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Setting up a private cloud for SMB data storage

March 13, 2018    |    Company News    |    Lauren Elkins

The amount of data generated by businesses today is massive. Thankfully, storage technology continues to be cheaper, and more and more space is more and more affordable. If you haven’t moved your business data to the cloud yet, perhaps you’ve been waiting for a solution that’s more tailored to your exact needs and gives you the full reins for control. If that’s the case, building your own private cloud may be what you’re looking for.

In his recent Forbes post, our CEO, Francis Dinha, suggested moving to a private cloud in order to increase security. “Consider migrating to a private cloud to store data,” he explained. “Now is the time, if you haven’t already made the update. Many of us are already using cloud services, such as Dropbox and Google, for file sharing to improve processes… I recommend that you lease or own a private cloud with a dedicated IP space to store your data.”

What's a private cloud?

One of the easiest ways to understand a private cloud is to start with what it’s not: it’s not a location where customers lease space shared on the same machines. Thus, by contrast, it makes sense that a private cloud gives your business the exclusive use of the servers in a segregated environment.

A private cloud means more security and greater privacy due to this setup.

Do companies really adopt private clouds?

According to the RightScale 2016 State of the Cloud Report, the private cloud adoption rates went from 63% in 2015 to 77% in 2016. That increase represents the value that businesses are finding in implementing private cloud spaces. Many of these businesses have hybrid solutions that are a mixture of private and public cloud as well as onsite storage. The flexibility allows every business to find the exact storage system they need.

What's the hardest part about adopting a private cloud solution?

It’s not security. Not anymore. RightScale found that the number one challenge, which came in at 32% compared to security at 29%, was lack of resources and expertise. It’s no surprise. With the pace of technology, it’s hard for organizations of all sizes to keep up with digital disruption. It’s often best to partner with industry experts.

How secure is it?

Because you have full control of your data, private clouds offer excellent security. As long as you control the access appropriately, of course. No other organization has access, but you need to set up thorough procedures for managing permissions and rights. Also, if you host your servers on site, take into consideration the importance of physical security measures, such as alarms and cameras. If you lease off-site servers, you’re likely working with a reliable data center, and their stringent security measures are already in place.

What if I have to meet compliance regulations?

You couldn’t ask for a better way to do this than through a private cloud. This gives you the flexibility to set it up exactly as needed for such stringent requirements as demanded by HIPAA, PCI-DSS and others. You may need to add an additional step, though, and obtain compliance certification for your setup. This depends on your industry and the regulations you’re held accountable to.

Is it reliable?

Public cloud solutions typically guarantee constant up-time. What about a private server? This falls on the network administrators, who have full control. If they set it up with redundancy, backup power and other safety measures, you can expect a high level of network reliability.

Can I set something up using VPN?

You bet. In fact, to provide the best security and privacy for your private cloud, you should go through a VPN. Sometimes we find it fun to search the internet for builds and projects users have documented that involve OpenVPN. One example includes this one, where they set up a private cloud space using OpenVPN and Amazon Web Services. There is also helpful documentation and information on our site for OpenVPN Access Server.

There are a lot of benefits for using Open Source software. We’re proud of what OpenVPN provides so many users. That’s why we used its industry-standard security to build PrivateTunnel, which has a top-notch UI, protection against cyber threats and 24/7 support. Check out our previous post about more benefits of using a private cloud.

Better Safe Than Sorry