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EMC Glossary

Public Cloud

A public cloud is a type of deployment model for cloud computing whereby IT resources—applications, compute, storage, and networking—are delivered as a service by third party providers, on demand, and with payment based on usage.

Who uses a public cloud, and why ?

Small to large corporate and government entities use services provided in the public cloud to address a variety of application needs such as CRM, email, and collaboration.Because transparency and control are low (customers have no physical access), organizations often limit use of the public cloud to non-mission critical applications and non-sensitive information. Public cloud services are also used for servers, storage, and backup infrastructure, as well as application development.

Leveraging the advantages of cloud computing, the public cloud enables organizations to access applications quickly, offload the cost of supporting infrastructure, and free limited IT staff for more valuable activities. It also enables IT departments to rapidly deploy applications and scale application environments quickly during periods of peak demand. The result is greater business agility and efficiency.

Similarly, consumers utilize public cloud services to simplify software utilization, store, share and protect content, and enable access from any web-connected device.

How the public cloud works

Public cloud infrastructure service providers, to include ISVs and various types of third party infrastructure and platform providers, utilize cloud computing. Built on a foundation of virtualization, IT resources are owned and managed by the service provider, pooled and shared across customers, and accessed via the Internet or dedicated network connection. A variation is the community cloud, a multi-company, members-only version of the public cloud centered on a common interest (e.g., financial trading).

Resources are made available to customers on demand through a self-service online catalogue of pre-defined configurations. Resource usage is tracked and billed based on a service arrangement, such as by consumption or subscription.

Among the many types of cloud computing services delivered in the public cloud, the most common are:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) – software runs on computers owned and managed by the software provider, versus installed and managed on user computers. The software is accessed over the public Internet and generally offered on a monthly or yearly subscription.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)compute, storage, networking, and other elements (security, tools) are provided by the IaaS provider via public Internet, VPN, or dedicated network connection. Users own and manage operating systems, applications, and information running on the infrastructure and pay by usage.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)all software and hardware required to build and operate cloud-based applications are provided by the PaaS provider via public Internet, VPN, or dedicated network connection. Users pay by use of the platform and control how applications are utilized throughout their lifecycle.

Benefits of a public cloud

The benefit of the public cloud to corporate and government entities are numerous, to include:

  • Fast access to IT resources
  • Anywhere access to applications and information
  • Rapid scalability to meet demand
  • Lower infrastructure, energy, and facility costs
  • Greater IT staff productivity
  • Enhanced team collaboration
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