The use of a cloud has long been established for many companies. However, when it comes to cloud computing, many users keep asking themselves: What is better? The private cloud or rather the public cloud?

What is cloud computing?

However, before this article discusses the two different forms of cloud computing, private, and public cloud, it is important to clarify what the generic term is.

Cloud computing is therefore described as moving data, systems, and applications to a cloud, so that they are delivered flexibly and on demand along with the necessary IT-based resources. This provision is made by means of a network, such as the Internet. Cloud computing thus offers the added value of eliminating the need for the user to install on local computers. Instead, it is provided via technical interfaces, protocols or even a web browser. This allows for a more flexible way of working and access from anywhere.

Among the different possibilities of cloud computing, one can distinguish between private and public cloud, which is why this article takes a closer look at both options.

Private Cloud

The private cloud works, as the name suggests, on a user-based basis. This means that it is only available to certain users and cannot be accessed publicly. In this context, the cloud is often moved to an in-house server or a secure data center from an external provider. While the former is often managed through the internal IT department, external service providers often offer a choice. This usually consists of two options, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service).

IaaS is a popular choice for companies that enable them to borrow the technological infrastructure, such as hardware or server storage, through an external provider indefinitely, rather than purchasing it themselves.

PaaS, on the other hand, is more useful to developers for Web applications. It offers its users a platform with an optimal and quickly usable runtime and/or development environment. The otherwise high administrative effort is borne by the provider as well as providing the required software and hardware.

Public Cloud

The public cloud is characterized by its public disposition, which means that it is accessible to everyone via the Internet at any time. So it is a free platform, so to speak, on which many users can share a virtual infrastructure. Often, however, this web-based service of the public cloud is not located in the user’s country of origin, but can also be located in a completely different place in the world. Accordingly, customers generally have no influence on the form of data security or other protection aspects. However, the network bandwidth and the range of different tools are also very limited in the public cloud depending on the provider.

Public clouds often correspond to Software as A Service (SaaS) services, such as Web-based e-mail services. They are often known as private end users through their own daily use. But many companies also use such offers from public clouds. For example, they use Microsoft Office applications or a server via Amazon.


Which cloud is the right choice depends primarily on your own requirements and expectations. Basically, however, it can be said that large-volume workloads work better with public cloud. The private cloud, on the other hand, should be used especially for workloads with more clearly calculable usage claims.

Further information on cloud computing is also available in the following articles:

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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