

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