What is a public cloud?

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What is a public cloud?

Cloud computing offers countless benefits to businesses, from increased connectivity to secure data management to lowered costs for internal IT. For small and medium-sized businesses in particular, the public cloud is in many cases the most affordable and straightforward cloud solution. Why this is so and how you can also benefit from the public cloud, we reveal in the following article.

Public cloud for maximum performance

A public cloud is a cloud service that is provided publicly by a provider via the Internet. Conversely, this means that any users can access the cloud offering, sharing infrastructures and services. A public cloud makes further investment in internal software or hardware unnecessary for companies.

In addition, unlike models such as the private cloud, most public cloud applications require minimal expertise. Most programs come with user-friendly user interfaces and are tailored to the end user. As a result, far fewer internal IT experts are needed to run the enterprise cloud.

Another important advantage of the public cloud is that this cloud solution is much more flexible and easily scalable than other structures. Apart from that, a public cloud works like all other cloud services. Here, hardware is used to visualize and administratively manage a wide variety of online resources in a common pool.

The currently most important providers of a public cloud are:

  1. AWS
  2. IBM
  3. Microsoft Azure
  4. Alibaba Cloud
  5. Google Cloud

The most important features of a public cloud

In addition to the public cloud, there are other forms of cloud, namely the private cloud and the hybrid cloud. The public cloud differs from the other two types primarily by the following characteristics:

  1. customers access the provider's cloud collectively
  2. resources are distributed according to demand
  3. the provider makes the entire infrastructure available
  4. the provider takes care of hardware maintenance and execution
  5. network management and visualization also fall within the provider's remit

In addition, public clouds can be very different. They can be both free and paid services. The level of service offered by the cloud provider in a public cloud can also vary greatly. For example, models in which the provider only offers network and infrastructure are possible, as well as "all-in-one" SaaS solutions.

Why the public cloud is so popular

As mentioned earlier, one of the most important advantages of the public cloud is that it can extremely reduce the cost of a cloud implementation. This is primarily because with a public cloud you do not need your own IT infrastructure, which is extremely expensive not only to purchase but also to maintain. In addition, minimal expertise is required to use a public cloud service, which in turn means that personnel costs can be saved in the IT department.

In addition, many companies opt for a public cloud because it allows a much higher degree of flexibility and scalability. Since both the infrastructure and, at least in most cases, the software are provided by an external provider, peak loads can be handled easily, even at short notice.

Regardless of whether you currently need significantly more or significantly less computing power and storage for your cloud than you did yesterday, with a public cloud you can scale your own cloud at any time, which in turn makes deployment significantly cheaper. The fact that public clouds are provided by external providers who are among the best hardware and software companies in the world has even more advantages.

For example, if you use a public cloud service from Amazon AWS, you automatically access the provider's service and management structures with it. This, in turn, means that your cloud becomes incredibly reliable. What's more, companies like Amazon and Microsoft use the highest possible security standards and protocols, which again benefits you directly.

The disadvantages don't matter as much with a public cloud. The biggest problem for most companies is that they have to rely on the provider's compliance and cannot guarantee the protection of their own data themselves. In addition, a public cloud naturally offers fewer individual setting options than a private or hybrid model.

Advantages and disadvantages of the public cloud

For a better overview, we have summarized the most important advantages and disadvantages of the public cloud once again here:


  • No internal hardware required
  • Low level of expertise sufficient
  • Significantly less expensive than private cloud
  • High reliability
  • High security standards of providers
  • Significantly more flexible and easier to scale than other solutions


  • Possible compliance issues
  • Individual set-up options limited

Application examples for public clouds

Countless online services, as we all use in our daily lives, are in fact a public cloud. Google Drive, DropBox, Apple iCloud and Microsoft OneDrive are among them, for example. But office applications such as Microsoft Office 365 or Salesforce are now also built as public clouds. For the reasons mentioned above, public clouds are the best choice not only for private users, but also for companies.

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