Public clouds are cloud environments typically created from IT infrastructure not owned by the end user. Some of the largest public cloud providers include Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.
Traditional public clouds always ran off-premises, but today’s public cloud providers have started offering cloud services on clients’ on-premise data centers. This has made location and ownership distinctions obsolete.
All clouds become public clouds when the environments are partitioned and redistributed to multiple tenants. Fee structures aren’t necessary characteristics of public clouds anymore, since some cloud providers allow tenants to use their clouds for free. The bare-metal IT infrastructure used by public cloud providers can also be abstracted and sold as IaaS, or it can be developed into a cloud platform sold as PaaS.