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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Public. Hybrid. Private. Who, What, Where, When?

15 November 2011 by Jenn Granger

Cloud hosting has exploded in recent years and to many businesses it is seen as the best option during these tough economic times. However many still do not fully understand exactly what the cloud is, how the different types work and whether it really is the best option for their business.

Here is a brief run down of the different types of cloud and pros and cons of each of them:

Public cloud

This is a cluster of servers which provide hosting resources in an elastic manner allowing easy scalability. Generally you only pay for what you use making it a great option for companies that experience short term peaks. However, because of the shared infrastructure a public cloud has the most security vulnerabilities.

Pros Cons
  • No major up-front investment
  • Simple to use
  • Scalable
  • Rapid deployment
  • Rapid upgrade
  • Added redundancy


  • Higher risks of security breaches
  • Lack of automation
  • Moving to alternative cloud can be challenging
  • Reduced control
  • Shared resources
  • Difficult to determine physical location of data
  • Shared SAN can affect performance

Private cloud

A private cloud is dedicated to a single company. The environment it is in has in-built redundancy and clustering for added resilience. The isolation of a private cloud allows companies to maintain high performance and high availability.

A private cloud has all the benefits of dedicated hosting but with the scalability and flexibility provided by the cloud.

Pros Cons
  • Fully managed
  • As secure as you make it
  • Dedicated resources
  • Scalable storage
  • Rapid deployment
  • Added redundancy
  • SAN can be single point of failure unless DR SAN included
  • Lack of automation

Hybrid cloud

A hybrid cloud can use traditional dedicated servers linked with the cloud. When the dedicated servers reach a certain load threshold the cloud is utilised for additional resources.

It can also be a combination of private and public cloud providing a versatile solution to suit your business needs. This means that the pros and cons of the hybrid cloud depend on how the solution is set up.


The right type of cloud may well be a great solution for your business but also don’t forget to consider the more traditional options. Just because everyone is talking about the cloud does not mean it is a one size fits all solution.

If you are interested in finding out more about the different types of cloud, download our latest report.