Private cloud vs hybrid cloud, multicloud and more

Choose the cloud architecture that suits you best

There is no one size fits all cloud architecture. Developing the optimum cloud strategy requires evaluating your business needs and aligning them with the different solutions available.

Canonical fully supports public clouds and provides its own solutions for private cloud implementation and management, as well as workload orchestration in hybrid cloud and multicloud environments.

Optimise your cloud costs

For more information read the whitepaper—"Choosing a cost effective cloud architecture" ›

Private vs public cloud

What is a private cloud?

A private cloud, such as OpenStack, provides organisations with on-demand compute, storage and other resources that can be accessed over the network and that are reserved exclusively for them - either in their own data centre or via a 3rd party.

Private cloud


  • Compared to public clouds, private clouds are often —especially when used at scale and in the long-term.
  • An organisation with a private cloud does not share its hosting resources with other organisations meaning in general, private clouds provide better performance.


  • The deployment and on-going management of a private cloud requires dedicated team resources and technical skill.

Canonical's Charmed OpenStack solves this problem by simplifying OpenStack deployment and providing operational automation which significantly reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a private cloud.

Get an enterprise private cloud, supported or fully–managed ›

What is a public cloud?

In a public cloud environment, compute, storage and other infrastructure resources are provided as a service by an external provider.

Public cloud


  • Immediate access to infrastructure as a service (IaaS) can significantly accelerate time to market for organisations.
  • Public clouds provide the ability to scale resource consumption virtually without limits.


  • While the headline costs of the public cloud look attractive, hidden ancillary costs often make it an expensive choice of cloud architecture.

Major public cloud providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle and IBM Cloud.

Run your workloads in public clouds with confidence with Ubuntu ›

What is a hybrid cloud?

A hybrid cloud architecture is one that combines the usage of a private cloud and one or more public cloud services with a workload orchestration engine between the platforms.

Hybrid cloud


  • A hybrid strategy provides maximum OpEx efficiency when executed in the right way.
  • Hybrid clouds are ideal for workloads with diverse requirements.
  • Prevents vendor-lock in as organisations are not tied to one cloud vendor.


  • Workload orchestration across various cloud platforms can be challenging.

What is a multicloud?

A multicloud architecture can be considered as a relative of the hybrid cloud. It is a combination of multiple private, public or hybrid clouds.

The multicloud architecture is quickly being seen as the de-facto cloud strategy for enterprises, with working with more than one cloud provider.



  • Prevents vendor-lock in as organisations are not tied to one cloud vendor.
  • Greater flexibility than other models when it comes to operating applications in their most optimal environment.


  • May introduce an additional complexity to the organisation ›s infrastructure unless proper tools are used to facilitate workloads operations in these kind of environments.

What is an edge cloud?

An edge cloud is a micro cloud run outside of the data centre, which brings computation and data storage closer to the location it's needed.

Edge cloud


  • With an edge cloud, enterprises benefit from increased network performance as a result of an increase in bandwidth and a reduction in latency.


  • The biggest challenges on the edge are increasing capital and operational costs, footprint minimisation, operations automation and security.