Choosing a private cloud storage service

Using private cloud storage on cell phone

With cloud storage services like Frontier’s Content Anywhere, you can outsource data management to a third party. This makes for cheaper, easier and more secure storage. However, technological advancements and digitization have also exposed issues with privacy and increased the potential threat of theft by cybercriminals. The resulting cyberattacks have more and more people turning to private cloud storage.

Unlike public cloud storage shared by many users using the same server to save their data, private cloud storage allows you to have a custom cloud domain with dedicated cloud storage that focuses specifically on your needs. The potential for cyberattacks that sometimes plague public cloud storage is reduced.

If you’re considering adopting private cloud storage, there are a few things you should know. Let’s start with the definition.

What is private cloud storage?

Private cloud storage is a cloud-based computing service or infrastructure dedicated to one user and not shared by the general public. It’s offered through a private internal network and requires management, maintenance and workforce that’s similar to the traditional data center.

This does mean that private cloud storage is more costly than the public cloud, but it’s more secure. Examples of private cloud storage companies include Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Cisco, Ubuntu and Elastra.

Private cloud storage vs. public cloud storage

For clarity, with public cloud storage, independent third-party cloud vendors like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure own and manage computing resources that users can access through the internet. Public cloud storage adopts a multi-tenant environment that allows resource-sharing among users, unlike private cloud storage that uses the single-tenant approach.

The multi-tenancy environment makes public cloud storage susceptible to data breaches or hacking because the server is shared by millions of customers. Private cloud storage is often the better option for providing adequate data protection and data security.

Private cloud storage also offers you more control over storage infrastructure and data governance. For instance, with a private cloud, you can easily access resources on-demand, share files and more with little or no intervention from the administrator. In addition to readily available data resources, private cloud storage offers lower latency (the time difference between a client’s request and response by a cloud service provider) than a public cloud.

Additional features include efficient data center integration and automatic cloud backups — which enhance disaster recovery. Not to mention file sharing within enterprise networks, file syncing, robust storage infrastructure and functionality, and multi-layering security.

Public cloud storage does offer some advantages, like the pay-as-you-go model to save on costs. And it offers a high level of scalability (the ability to increase or decrease workload vertically or horizontally), and elasticity (the ability to decrease or increase resources as the need arises). Both elasticity and scalability are vital in cloud computing.

Public cloud storage also doesn’t require proprietary architecture or on-premises storage infrastructure, unlike private cloud storage. Still, performance and reliability depend mostly on your internet connection and the service provider’s availability. So having a good internet connection is vital.

In a nutshell, private cloud storage solutions offer reliable, high-performance storage services that guarantee data protection and security. Therefore, it’s often the best option if you need to handle sensitive data. But both public and private cloud storage offer similar advantages in terms of mass storage space — more intuitive and larger file storage space than any hard drive plus the convenience to communicate and share resources.

Tips for choosing a private cloud storage provider

Here are factors you should consider before choosing a private cloud storage provider.

What’s your budget for private cloud storage?

Private cloud storage can be expensive. So, the cost of setting it up may play a major role in choosing a private cloud storage provider. Check closely how each provider’s pricing structure works, and figure out which plan will work best for you.

Some providers accept upfront payment that lasts for the whole year, but some have options for a monthly subscription. Other providers may offer you a certain amount of storage for free but require payment if you need more storage space.

Here are the three major pricing structures that popular private cloud storage providers typically use:

  • Pay-as-you-use: You pay for the amount of storage you use with no upfront cost. It’s ideal if you don’t plan on storing a lot of data.
  • Reserved or fixed rate: You’ll be required to pay upfront for a year or two before renewal. It doesn’t matter the amount of storage used.
  • Volume discounts: As you acquire more services, you can receive volume discounts on certain services. This is mostly suitable for large businesses and enterprises.

How much data security do you need?

The level of data security you need is another factor to consider before choosing a private cloud storage provider. Cloud servers are constantly facing attacks from hackers. So, choosing a private cloud storage provider with top-notch security measures is essential if you have important or sensitive data stored.

One of the security measures you should look out for is the provider’s data breach protocol. If data protection is a priority, it’s good to consider a provider with advanced firewalls, encryption keys, event logs and internal firewalls. How well they can guarantee your anonymity is also a factor you might want to consider.

How much storage space do you need?

The amount of data you plan to store can also influence which private cloud storage provider you choose. Each storage platform has a different capacity, both for the free and paid versions. As a guide, here are the top private cloud storage providers and the storage capacity they can offer you:

  • Google Drive: Offers users up to 15 GB of free file storage capacity. This is usually sufficient for normal use, but businesses may need more. You can get 100 GB to 2 TB when you use the paid version.
  • Apple iCloud: Offers users 5 GB of free storage space and 50 GB to 2 TB for paid plans.
  • DropBox: Offers 2 GB of free data storage capacity to users. Paid storage options include 2 TB, 3 TB, 5 TB or unlimited. This storage provider also works with Linux.
  • Microsoft OneDrive: Offers 5 GB for the free version and up to 6 TB for paid plans. There’s also an unlimited data plan that includes unlimited traffic.

How do you plan to access the stored data?

How you intend to access the stored data is also important when choosing a private cloud storage provider. This is because some can be accessed using different device types, and others may need a particular type of operating system to access your data.

For instance, iCloud is data storage for iOS and Mac devices, Google Drive is for Android devices and OneDrive is for Windows devices. You can still use any other device to access your data on different platforms, but you should use the most compatible device for more efficiency.

Get fast internet access with Frontier

While cloud storage solutions are an efficient means of file sharing and data storage, fast internet on a reliable network is a vital part of the process.

Frontier® Internet offers multiple internet plans that are very affordable and can offer you faster connectivity with incredible bandwidth. Enter your address to check availability in your neighborhood.

Product offerings and features may have changed and are subject to change.