A Public Cloud is implemented using a shared data center infrastructure of hardware and software that is shared by multiple organizations. The data center is off-premises.
The Cloud Computing Stack in a Public Cloud is also shared with other organizations. The data, however, for each organization is kept separate. If the data center is shared but not the Cloud Computing Stack, that is a Virtual Private Cloud. If neither the data center nor the Cloud Computing Stack are shared, that is a Private Cloud.
A Public Cloud may participate in a Hybrid Cloud.
For arguments in favor of using a Public Cloud, see Using a Public Cloud instead of an In-House Private Cloud.
The following figure uses Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software as a Service (SaaS) to illustrate a Public Cloud.
More on the general topic: Types of Clouds in Cloud Computing
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The Savvy Manager's Guide
Douglas K Barry is also the author of a book that explains Web Services, service-oriented architecture, and Cloud Computing in an easy-to-understand, non-technical manner.
Web Services, Service-Oriented Architectures, and Cloud Computing: The Savvy Manager's Guide (Second Edition)
by Douglas K Barry with David Dick
This is a guide for the savvy manager who wants to capitalize on the wave of change that is occurring with Web Services, service-oriented architecture, and—more recently—Cloud Computing. The changes wrought by these technologies will require both a basic grasp of the technologies and an effective way to deal with how these changes will affect the people who build and use the systems in our organizations. This book covers both issues. Managers at all levels of all organizations must be aware of both the changes that we are now seeing and ways to deal with issues created by those changes.