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What is the Public Cloud?

In recent years, the public cloud has integrated itself alongside the traditional data centre and other virtual models such as the private or hybrid cloud as a fixed instrument for IT infrastructures, applications or software solutions. Reason enough to take a closer look at their properties, advantages and possible uses.

What is the Public Cloud?

The public cloud makes IT infrastructures and services such as computing power, storage space and applications freely accessible to all users via the Internet. Internal investment in hardware and software, as was commonplace in the traditional IT world, is no longer necessary.

Just think of the public cloud as a safe deposit box. You rent a suitable locker in a highly secured room operated by a service provider. It is similar in the public cloud: You rent the required IT resources in a secure room from a public cloud provider.

You don't have to worry about the basic things like hardware, electricity or security. You pay your monthly rent and benefit from the services.

The basic characteristics of the public cloud include that:

  • Several customers share the virtual IT resources from one provider
  • It is a shared network in which each user still claims their own space, separate from the rest of the users
  • Hardly any equity or budget is required for investments, since hardware and software are no longer bought, but rented in the public cloud
  • Public clouds have maximum scalability. Users can scale up or down the required resources in a few minutes and even operate this service automatically
  • Users can expect less IT administration effort
  • It is a modular system from which the user can freely select and use the type and scope of cloud services that suit them

Services in the Public Cloud

Public cloud services are divided into three types of services. For this reason, you can also refer to it as the “cloud pyramid”, which comprises the following three components:

  1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  3. Software as a Service (SaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) refers to the virtualised resources of computer hardware such as virtual computers, networks or storage space. In the public cloud, users can configure their infrastructure individually and according to their requirements and rent it for use.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) gives cloud users access to runtime and programming environments whose computing and data capacities can also be individually adjusted. PaaS environments give the user the opportunity to develop or operate various applications.

The third part of the pyramid, Software as a Service (SaaS), offers direct access to applications or to specific software. The software itself is operated in the public cloud and the operation itself is the responsibility of the public cloud provider. The user uses the software.

These components do not only describe the structure of a public cloud, but relate to cloud computing, including private cloud and hybrid cloud, as a whole.


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