Making Sense of Cloud: Understanding Multi-Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Distributed Cloud

Making Sense of Cloud: Understanding Multi-Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Distributed Cloud
Spread the love

In the world of technology, it’s very important to understand the different terms and technologies. The term Cloud can often be interpreted in different  connotations: What ,how , types and when do we use cloud. This single word “cloud” can be used in different scenarios which makes it more or less confusing .We may have heard some say Cloud computing, cloud infrastructures , cloud servers , cloud storages but actually what are these terms and how are they related to cloud computing?. Yes in the tech sense, they’re incredibly versatile.  It’s why they get so much attention. That being said, it’s always good to understand how different cloud modes work. One can absolutely be fascinated by the services and functionalities the cloud can offer to us. So follow along this blog we discuss about Different types of cloud models and their use cases.

Cloud computing still relies upon the same physical server hardware that forms the backbone of any computer network. The difference is that cloud architecture makes the processing power and storage capacity of that hardware available over the internet. This allows cloud providers to use servers distributed around the world to form a consolidated, powerful computing network that can be accessed from any internet connection. This has proven especially valuable as organizations shift to remote work environments in response to COVID-19.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing has become a standard term over the last decade, however the service generally creates confusion. With all the new cloud choices and also the phrase “as a service” on the face of it tacked onto everything thinkable, it’s useful to take a step back and look at the variations between the most forms of cloud  and also the differing kinds of cloud computing services.

What Does Public Cloud Mean?

Public Cloud is a 3rd party computing service offered to the general public which would easily provision storages and computational services over the internet.This model uses a concept called “pay as you go”, which is why this  model has gained a large popularity as the end user has to only pay for what they actually use.

A service provider manages a public cloud solutions core infrastructure, software and other back-end architecture in a multitenant environment by which end users would be relieved from the management of backend infrastructure, which makes them the most ubiquitous and well-known cloud computing model. 

These models always follow a shared responsibility i.e., all the resources needed to run the infrastructure – servers, storage, networking components, and supporting software – are owned and managed by the service providers, and accessed by your users over the Internet via a web browser. Examples of such models  are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Public clouds are multi-tenant: you share the infrastructure with other organizations, but your data and workloads are kept isolated from theirs in a safe and secure virtual space. Rather than having to own and operate the hardware, you rent it by subscription, paying only for the services you actually use.

Benefits of Public Clouds

Public clouds offer a number of advantages:

  • Lower costs
    A public cloud effectively shifts the overhead infrastructure cost as this model supports pay as you go. The computational services would only be charged at the time of its existence. 
  • Freedom from maintenance
    The service provider handles all of its backend hardware maintenance which means there is no need for a dedicated hardware maintenance team.
  • On-demand scalability
    This feature is what has made the public cloud more demanding. Most of the service providers offer an ease of scalability to upscale and downscale the computational services from time to time based on surge of requirements.
  • High reliability
    Cloud service providers maintain large, geographically distributed networks of servers, together with sophisticated redundancy and failover strategies, to ensure customers against outages and downtime.
  • Reduced complexity
    Compared to traditional in-house infrastructure setup the team must always keep an eye on how the thighs that work behind but this model eliminates most of this expense and complexity. This lets you maintain a much smaller group of IT experts in-house, focused on building and delivering high-value products and services.
  • Flexible pricing options
    Pricing comes flexible in this model. It’s up to the IT administrator to choose which plan may fit best for their workload and choose.

Potential Challenges of Public Clouds

There are some limitations to public clouds:

  • A poor fit for sensitive and confidential workloads
    Some industries, such as finance and health care, require very high levels of security and are subject to strict privacy controls. These factors make public clouds inappropriate or preclude them outright.
  • Limited infrastructure visibility and control
    The cloud provider runs, maintains, and secures the infrastructure according to standards and strategies they set and enforce. These may not be sufficient to meet regulatory requirements for your particular industry.

What Does Private Cloud Mean?

Private Cloud allows the computational services to be accessible within an organization. This model  is operated only within a single organization. This model is mostly preferred by organisations who need their data stored in house and still wants to make use of the Cloud feature.However, this model is managed by the internal team of the organization itself or by third-party. The private cloud model is shown in the diagram below.

Benefits of Private Clouds

High Security and Privacy: Private cloud operations are not available to the public internet and the resources are shared and restricted from an explicit set of known members. Therefore, it ensures high security and privacy.

More Control: The private cloud has more control on its resources and hardware than the public cloud because it is accessed only within an organization.

Energy Efficiency: The private cloud resources are not as cost effective as resources in public clouds but they offer more efficiency than public cloud resources.

Potential Challenges of Private Clouds

Restricted Area of Operation: The private cloud is only accessible locally and is very difficult to deploy globally.

High Priced : Purchasing new hardware in order to fulfill the demand is a costly transaction.

Limited Scalability: The private cloud can be scaled only within the capacity of internal hosted resources.

Additional Skills: In order to maintain cloud deployment, organization requires skilled expertise.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid Cloud is a mixture of public and private clouds. Not everything belongs in a public cloud, which is why so many forward-thinking companies are choosing a hybrid mixture of cloud services. Hybrid clouds can offer the benefits of both public and private clouds and take advantage of existing architecture in a data center.

Non-critical activities are performed using the public cloud while the critical activities are performed using private clouds. In these models, The Hybrid Cloud Model is shown in the diagram below.

Benefits of Hybrid Clouds

There are many benefits of deploying cloud as a hybrid cloud model. The following diagram shows some of those benefits:


It offers features of both, the public cloud scalability and the private cloud scalability.


It offers secure resources and scalable public resources.

Cost Efficiency

Public clouds are more cost effective than private ones. Therefore, hybrid clouds can be cost saving.


The private cloud in a hybrid cloud ensures a higher degree of security.

Potential Challenges of Hybrid Clouds

Networking Issues

Networking becomes complex due to the presence of private and public clouds.

Security Compliance

It is necessary to ensure that cloud services are compliant with security policies of the organization.

Infrastructure Dependency

The hybrid cloud model is dependent on internal IT infrastructure, therefore it is necessary to ensure redundancy across data centers.

 Multi Cloud

Multicloud model  means multiple public clouds which operate in cohesion with each other . An organisation that uses a multicloud deployment incorporates multiple public clouds from more than one cloud provider. Instead of a business using one vendor for cloud hosting, storage, and the full application stack, in a multi cloud configuration they use several. This can help some organizations the flexityly to offer different market cloud providers hand in hand.

Multi Cloud deployments have a number of uses. A multicloud deployment can edge multiple Infrastructure-as-a-Service  vendors, or it could use a different vendor for IaaS, PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) services. Multi Cloud models are purely for the purpose of redundancy and system backup, or it can incorporate different cloud vendors for different services.

Most businesses that move to the cloud will end up with some kind of multi cloud deployment.

  • Reliability and/or redundancy: By using a multicloud deployment, a business can operate with ease of reliably as they have multiple providers services at their disposal, If one Provider goes down, some functionality will still be available to users from the other deployed clouds. In addition, one public cloud could be used as backup to another cloud.
  • Reduced vendor lock-in: Moving to the cloud means relying on external cloud providers, and as companies use these vendors more and more, it can become difficult to move away from them. However, if a multi cloud strategy is used, systems and storage are spread out across multiple vendors. Therefore it’s easier to migrate away from using one of these vendors, because the majority of the infrastructure still remains in place during the migration.
  • Potential cost savings: There are no commitments with service providers , one organisation can opt out from their service if any unexpected surge of cost is charging for specific services.
  • Complexity of management: A multicloud deployment means interfacing with several different vendors, each with different processes and technology.This comes in with the level of complexity of management and can turn into a poor visibility of the underlying resources if not managed correctly. 
  • Increased latency: If services in multiple clouds need to communicate with one another in fulfill user requests, they can propose a potential  latency, depending on how securely the clouds are integrated, how far the data centers are geographically, and how regularly multiple clouds need to reachout.
  • Increases Security risks: The more composes of software and hardware that are integrated, the more vulnerabilities there likely are. This can lead to possible security breaches if not monitored timely.
  • Performance and reliability: It can be difficult to balance loads across different clouds, especially if the data centers are very far apart geographically.

Distributed computing

Distributed computing can simply be defined as allocation of tasks by different computers which may be in different parts of the world. The distributed system which is used here must be in networked computers so that communication and coordination of the tasks is handled smoothly.

The main goal of distributed computing is to connect the users with the resources thereby maximizing the performance in a cost-effective way. It is also structured in a way that in case one of the components fails, the system goes on and the desired results are reached.

Benefits of distributed computing

There are many benefits of distributed computing. Below are just some of them;

Flexibility: One of the best things about distributed computing is that it is highly flexible. tasks can be completed using computers in different geographical areas.

Reliability: A single server can be rocked by glitches which can lead to complete systems malfunctions but with distributed computing, that is a thing of the past. With distributed computing, a single glitch cannot result in complete system failures.

Improved performance: Single computers can only perform to their best ability but with distributed computing, you get the best from across the whole system.

Both cloud computing use the same concept but individually they are two distinct things. As a business you can use both to improve your business and in return yield higher profits. Some of the examples of distributed computing are Facebook, World Wide Web and ATM. Examples of cloud computing are YouTube, Google Docs and Picasa.

Which Cloud Computing Solution Fits Your Needs?

After gaining a better understanding of multi-cloud computing, hybrid cloud, and distributed cloud computing, deciding which computing system to go with should be easy.

Remember to choose the best solution to resolve your organization’s problems. Do your due quickness in researching each cloud computing system and understanding the pros and cons of each before implementing a new environment for your company.