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Adopting Private Cloud

January 28, 2016

photoAt Explore Communications, we recently invested in a NAS (network attached storage) device to back up our data. It has some nice cloud-like properties. There’s a web-based user interface to configure folders, to access files, and to set up users and permissions; and our data can be accessed by users on the network or remotely, even from mobile devices.

Sounds good, but why didn’t we just go for a public cloud storage option? It probably would have been cheaper and less of a technical risk. However, I wasn’t comfortable with pure public cloud. I didn’t want to be using up our precious (and still quite slow) broadband quota to upload and download data, especially large video and graphic files. Also, I’m still not comfortable with entrusting a third party with my sensitive data. And it’s not just my generation that feels that way – Millennials are also very aware of online security risks.

Globally, that view on security is shared by the majority of enterprises. Technology Business Research (TBR) this week reported that 71% of private cloud users view private cloud as superior to public cloud based on security. That view holds true especially for the largest enterprises that tend to have the most stringent governance, risk and compliance policies in place. As a result, TBR estimates the private cloud market will grow to US$44 billion by 2020.

OK, so our NAS device is not true private cloud – it’s still a physical device that we have to look after ourselves and the storage capacity is fixed rather than flexible – but it does deliver the cloud properties that our small business needs right now.

TBR also cites this growth in private cloud as part of a corporate transition to hybrid IT environments (a mix of on-premise with public and private cloud). Explore Communications is currently not big enough or complex enough to take advantage of hybrid cloud, so for now it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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