How Cloudflare works with any cloud infrastructure

Cloudflare can protect and accelerate traffic to and from public clouds, private clouds, hybrid clouds, and more.

Learning Objectives

After reading this article you will be able to:

  • Learn where Cloudflare sits in a cloud architecture
  • Understand why Cloudflare can integrate with any cloud deployment

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What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a computing style in which software and databases run on remote servers that are accessed over the Internet, instead of running on local user devices or on an organization's internal data centers. Cloud computing offers a number of advantages over traditional infrastructure, including flexibility, scalability, and cost savings.

What does Cloudflare do?

Cloudflare protects and accelerates anything that connects to the Internet. The Cloudflare network encompasses data centers in 320 cities all over the world. Each Cloudflare location runs the full stack of Cloudflare products and features. Cloudflare customers have all their web traffic routed through this intelligent global network.

Learn more about the connectivity cloud.

How does Cloudflare integrate with cloud infrastructure?

Cloudflare with Multicloud

Cloudflare and multi-cloud

Cloudflare with Hybrid Cloud

Cloudflare and hybrid cloud

Cloudflare helps customers with cloud deployments by making their Internet properties faster, more secure, and more reliable. Cloudflare acts as a reverse proxy* that sits in front of any type of cloud infrastructure. The full Cloudflare product stack runs in this proxy service, including load balancing, the Cloudflare Web Application Firewall (WAF), DDoS protection, and more.

Like a guitar amplifier that takes sonic input from a guitar, alters the sound, and makes it louder, Cloudflare takes network traffic and accelerates it, while scrubbing out malicious traffic.

Cloudflare is infrastructure-agnostic, meaning that it can be deployed in front of any type of infrastructure or cloud deployment. Once Cloudflare is deployed, client devices accessing the cloud resources are directed to the Cloudflare network via Anycast DNS.

*A proxy is a server that forwards traffic. Cloudflare is a reverse proxy, meaning it receives requests and sends responses on behalf of servers. (A forward proxy does the same on behalf of clients.)

What kinds of cloud deployments does Cloudflare integrate with?

  • Multi-cloud: A multi-cloud deployment combines more than one public cloud (Learn more about multi-cloud deployment strategies).
  • Hybrid cloud: A hybrid cloud combines a public cloud with a private cloud or an on-premise data center.
  • Public cloud: A public cloud is shared among many organizations.
  • Private cloud: A private cloud is dedicated to one organization only.

How does Cloudflare assist with cloud migrations?

Cloudflare is an independent third party in any organization's cloud migration, minimizing the layers of lock-in between an organization and a cloud provider. In particular, Cloudflare minimizes the operational changes necessary at the network, and the Cloudflare dashboard provides a centralized point for security and operational control.

How does Cloudflare support serverless computing?

Serverless computing, or FaaS, is a cloud computing style in which applications are broken up into smaller functions that only run on demand and scale up on demand. Serverless computing is called that because application functions don't run on any particular server. For many types of applications, a partial or fully serverless architecture is much more efficient than other cloud architectures.

Cloudflare enables developers to build serverless applications or add to existing applications with its serverless platform, Cloudflare Workers. Cloudflare Workers is unique in that it runs on the Cloudflare edge network of data centers in 320 cities around the world, and the serverless functions run in a very lightweight, isolated execution environment. Cloudflare Workers functions start up quickly (within 5 or fewer milliseconds), minimizing latency.


For more specific directions on deploying Cloudflare, refer to the Cloudflare knowledge base.

To learn more about the cloud, see What is the cloud?