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Before attempting to implement Cloud technologies, you first need to understand what it is exactly and what options are available.  This course covers a wide range of Cloud-related topics and provides you with a solid foundation of knowledge.

We will start by looking at what Cloud Computing is and describing the three main types: Public, Private and Hybrid.  Then we will look at key concepts and the different service models (including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS).  Finally, we will discuss common use case scenarios as well as the differences between a traditional on-premises data center. 

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Learning Objectives

  • A clear definition of Cloud computing
  • An understanding of basic Cloud concepts
  • Familiarity with the main Cloud types and services
  • Common use cases for Cloud computing
  • Comparisons with on-premises data centers

Intended Audience

  • Anyone who wants to learn about Cloud Computing


  • General knowledge of computers and the internet
  • Basic understanding of data centers and servers

Even though people talk about the cloud as if it were a single thing, there are actually different types. There are public clouds, private clouds, and hybrid clouds. Now, each offers a different level of management, flexibility, security, and resilience.

Let's start by talking about public clouds. A public cloud is a collection of virtual on-demand services that are offered to the public. The vendor essentially rents out use of its hardware to many different customers. Each customer can use what they want when they need it. Today, you might only need five web servers, but tomorrow you might need 500. The major cloud vendors are capable of providing more resources than you could possibly use. These resources are typically accessible from anywhere, as long as you have a working internet connection. All back-end maintenance, including power, cooling, upgrades, and repairs are handled by the cloud vendor. The customer will never actually see the hardware, nor will they know the exact physical location of their services or data. They'll usually be able to specify the geographic region in which it resides. This allows them to have some control for data storage requirements, and for latency.

A private cloud is similar to a public cloud, but the main difference is that the resources are not shared to the general public. Typically, a company will create its own private cloud and share the resources among its various departments. Everything is hosted, managed, and owned by that company. This allows for direct control over the resources. Enterprises who wish to keep a tighter grasp on security might adopt this architecture. Now, maybe this sounds exactly like the on-premises data center approach, but the difference is that the private cloud uses the same cloud principles as the public. Different teams and different departments are provided on-demand access to the same pool of shared scalable resources. That means you no longer have certain machines dedicated to finance or human resources. Everyone shares the same resources. Accounting can use some VMs to crunch some numbers for a while, and then afterwards, marketing can use those same VMs to render a new video. Resources are shifted around as needed.

With this approach, the company has more control, but it also has a lot more responsibility. Private clouds require a lot of initial capital to purchase the hardware and to set up the data centers. Not only this, but additional resources will be needed to maintain everything. Now, individual departments will have more flexibility, but the company as a whole can't use more resources than it currently physically owns. Plus, any unused resources still have costs associated with them.

A hybrid cloud is literally the combination of public and private clouds. That is, you'll have some dedicated resources in a private cloud for predictable workloads, but when you use up all available resources, you can always request more from a public cloud. Now the hybrid model is built by establishing a network link between your private cloud and a public cloud. Thus, you essentially extend the internal network of your private cloud. Now, in theory, this gives you the benefits of both models, so you can choose where each service most appropriately fits. However, in practice, the hybrid model tends to suffer from the negatives of both solutions. And because of this, hybrid clouds are typically short-term configurations. They often represent a transitional state for enterprises. It's usually more of a way to bridge the transition from on-premises to a public cloud model.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Daniel began his career as a Software Engineer, focusing mostly on web and mobile development. After twenty years of dealing with insufficient training and fragmented documentation, he decided to use his extensive experience to help the next generation of engineers.

Daniel has spent his most recent years designing and running technical classes for both Amazon and Microsoft. Today at Cloud Academy, he is working on building out an extensive Google Cloud training library.

When he isn’t working or tinkering in his home lab, Daniel enjoys BBQing, target shooting, and watching classic movies.

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