Public Cloud: Characteristics, Advantages and Examples


In various cloud computing models available, Public cloud is increasingly popular and inexpensive. So, what is public cloud (PC)? Let’s get into detail.

A public cloud (PC) is an IT service which uses standard cloud computing model where the service provider makes resources viz. applications, virtual machines or storage available to the public through the Internet.

  1. What is PC?
  2. Characteristics of public cloud
  3. Advantage of public cloud
  4. Disadvantages of public cloud
  5. Public cloud security
  6. Example

1. What is PC?

The public cloud definition, according to MS Azure, is the computing services delivered by third-party service providers via the Internet. These services are made available to anyone who wishes to use or buy them. These public cloud computing services can be free or offered with various subscription models and pricing schemes. Typically, public cloud infrastructure is managed by the cloud service provider and the user need not worry about the lower levels of control.  

With this understanding of public cloud meaning, lets understand features of public cloud, public cloud advantages and disadvantages.

2. Characteristics of public cloud:

The architecture of the public cloud is a multi-tenant type. This architecture allows one user to share the resources while the data remains isolated from other users. The rapid data transmission depends on network connectivity. It can be used to assemble a large level of data resources while being cost-effective at the same time. The public cloud enables us to have remote access to the cloud from any device. For this reason, the device often has to perform a little computation or sometimes no computation at all. The structure of public clouds depends on the structure being provided. A brief explanation of the three most commonly used models available in the market:

1. Saas:

In the Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud model, the software which is being hosted in the cloud is distributed by the provider and the application is accessed by the user through the internet. Hence the user need not install the application software on their systems. This results in reduced hardware and hence a reduction in the maintenance costs.

2. PaaS

In the Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud model, the organization can develop the software without worrying about the lower levels and the type of infrastructure. The service provider offers an optimal environment that may include version control and is delivered through a broadband connection. 

3. IaaS

In the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud model, the entire data is outsourced by the organization to the cloud service provider. Everything is hosted on the server side ranging from the application hardware to the network hardware and service virtualization is maintained. It makes the cloud adopting process simple. IaaS makes cloud adoption simpler. As everything is hosted on the server-side, this model is cost-efficient than others by reducing the hardware and maintenance costs.

When a business expands, it would not be necessary to procure extra hardware or to extend the network. Similarly, Cloud-based applications usually need less hardware and thus less maintenance. In other words, the user need not worry about the installation or modification of applications on their side. In lieu, the corresponding host applications stay up to date in security and other options. Here we are listing the key characteristics of the public cloud:

  • Scalability 
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Reliability
  • Flexibility
  • Location Independence
  • On demand computing
  • Pay per use pricing
  • broad network access
  • Resource pooling

3. Advantage of public cloud:

The main benefits of public cloud are given below:

  • It helps organizations to have less investment and maintenance costs
  • User demands can be easily met with scalability
  • less resource wastage
  • High reliability

4. Disadvantages of public cloud:

Even though public cloud offers various advantages, it has a certain set of limitations. The public cloud disadvantages are listed below:

  • As the cloud infrastructure is actually owned and controlled by others, the controls for the user are limited.
  • It is difficult to deploy regulations like HIPAA and PCI DSS in a public cloud and often demands a hybrid solution.
  • There may be data privacy issues
  • Limited control on the infrastructure configurations

5. Public cloud security

Public cloud service providers these days are offering superior security options. Dedicated staff are employed for the automation of security functions and identify the system for any irregularities or abnormalities. The user data is protected by the use of strict policies in making the user data available to the cloud tenants. In a hybrid environment, for gaining authorization to higher security levels, the public cloud can be leveraged.

6. Examples:

Public cloud services are provided by Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and others. Resources are shared by hundreds or thousands of people. Google Cloud Platform public cloud infrastructure is a part of google cloud storage public services. Gmail, Google Drive are examples of public cloud services. For example, an email account is secured by its password, and the hardware over which it is stored is shared by millions of people. Here we are listing various services provided by public cloud companies in the market:

  • Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute
  • Google Cloud Interconnect
  • AWS Direct Connect
  • Blue cloud by IBM
  • Alibaba Cloud
  • Oracle Cloud FastConnect  

Every cloud service provider offers various services and suites on a wide range of service categories. Few main categories are storage, compute, container, and serverless.   These categories are almost the same and the usage depends on the mindfulness of the user. Few product options available are GCP, Azure, and AWS. Let’s have a look at these categories in detail

Storage: Different storage types are block, object, and file. Microsoft storage offers are available as, Azure Disk for block storage, Azure Files for file storage, and Azure Blob for object storage Amazon S3 object storage offers six storage tiers and each differs by the access frequency. Amazon Elastic File System and Amazon Elastic Block Store are the other storage services offered by AWS.

Compute: The compute service offered by GCP IaaS service is known as Google Compute Engine. The cloud IaaS service offered by Amazon is Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) which offers computing capacity for EC2 instances. Azure Virtual Machines is the compute service offered by Microsoft. 

Container: Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Container Instances, Azure Container Registry are the container services offered by Microsoft. GCP services include Google Cloud Run and Google Kubernetes Engine. Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, Amazon Elastic Container Service, AWS Fargate and Amazon Elastic Container Registry are the container services by AWS.

Serverless: The major serverless providers are Azure Functions, AWS Lambda, and Google Cloud Functions.


Various tools for analytics, monitoring is also provided by public cloud computing. As the service providers are improving their service portfolios and support and with the rise of applications involving Edge Computing, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and IoT, public cloud deployment model adoption has been increased considerably. The next wave of Public cloud computing involves more automated, granular, and interlinked services to meet a wide range of customer needs

If you are looking for an extensive course in Cloud Computing, then the 5.5-month online Postgraduate Certificate Program In Cloud Computing offered by Jigsaw Academy can be of help. This program helps interested learners become complete Cloud professionals.

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