Meridian Blog

Types of Cloud Infrastructures: Private, public, hybrid AND community [INFOGRAPHIC]

by Todd Stanton - January 10, 2014, updated on January 17, 2020 - Managed IT Services

Types of Cloud Infrastructures: Private, public, hybrid AND community [INFOGRAPHIC]

A recent study by IDG Enterprise reported that about one-third of IT budgets are allocated to cloud solutions. With cloud adoption growing exponentially, and considering all of the advantages that it has to offer, it's important to learn more about where our data stored "in the cloud" is actually going. 

Part of this learning process is getting educated about the different kinds of cloud infrastructures and their applications. There are actually four types of cloud infrastructures: private, public, hybrid and community.

cloud infographicRead on for the definition and pros and cons for each type of cloud infrastructures, including:

  1. Private
  2. Public
  3. Community
  4. Hybrid

You can also click here to download the infographic.

1. Private Cloud

A private cloud is a cloud infrastructure that is dedicated to a single organization or enterprise. It can be hosted and managed internally or externally. For example, Meridian delivers Secure Private Cloud services from a secure data center in Ashburn, Va. Locating your private cloud in this kind of secure data center with redundant power and backups ensures that, no matter what, your data will be available when and where you need it (as long as you have an Internet connection to get to it!).


  1. Tight security controls
  2. Customization
  3. Scale-up potential

2. Public Cloud

The public cloud infrastructure is is generally provided over the Internet through a cloud services provider. Some of the larger public cloud providers include:

  1. Amazon
  2. Microsoft
  3. Google


Start-up costs for public clouds are usually less than those required for private clouds.


Public clouds offer less privacy and security than private clouds.

3. Community Clouds

Community cloud infrastructures can be shared by enterprises with common concerns, requirements, needs and/or structures. These clouds are typically used by :

  1. Trade associations
  2. Non-profit organizations
  3. Small professional firms

Two or more of these types of organizations with similar security, legal and compliance issues may share a community cloud.


4. The Hybrid Cloud

Combine any of the above clouds and bind them together to expand deployment options. This can allow for “cloud bursting,” in which an application normally runs in a private cloud, but “bursts” to a public cloud to meet increased needs, in an on-demand basis.


Hybrid clouds allow you to keep your private cloud, while also adding the additional storage and cost-effectiveness of a public cloud when you need it.

Whether your organization is large or small, private or public, there is a cloud solution to fit your needs. Regardless of whether your main concern when it comes to cloud computing is privacy or cost-effectiveness, understanding which cloud services are available is the first step in selecting a cloud solution that best fits your organization.

In addition to selecting the right kind of cloud services for your organization, you should also make sure you are selecting the right cloud services provider.

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