Public Cloud

The most recognisable model of cloud computing to many consumers is the public cloud model, under which cloud services are provided in a virtualised environment, constructed using pooled shared physical resources, and accessible over a public network such as the internet. To some extent they can be defined in contrast to private clouds which ring-fence the pool of underlying computing resources, creating a distinct cloud platform to which only a single organisation has access. Public clouds, however, provide services to multiple clients using the same shared infrastructure.

The most salient examples of cloud computing tend to fall into the public cloud model because they are, by definition, publicly available. Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings such as cloud storage and online office applications are perhaps the most familiar, but widely available Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, including cloud based web hosting and development environments, can follow the model as well (although all can also exist within private clouds). Public clouds are used extensively in offerings for private individuals who are less likely to need the level of infrastructure and security offered by private clouds. However, enterprise can still utilise public clouds to make their operations significantly more efficient, for example, with the storage of non-sensitive content, online document collaboration and webmail.

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