Private vs. Public

Different types of cloud

The term ‘cloud’ is well known to many by now. More and more organisations are finding their way to the cloud. A good time to look at different types of cloud. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type? An overview of the properties of a public, private, community and hybrid cloud.


Private vs. Public

Public cloud

This is the cloud form that most people think about when it comes to cloud. This is a single service that is offered to many customers at the same time. This can be useful for reasonably generic services. For example using Office 365.

These are often services offered by major suppliers such as Google and Microsoft or niche players such as Dropbox and Evernote. Because these services are often purchased in large numbers, these services are not very expensive. The fact that it’s being purchased by many means that the underlying infrastructure is shared by all users, hence the name public cloud.

The provider of a public cloud service determines the conditions of this service, the user has no influence on this. An advantage of this is that the user doesn’t have to maintain a system themselves. A disadvantage is that the software or data is completely on the servers of the external service provider. As a result, it isn’t always known where the data is. With the annulment of Safe Harbour and the implementation of the new Data Protection Act can have unpleasant consequences.


  • Great economies of scale.
  • Cheap cloud form.
  • No maintenance on the system.


  • Is open and therefore less secure.
  • Generic functionality.
  • Data is on servers of external service providers. Often unknown is true.
  • No support or very limited and usually generic.

Private cloud

A private cloud is, as the name implies, a cloud that is used by one organisation. This can be within the walls of the organisation, but also from and to another location. Whether or not managed by an IT department of your own. It’s more common for the infrastructure to be outsourced to third parties, such as an organisation like Fundaments. Because the private cloud is only intended for one user, it can be set up entirely according to their conditions. The user has complete control over data, security and quality of service. That makes it the most secure type of cloud.


  • High degree of security.
  • Determine conditions and complete control over data.
  • Often faster connections; low latency and more speed.


  • Less flexibility.
  • A more expensive solution.

Comparison public and private cloud

Security++++Because a private cloud is self-managed, it offers more security than a public cloud.
Laws++++With a private cloud you know exactly where your data is. This is often unclear with a public cloud. With the annulment of the Safe Harbour statement, the latter involves certain risks.
Control / Adaptable++++In a private cloud, the environment can be set up according to its own conditions. The conditions of a public cloud are determined by the providers of the cloud service.
Latency++++With a private cloud, the latency can be much better optimised, since it can be determined for yourself which connections are used. Public cloud is dependent on internet connections, which usually have a longer speed.
Scalable++(+)+++With the public cloud, it’s often easier and cheaper to scale up. With a self-managed private cloud, this often means investing. With a private cloud managed by an IaaS provider, it’s often a matter of upgrading the contract.
Flexibility+(+)+++Both are flexible, but with an in-house private cloud, purchasing additional software and installing hardware should be considered. With a private cloud managed by an IaaS provider such as Fundaments, it’s often easier to switch.
Costs++++In a public cloud, there are usually no major investments that often require a private cloud.
Contracts+++A public cloud is often a contract that can be terminated on a monthly basis. A private cloud is an investment with depreciation or a contract is signed (often for one or more years).
Maintenance+(++)+++You don’t need to maintain a public cloud. The provider manages the environment and you don’t have to worry about this. With a self-managed private cloud you have to do the maintenance yourself. With a private cloud managed by a third party, you outsource the maintenance.


The public and private cloud are the two extremes of the cloud types. However, there are also two cloud types in between.

Community cloud

With a community cloud (also known as a shared cloud), there are joint services for a group of (community) organisations with a shared interest. An example of this is an education cloud, in which services are offered exclusively for education and research.

The Shared IaaS is somewhere in between a public and a private cloud, because it’s a shared private cloud. The infrastructure is used by various organisations with common interests. Because the cloud is shared, the terms of the service are also jointly determined.


  • The costs are shared by all users of the community.
  • The community (not the individual organisation) can make demands on the service.
  • More secure than public cloud and cheaper from private cloud.


  • There must be good cooperation with the organisations.
  • Dependent on fellow users.

Hybrid cloud

A hybrid cloud is a combination of two previously mentioned cloud forms, mostly private and public cloud. For example, private cloud is used for critical functions and for functions where security plays a less important role, a public cloud is chosen. Use the best of both worlds. It’s important that there are good links between the two types of cloud, so that the users don’t notice in which environment they are working.

A hybrid cloud is increasingly chosen, because the requirements that are set can’t just be found in the private or just the public cloud. It’s also quite a challenge to arrange matters such as legislation, security and compliance within one single cloud.

The term hybrid cloud is also used when data has been stored both inside and outside the organisation. For example, if an organisation has just invested in hardware, but also wants to go to the cloud. It’s financially more convenient to first depreciate the hardware and then fully transfer to a private cloud, for example. Until that time, the hardware can be connected to the cloud of an infrastructure manager such as Fundaments. This can be done by keeping the hardware within the walls of the organisation, or by putting it in the datacentre of the infrastructure manager. In this way, the organisation benefits from all the advantages of the cloud (scalability, freedom, security, cost savings) and still keeps the financial advantage of the depreciation.


  • Combine the security of the private cloud and the flexibility of a public cloud. The best of both worlds.
  • Very suitable as a transition to a private cloud if there are still depreciations on hardware.


  • The integrations of the two cloud types must be well managed. This may mean that extra knowledge must be acquired or outsourced.
  • Interfaces to on-premise systems and applications are experienced as more complex in a hybrid cloud.

What do the different cloud types from Fundaments look like? Read it in the next article or contact us.

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