Jump to section

What is cloud architecture?

Copy URL

Red Hat named a Leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™

Red Hat was positioned highest for ability to execute and furthest for completeness of vision in the Gartner 2023 Magic Quadrant for Container Management.

Cloud architecture is how individual technologies are integrated to create clouds—IT environments that abstract, pool, and share scalable resources across a network. Cloud architecture is how all the components and capabilities necessary to build a cloud are connected in order to deliver an online platform on which applications can run.

Imagine you're building a house: Cloud infrastructure incorporates all the materials, while cloud architecture is the blueprint.

Clouds are considered Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS), since a cloud provider supplies users with both the platform and the underlying IT infrastructure. Architecting a cloud platform requires more than just abstracting a computer’s capabilities from its hardware components, which is how providers create and offer cloud infrastructure to users. It also requires additional levels of development to incorporate containerization, orchestration, application programming interfaces (APIs), routing, security, management, and automation software. User experience design (UX) is also important in order to create a navigable online experience.

While there are variations of cloud architecture based on what you’re trying to do, most clouds require hardware, middleware, management, and automation software. Most clouds also use virtualization to abstract the hardware resources into centrally managed data lakes, while some clouds—known as bare-metal clouds—connect clients directly to hardware.

  • Public cloud architecture: A cloud environment created from resources not owned by the end user that can be redistributed to other tenants.
  • Private cloud architecture: Loosely defined as a cloud environment solely dedicated to the end user, usually within the user’s firewall and sometimes on premise.
  • Hybrid cloud architecture: Multiple cloud environments with some degree of workload portability, orchestration, and management among them.
  • Multicloud architecture: An IT system that includes more than 1 cloud—public or private—that may or may not be networked together.

If you want to find or become one of the most qualified open source cloud architects, consider a Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA). Becoming an RHCA requires Red Hat Certified System Administrator and Red Hat Certified Engineer certifications, and almost half of the nearly 20 exams that qualify towards an RHCA cover cloud topics.

Because when you build your cloud architecture with Red Hat products, you get interoperability across any environment: public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and multicloud, as well as bare-metal and virtual environments. Connect our open source products using open application programming interfaces and open standards to build a cloud architecture that fosters open organization practices like agile integration, DevOps, and CI/CD.

Keep reading


What is cloud management?

Learn the facets of cloud management and how a cloud management platform can help your enterprise.


What are managed IT services?

Managed services are a way to offload general tasks to an expert, in order to reduce costs, improve service quality, or free internal teams to do work that’s specific to your business.


Why build a Red Hat cloud?

Our open hybrid cloud strategy, supported by our open source technologies brings a consistent foundation to any cloud deployment: public, private, hybrid, or multi.

More about cloud computing


A platform that virtualizes hardware and organizes those resources into clouds.

An enterprise-ready Kubernetes container platform with full-stack automated operations to manage hybrid cloud, multicloud, and edge deployments.

Engagements with our strategic advisers who take a big-picture view of your organization, analyze your challenges, and help you overcome them with comprehensive, cost-effective solutions.



Free training course

Red Hat OpenStack Technical Overview