In recent years, few IT terms have become more ubiquitous than “the cloud.”

While the term has become something of a catch-all, not all clouds are equal. Private clouds and public clouds serve different purposes, and it’s helpful to know the distinction before giving your data to either type.

So what is this “cloud”, anyway? (Hint: we’re not talking about that thing in the sky.)

Simply put, cloud computing is the practice of storing data and programs on the Internet, instead of on your local hard drive.

So rather than living on a physical drive close to you, your data lives on an Internet-connected server that’s probably quite far away. Those servers tend to be managed by a big company, like Apple or Google.

Anytime you see the phrase “Web-based” in reference to data or applications, it means those services are in the cloud.

Your Gmail account? In the cloud. Your employer’s data? That, too. The music you stream on Spotify? Yep, still the cloud.

Being able to access files from any web-enabled device is super convenient for both people and businesses. That’s why its popularity has exploded (and why you’re probably hearing the term “cloud” over and over again).

But storing your data on someone else’s equipment raises serious privacy and security issues.

When you use a public cloud, you give up control of your data. No matter how strongly a company pledges to keep your data secure, there are no guarantees your files won’t end up in someone else’s hands—particularly in our age of mass government surveillance.

If you’re wondering how can I get the benefits of cloud computing, while making sure my data is secure?, keep reading.

While public clouds are shared with many other users or companies, private clouds are different.

When you use a private cloud, the hardware, storage, and network are reserved for a single user or company. (That’s you.)

A private cloud like Steel Root’s offers several advantages, including security and ease.

Because a private cloud is dedicated to one user or company, it can be designed with a high level of security not possible in public clouds. Private clouds also allow for easy setup of virtual servers and reallocation of resources.

Service availability and fault tolerance (the ability to continue operating if system components fail) are often superior on private clouds. And perhaps most importantly, you get the peace of mind, knowing exactly where your data is.

If you’re looking for a way to store data that offers control, convenience, and security, talk to us about a private cloud. With features like automatic backups, 256-bit secure encryption, and offsite redundant backup, we’ll keep your data safe—while giving you the control you deserve.

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