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Cloud, Hybrid Cloud and on-premise – what’s the difference?

As Australian businesses transition from traditional computing to the Cloud, I am sensing some confusion in the market. So, let’s break it down.

What is the Cloud?

The Cloud is simply access to hardware, software or data through the internet. If the software, hardware or data you re accessing isn’t on your physical computer and you access it through the internet then you’re using some form of the cloud.

Different types of cloud

What I believe causes much of the confusion is that the cloud comes is many different types:
Private, Public or Hybrid.

Private cloud

Private cloud is the use of IT services over private ICT infrastructure (hardware and servers) dedicated for use by a single organization.

The hardware and software can be located at the business premise, in a data centre or outsourced to a private cloud service provider also known as the virtual private cloud (VPC).

Private cloud is used by companies that require high security and use specialised applications that have critical uptime requirements such as the government, banks, airlines and most tech companies such as Google and Facebook. Do you need a private cloud? Take the following into account:


  • Dedicated infrastructure for the use of your organisation
  • Very secure as it normally isn’t internet facing
  • High uptime for critical applications.


  • More expensive than public and hybrid options
  • Scalability is more difficult
  • Can be restrictive due to security enforcement.

Next week I’ll cover Hybrid and Public Cloud 


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