Deployment Models of Cloud Computing: Types & Descriptions

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Cloud computing uses one of four types of deployment models for housing and running software. In this lesson, you'll learn more about the models known as public, private, community and hybrid.


Tom is a soldier in the U.S. Army. His unit has just been called up for deployment, a move that will relocate him and other military personnel and equipment to a spot in Europe where they are needed. This means that Tom and the rest of his unit will go to this pre-determined location, from where they can be used to launch military initiatives and be readily available to support other operations.

Deployment in cloud computing is somewhat similar, except it has nothing to do with the military. Rather, using one of several models, deployment is the act of housing software so it is ready for consumers to use. Let's take a look at deployment models in cloud computing.

Cloud Deployment Models

All clouds are not created equal. From the different types in the sky to those that occupy that magical space in the computing world, different kinds have different purposes and characteristics.

Figure 1: Four deployment models are available for consumers.
cloud, deployment, public, private, community, hybrid

As shown in Figure 1, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), there are four basic models available to end users. We'll cover them here so keep reading!


The public cloud is, as its name implies, available for use by those in the general public. That means, this cloud is offered on a wide scale by a third-party providers with the same general services available to everyone. This is the cloud deployment model that is most popular and familiar to today's consumers. We access public cloud models everyday when we launch Google or pull up Facebook.

The public cloud infrastructure is hosted at the site of the service provider, but can be accessed by anyone worldwide. All it takes is an account! It can be relatively cost-effective for businesses, for example, who may make use of the public cloud service known as Google Drive. Anyone with company credentials can access the organization's Google Drive account both at home or in the office.

The most commonly cited drawback of a public cloud is the reduced degree of security over a cloud that a business might own and operate at its own premises. In 2012, cloud storage service provider Dropbox experienced a data breach that allowed hackers to get into nearly 70 million user accounts and gain access to sensitive data.


A private cloud is one that is built only for one organization to use. It may be owned or operated by the company itself or by an outsourced third-party provider. This type of cloud could be on-site, at a business, or off-premises.

A private cloud offers better security for its users, but is generally similar in structure to a public cloud. It just restricts the services, hardware and software to a private network accessible only to the organization.

Amazon operates a private cloud as part of its overall (public) Amazon Web Services. Known as Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, this environment allows consumers to use its public web services, but in a customizable private cloud network. Among other things, this allows private cloud users to set their own IP addresses.


If a public cloud isn't your thing and a private cloud is out of reach, a community cloud may be just the right fit. According to NIST, a community cloud creates an infrastructure that is private to only a certain community of users. Typically, this community of users share similar concerns such as security or organizational mission. A community cloud is jointly owned by multiple members of the community.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account