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Private cloud vs hybrid cloud, multicloud and more

Choose the cloud architecture that suits you best

There is no one size fits all cloud architecture. Developing the optimum cloud strategy requires evaluating your business needs and aligning them with the different solutions available.

Canonical fully supports public clouds and provides its own infrastructure solutions for private cloud implementation and management, as well as workload orchestration in hybrid cloud and multicloud environments.

Optimise your cloud infrastructure

Private vs public cloud

What is a private cloud?

A private cloud provides organisations with on-demand compute, storage and other resources that can be accessed over the network and that are reserved exclusively for them - either in their own data centre or via a 3rd party.

Private cloud


  • If run efficiently and well-utilised, private clouds are often more cost-effective for equivalent resources than public clouds.
  • An organisation with a private cloud does not share its hosting resources with other organisations meaning in general, private clouds provide better performance.


  • Purchasing and provisioning new hardware carries relatively high fixed costs, which are wasted if the cloud has low utilisation.
  • The deployment and on-going management of a private cloud requires dedicated team resources and technical skill.

Canonical's Charmed OpenStack solves this problem by simplifying OpenStack deployment and providing operational automation which significantly reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a private cloud.

Read an introduction to OpenStack ›

What is a public cloud?

In a public cloud environment, compute, storage and other infrastructure resources are provided as a service by an external provider.

Public cloud


  • Immediate access to infrastructure as a service (IaaS) can significantly accelerate time to market for organisations.
  • Public clouds provide the ability to scale resource consumption as needed and virtually without limits.


  • Can be more expensive than an efficiently-managed and well-utilised private cloud.
  • In addition to the compute costs, there can be unexpected ancillary costs like egress (taking your data out of the cloud)

What is a hybrid cloud?

A hybrid cloud architecture is one that combines the usage of a private cloud and one or more public cloud services with a workload orchestration engine between the platforms.

Hybrid cloud


  • A hybrid strategy provides maximum OpEx efficiency when executed in the right way.
  • Hybrid clouds are ideal for workloads with diverse requirements.
  • Prevents vendor-lock in as organisations are not tied to one cloud vendor.


  • Workload orchestration across various cloud platforms can be challenging.

What is a multicloud?

A multicloud architecture can be considered as a relative of the hybrid cloud. It is a combination of multiple private, public or hybrid clouds.

The multicloud architecture is quickly being seen as the de-facto cloud strategy for enterprises, with 81% of businesses working with more than one cloud provider.



  • Prevents vendor-lock in as organisations are not tied to one cloud vendor.
  • Greater flexibility than other models when it comes to operating applications in their most optimal environment.


  • May introduce an additional complexity to the organisation ›s infrastructure unless proper tools are used to facilitate workloads operations in these kind of environments.

What is an edge cloud?

An edge cloud is a micro cloud run outside of the data centre, which brings computation and data storage closer to the location it's needed.

Edge cloud


  • With an edge cloud, enterprises benefit from increased network performance as a result of an increase in bandwidth and a reduction in latency.


  • The biggest challenges on the edge are increasing capital and operational costs, footprint minimisation, operations automation and security.