These days there are many cloud storage options available to business users. However, there is another option and that is to build your own custom cloud storage solution. This article will look at one way of building your own cloud storage, as well as the speed, cost, and storage size associated with such a solution.
The hardware needed to create a cloud storage solution could be as simple as an average desktop computer. A typical desktop allows for approximately eight hard drives, with each hard drive having the capacity for up to four terabytes. As such, a typical desktop computer will max out at around thirty-two terabytes of storage.
More elaborate solutions can be purchased to allow for many more hard drives, but in general all that is needed on the hardware end is:
Computer with enough storage for your cloud needs
Fast internet connection, particularly a fast upload speed
Some sort of server software will be needed. The popular Linux server distibutions are:
Alternatively, Windows Server could be used or OS X Server from Apple. (OS X Server will require an Apple branded computer). You will also want a URL which you will use to access your server from the web. Once this software is installed on the PC there are additional steps that must be taken in order to turn it into a cloud server. Research the appropriate steps necessary, given your OS of choice.
The main advantages of building your own cloud storage are:
Cost: A custom cloud server does not have additional monthly costs outside of power usage and the initial costs to get the computer/server setup.
Storage: Virtually unlimited storage can be added to a home server, without the need to purchase more expensive plans.
Ease of Use: The initial setup of the servers is fairly complicated and time consuming. There is also the issue of maintenance.
Reliability: A cloud storage solution from an established company such as Dropbox will give complete reliability. The data in the servers of a company like Dropbox is protected by many layers of redundancy and as such the chance of losing data is virtually impossible. The same level of reliability is possible from a custom built solution, but it adds greatly to the cost, and there is still the issue of replacing parts over time.
Speed: The servers used by a designated cloud storage company will almost certainly have faster speeds and higher bandwidth then what is available through traditional internet. Reaching the same level of speed from a custom solution will require an expensive Internet package.
A custom cloud storage solution certainly fills a specific niche: those looking for massive amounts of storage on a budget and who aren't particularly concerned with the speeds associated with said storage. A custom solution can actually be quite fast, if it is being used on a local network. However, as a cloud solution over the internet, I cannot recommend a custom solution over a professional one. The speed alone will be greatly increased by using a professional cloud storage solution. The ease of mind brought by the reliability of the professional system also is a great positive.
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