CommScope Definitions: What is Cloud Computing?

The cloud. It’s not just those white puffy things in the sky. It’s where data travels. We continue our CommScope Definitions series with a look at cloud computing and how it can help your network.

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This blog post is part of a series called “CommScope Definitions” in which we will explain common terms in communications network infrastructure.


“Cloud computing” – it sounds very pie in the sky, doesn’t it? All of this data, floating somewhere in space. Merriam-Webster defines cloud computing as the practice of storing regularly used computer data on multiple servers that can be accessed through the Internet. I think of cloud computing like a revolving sushi bar: all the food (data) you want is available, but you still need to grab a plate from the conveyor to eat. Same with cloud computing. The data is “out there” on servers, but you need to grab it through the Internet. Generally, it can take three different forms:

  • Public cloud
  • Private cloud
  • Hybrid cloud

CLICK TO TWEET: Cloud computing takes 3 different forms. Which one do you use?

Public cloud describes the on-demand information technology (IT) services publicly hosted by third-party providers. When public cloud consumers subscribe to services, the providers privately deliver the services via the internet. The data center resources, owned or leased by the providers, are shared by all the service subscribers. The IT services supplied in public cloud can be compute, storage, network security, database, software applications or others.

Private cloud describes the on-demand IT services privately hosted by enterprises themselves or third-party managed service providers. When private cloud consumers subscribe to services, either the enterprise’s IT organization delivers the services via the company intranet, or the managed service providers deploy the services via dedicated connectivity. Either way, the data center resources are dedicated for the individual customer alone. The IT services available in private cloud can be computer, storage, network security, database, software applications or others.

Hybrid cloud is the combination and collaboration of deploying on-demand IT services from both private cloud and public cloud providers. The key to hybrid cloud is enabling data, applications or services to be shared, migrated or collaborated between the private cloud and public cloud.

Cloud computing can mean different things to different people and networks. How are you using the cloud?