We will discuss three models of cloud-based computing: public, private, and hybrid. The public cloud refers to software, infrastructure, or platforms offered as a service by 3rd parties over the Internet, referred to as Cloud Service Providers or CSPs. Private cloud refers to cloud technologies where you control the entire stack, from hardware to software, and can be located on-premises, or at a hosting provider that manages the servers dedicated to your private cloud solution.

This document is part of a collection of documents that comprise the Reference Architecture for Private Cloud document set. The Reference Architecture for Private Cloud documentation is a community collaboration project. Please feel free to edit this document to improve its quality. If you would like to be recognized for your work on improving this article, please include your name and any contact information you wish to share at the bottom of this page.

It is important to note that the hosted private cloud is not the same as IaaS services that can be delivered by a CSP. In that scenario, your IaaS infrastructure sits on hardware controlled completely by the CSP, and that hardware is shared by other customers of the CSP (multi-tenancy) - it is not dedicated to your firm. Hybrid cloud is a mixture of public and private cloud and is the may be the most common model for most organizations in the future.

Further generic discussions on the models of cloud computing are beyond the scope of this whitepaper. For more generic information on the cloud, see the Microsoft Cloud Power Web site.

We will discuss security issues for the following cloud deployment models:

NIST Definition of Cloud Computing

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