An Overview of Cloud Deployment Models

Explore the use cases and benefits of the public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud.

Comparing Cloud Computing Deployment Models

  • The public cloud lets you purchase resources on a pay-as-you-go basis—a great choice for workloads that need to scale quickly.

  • A private cloud runs on infrastructure you own and is ideal when sensitive data is involved or when meeting high availability requirements.

  • By taking an integrated hybrid cloud approach, your business can get the best of the public and private cloud.

  • With multicloud, you use multiple public cloud services, often from different providers. Multicloud can also incorporate physical and virtual infrastructure, including private clouds.



Businesses today rely on a complex ecosystem of IT services and applications—each one with its own set of requirements for privacy, availability, and cost. Over the last decade, businesses have adopted the cloud as a way to improve process efficiency and accelerate time to market with flexible, scalable computing resources that are delivered wherever users need them. But it’s how your business uses the cloud that can give you a real critical advantage.

To start with, there are many different models for deployment in cloud computing to choose from. Your cloud infrastructure and placement of each workload depend on your business needs—for example, balancing short-term costs with long-term total cost of ownership (TCO), addressing any data governance regulations, and ensuring uptime for mission-critical applications.

As you create your cloud deployment strategy, consider how cost, privacy, and availability will affect the placement of each application or service your business uses.

Public Cloud

For businesses that need quick access to computing resources without a large upfront cost, public cloud services are an ideal option. With the public cloud, your business purchases virtualized compute, storage, and networking services over the public internet from a cloud service provider. This can help you speed time to market, scale quickly, and gain the agility to quickly try out new applications and services.

Since public cloud services are set up as pay-per-use, there’s minimal investment to get started. They’re also easy to scale, since you can simply buy more capacity as it’s needed. Public cloud services are especially useful for workloads that may run for a short period of time—for example, a start-up that can’t afford to wait months to prove its viability can get just the right amount of compute it needs, for just as long as it needs it. Plus, your IT team won’t need to maintain the hardware.

The largest cloud service providers today include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba Cloud, Google Cloud, and IBM. There are a range of providers to choose from, both large and small, each offering its own menu of services.

However, there are some workloads that simply won’t work in the public cloud—for example, legacy applications that are too difficult or risky to migrate. As such, the private cloud remains a critical part of your cloud strategy.

Private Cloud

If you’re looking for the most control over your resources and data, as well as the most cost-efficient solution over the long term, a private cloud is most likely your best choice. 

A private cloud is hosted in your data center and maintained by your IT team. Because your organization purchases and installs the hardware, this involves a substantial capital expenditure. It also requires ongoing management and operational costs. However, running workloads on a private cloud can deliver a lower TCO as you deliver more computing power with less physical hardware. It also gives you support for legacy applications that cannot be moved to the public cloud.

Having your own private cloud also lets you control how data is shared and stored. This is often the best option if cloud security is a concern, since you can manage data governance, ensure compliance with any regulations, and protect valuable intellectual property.

Additionally, your private cloud gives you on-demand data availability, ensuring reliability and support for mission-critical workloads. And because you can control how resources are used, you can respond quickly to changing workload demands.

Hybrid Cloud

hybrid cloud combines public cloud and private cloud environments by allowing data and applications to be shared between them. This helps businesses seamlessly scale services back and forth between their own infrastructure and the public cloud. 


Because there are so many different types of workloads, each with its own requirements, many businesses end up using a combination of services from different cloud service providers, including their own private cloud resources. This is known as a multicloud approach.

Multicloud gives you more flexibility over different price points, service offerings, capabilities, and geographic locations. With careful planning, a multicloud strategy can create consistency across your organization, independent of the services being consumed. Multicloud requires a software layer to deliver management and orchestration across cloud environments—for example, Google Cloud’s Anthos*.

In short, a multicloud, hybrid cloud approach gives you the best of both the private cloud and public cloud with the flexibility to run workloads where they make the most sense.

Choosing a Cloud Deployment Model

Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, IT decision-makers should select a cloud deployment model on a workload-by-workload basis. You can start by conducting an assessment that considers your application needs and dependencies, as well as your business goals and drivers. Keep in mind how your goals may change. For example, some workloads may start in the cloud due to the need for a fast time to market but migrate to a private cloud to maximize control and TCO.

Here are a few general guidelines to get started.

Private cloud - A private cloud is ideal for use cases in which you must:

  • Protect sensitive information, including intellectual property
  • Meet data sovereignty or compliance requirements
  • Ensure high availability

Public cloud - The public cloud is ideal for use cases in which you must:

  • Scale up quickly and accelerate time to market
  • Run workloads over the short term
  • Manage upfront costs
  • Relieve demand on IT resources

Remember that to meet the requirements of each application and achieve workload optimization, most organizations will need a mix of both public and private clouds.

Watch the overview video ›

Powering the Cloud with Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors

Application compatibility and performance are major considerations with hybrid cloud and multicloud approaches. Intel works to make sure you can use your preferred combination of private cloud and public cloud and still get uncompromised performance on Intel® platforms, with the underlying virtualization technology to help workloads remain portable and scalable.

Intel works closely with major public cloud service providers to integrate and optimize Intel® technologies in their data centers, helping enable application and tool compatibility, workload-optimized performance, and security features. Intel® architecture in the cloud means you can scale workloads from data-intensive to AI within the same instances. AI-ready technologies like Intel® Deep Learning Boost (Intel® DL Boost) make it possible to take your applications to the next level. All this helps ensure your business gets exceptional value and performance, no matter how you’re consuming the cloud.

Intel® technologies power the cloud with Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, networking components, and solid state drives, along with a rich portfolio of enabling technologies, easy-to-deploy cloud solutions, and a broad choice of industry collaborators. Our commitment to the cloud service provider ecosystem, continued optimizations, and contributions to the open source community ensure you have broad support and choice when building or buying cloud services. Additionally, you can find a variety of Intel® Select Solutions from our partners for fast and easy deployment.

In a well-integrated environment, users can get the services they need regardless of which type of cloud it’s coming from. As a result, your business can capitalize on productivity, resource utilization, and cost efficiency.