Storing the data in the cloud is a popular service, used by more and more users and businesses. Data in the cloud is accessible anytime, anywhere, can be easily shared with others and is also much safer from data loss since it is stored on the equipment, which is much more reliable than standard computers or external drives. However, we have to be aware that in addition to the benefits that the cloud brings (and there are many), it brings a certain risk with it as well, because your data is stored on providers hardware and trust plays a big role here. At the same time some questions arise such as where exactly the data is located, who has access to the data, how well it is protected… We all know the rumors about unlimited access of “security” services on some well known public cloud providers, which brought a lot of mistrust, while other providers openly state that your data will be reviewed. One example is Apple, which in terms of business says:
Apple reserves the right at all times to determine whether Content is appropriate… and may pre-screen, move, refuse, modify and/or remove Content at any time, without prior notice and in its sole discretion…
Have you ever asked yourself how much do you have your data under control for real? Do you know where you data is located and how much your data is protected? All providers claim your data is protected, but can you verify that or you simply have to trust your provider? Are there any alternatives?
There are many alternatives to keep your data safe and each one must decide where and how the data will be kept. One of alternatives is private cloud where you have complete control over your data (and the system). The system can be installed on your equipment or on equipment of your service provider.
We are talking about Nextcloud, opensource private cloud solution which follow industry best practices around security and is very easy to use at the same time, which is expected from cloud. If you want, you can check out our demo server and see Nextcloud in action. You can register new account and check server for one week (after one week your account will be removed automatically).
1. Security first
Nextcloud follows industry best practices around security and aligned to ISO27001. The data is completely under your control! We want to emphasize the fact that in most cases your provider can see your data, but you can additionally encrypt it with your key (which you safely store) and by doing so, the data effectively becomes visible only to registered cloud users and no one else (and you can check the encryption for yourself).To improve security further, we install additional software to protect your server against intrusion from the internet.
The purpose of the cloud is primarily the availability of cloud anytime and anywhere, no matter where you are. To access the cloud you only need a device that has a browser (this can be a computer, tablet or smartphone) or a client software provided by Nextcloud which you can install on your device and synchronize selected data with the data on you cloud. All you need is Internet access.
3. File and Folder Sharing
Data in cloud can be shared with few simple clicks. You can share your files or folders with other users or groups in cloud or you can send a link to file or folder to users that are not a part of a cloud. When you send a link, you can additionally set password and/or expiration date after which the data will not be accessible any more. By sending a link you can share large amounts of data which can not be sent via mail as an attachment. Outlook users can additionally buy Plugin for Outlook and send links in a very simple manner.
Federation enables you to sharing data across multiple clouds. Instead of sending the data to someone else, you can share files or folders directly to the clouds that support this type of sharing. Permissions on shared facilities are set in the same way as for sharing between users and groups. A good example would be when there are several companies involved in one project and can share data with each other without the need to send files back and forth. This way everyone would always have the latest data.
5. Collabora Online
Collabora Online is an application which can be integrated into the cloud and allows the creation and editing of all standard types of documents that can be found in Microsoft Office and OpenOffice (or LibreOffice). In addition to editing individual documents, Collabora Online also allows group editing (collaborative editing), where multiple users simultaneously edit the same document. Documents can be edited on any device and you do not need any additional applications installed on your device. Using Collabora Online applications do not require any license, as you need it otherwise (if you are using Microsoft Office).
Collabora Online integration in Nextcloud
Collaborative document editing
6. Calendars, contacts and tasks
The cloud contains a calendar, contacts and tasks which can be synchronized between different applications and you can have the latest information always at hand. For the company you can also make shared calendars and share them among certain users and groups.
Nextant is another very useful tool, especially when it comes to documents. Over time, when you accumulate a lot of documents and is not easy to find them, especially older and rarely used documents. Nextant is using SOLR for document indexing in the cloud. What does indexing mean? Nextant scan all documents, read them and store the text from documents. Once documents are indexed, you can make search across the cloud not only by the documents file name, but by text within the document as well. This makes document searching much easier.
8. Spreed – video calls
Spreed enables you to make video calls between users of the cloud, groups or invited guests who are not registered users. The call can be established quickly and easily. Because the application is installed on your server, all calls are completely private and do not go via some public service (eg. Skype).
Here we have listed only few of the Nextcloud features, but it has many many more and we are convinced you can find some of them useful for you and make your work easier. We must keep in our minds that we are talking about a private cloud solution where you have complete control over your data and you can still access it safely, at any time and wherever you are. You can read more about Nextcloud on their website.
Nextcloud can be also installed on your equipment, but certain conditions must be met. Should you be interested in installation of Nextcloud on your equipment, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.