What is Private Cloud: Definitions and Benefits

Written by: UGREENBLOG



Time to read 8 min

Private cloud refers to on-premises storage solutions that emulate capabilities of public cloud services while keeping your data fully under your control. Private cloud consists of dedicated storage hardware and software hosted in your own home or office, rather than relying on a third-party service provider.

Private cloud solutions offer the flexibility to store, backup, share, and access your files from anywhere, with the security, privacy and governance of keeping everything within your own infrastructure. Compared to public cloud services, private cloud ensures enhanced security, performance, control and customization for personal and small business use cases.

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Defining Personal Private Cloud Solutions

In a personal context, private cloud refers to specialized on-premises network-attached storage (NAS) devices and software that provide the flexibility and self-service capabilities of public cloud services, but with the benefits of being entirely hosted on-site.

Personal private cloud appliances offer robust capacity for media storage, automated multi-destination backups, remote file access, centralized file sharing and synchronization, self-service management, and abundant features tailored specifically for home users and small offices.

By leveraging intuitive desktop and mobile apps connected to private cloud storage appliances, users enjoy easy self-administration from anywhere without reliance on any external public cloud provider. Your data stays within your own secured infrastructure for total control.

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Key Traits and Attributes of Personal Private Cloud

There are several core traits that define and distinguish personal private cloud solutions:

Dedicated On-Premises Storage

Provides abundant network-attached storage capacity allocated specifically for your home or small office rather than being shared with other organizations.

Hosted in Your Space

The physical storage hardware is hosted on-site within your home, office closet or data room, rather than residing off-site in a multi-tenant data center.

Full Data Ownership

You completely own the private cloud device and data. You manage all software settings and functionality rather than relying on restrictive policies of a public cloud provider.

Localized Access and Control

Data access is restricted to the local home or office network, allowing only authorized on-premises devices rather than access over the open internet. This allows customizable governance.

Turnkey Operation

Personal private cloud appliances are designed for easy self-maintained operation with intuitive management apps rather than requiring dedicated IT oversight.

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Key Differences from Traditional Public Cloud

While personal private cloud mimics the convenience of public cloud services, there are some key differences:

No Remote Hosting

Private cloud consists of appliances physically located on-site rather than servers hosted remotely in a third-party public multi-tenant data center.

Data Stays Local

Your data stays within your own private infrastructure rather than transmitting across the public internet to a cloud provider. This minimizes privacy risks.

Total User Control

You manage the entire device, software, security policies, bandwidth allocation and governance rather than the public cloud provider restricting privileges and access.

Local-Only Accessibility

Private cloud devices are only directly accessible on the local home or office network by authorized users and devices. Public cloud allows external access.

No Recurring Fees

Once purchased, private cloud appliances have no recurring subscription fees like public cloud services charge for capacity used. Ongoing costs are generally just electricity.

Read More: Private Cloud vs Public Cloud: Which Should You Choose?


private cloud vs public cloud

Compelling Benefits of Personal Private Cloud

Personal private cloud solutions offer a number of compelling benefits compared to consumer public cloud:

Enhanced Security

Keeping data on local private infrastructure minimizes risks of data breaches inherent with public internet transmission and storage. No unauthorized external party has access.

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Maintain Complete Data Ownership

You retain full control over your data and infrastructure. Public cloud providers assert certain data rights and access in their agreements.

Improved Reliability

Local high-speed network connectivity enables consistent high performance and reliable data streaming and transfers. Public cloud can vary depending on internet conditions.

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Always Accessible

Devices on the home or office network can directly and quickly access the private cloud 24/7. Public cloud downtime leaves you unable to access data.

Centralized Storage Hub

Consolidates all primary and backup storage in one place for unified access, synchronization and management. Eliminates siloed external drives.

Highly Customizable

You define and configure every aspect like shares, automated backups, redundancy levels and access controls rather than adhere to rigid vendor-defined policies.

Cost Effective Scalability

Expand storage capacity as needed by incrementally adding internal drives or enclosures. Public cloud can have high egress fees for retrieving large data sets.

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Diverse Personal Private Cloud Use Cases

Personal and small business use cases enabled by private cloud include:

Media Libraries

Provides abundant high-speed secure storage for photos, videos, music, and personal documents. Centralizes scattered media.

Automated Backups

Enables easy set-and-forget backup of irreplaceable photos, video memories, documents, and configs with custom retention policies.

Access Anywhere

Privately access your files from any internet-connected device without reliance on public cloud services. VPN support provides secure remote access.

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Secure File Sharing

Selectively share files and folders with family, friends and colleagues without exposing data to public cloud services.

Stream Media

Locally stream videos, music, photos to devices around your home or office over wired and wireless connections.

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Collaborate on Projects

Enables multiple authorized users to collaborate on projects with version histories, centralized storage, synchronization and sharing.

Protect Sensitive Data

Store personal data and work documents with privacy concerns securely on your controlled private infrastructure rather than with a public provider.

Remote Work Enabler

Securely access office collaboration tools and files for remote work as if locally connected to the office network.

Private Cloud Options Suitable for Home Use

There are several options to implement private cloud for personal and SOHO use:

All-In-One NAS Appliances

Pre-configured NAS appliances with integrated storage, backup, sharing and self-service management features. Optimized simplicity for home use.

Repurpose Existing Drives

Add network sharing functionality to external USB hard drives by connecting through routers or NAS operating systems.

Small Business-Class Models

Powerful SMB and enterprise-class NAS devices offer advanced capabilities like VM hosting and Docker containers.

Hybrid Backup

Combine a core on-premises NAS system with some cloud backup for cost-effective offsite redundancy.

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Steps to Get Started with Personal Private Cloud

Key steps for successfully deploying a personal or small business private cloud include:

Determine Needed Storage Capacity

Account for current storage needs plus projected future growth when selecting private cloud storage capacity.

Choose Wired or Wireless Connectivity

Wired Ethernet provides most reliable performance. But wireless NAS works well if access points located nearby.

Configure Remote Access (Optional)

Set up remote connectivity through VPN or cloud gateway if remote file access needed.

Schedule Multi-Destination Backups

Schedule automated backups to both local external drives and cloud if permissible for optimal redundancy.

Select Appropriate RAID Level

Choose proper RAID configuration to balance performance vs. storage capacity vs. fault tolerance based on specific needs.

Enable Drive Encryption

Encrypt personal or sensitive data for protection against physical theft of drives.

Install in Secure Location

Place NAS appliance in physical environment like interior room or closet that deters theft and exposure to elements.

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Key NAS Software Features and Capabilities

Leading personal and small business private cloud NAS solutions commonly offer:

Intuitive File Shares

Create network shares for different purposes like media, documents, backups. Set user access permissions for each.

Robust Media Streaming

Smoothly stream videos, photos, music libraries to devices throughout the home or office. Transcodes formats as needed.

Easy Mobile Apps

Enable managing the NAS, uploads/downloads, multi-user collaboration and more all from iOS and Android mobile apps.

Link Aggregation

Combine multiple Ethernet ports on the NAS to multiply theoretical transfer speeds. Useful for high speed 10GbE connectivity.

SSD Caching

Optionally add solid state drives (SSDs) to NAS for radically faster access performance compared to HDDs alone.

Scalable Storage

Easily expand storage capacity on demand by incrementally adding more drives or entire enclosures.

Comprehensive Backups

Backup NAS locally and to cloud on set schedules. Restore previous versions or deleted files. Protects against data loss.

Remote Accessibility

Securely access and manage NAS from anywhere over the internet through VPN or cloud gateway integration.

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Physical Security and Environmental Protections

Essential steps to physically protecting personal private cloud appliances include:

Lock Down Devices

Use high security locks to securely fasten NAS devices, racks and enclosures to deter theft. Restrict physical access.

Deploy in Secure Area

Place NAS hardware in restricted access rooms, closets or locked cabinets away from public accessibility. Deter tampering.

Theft Recovery Tracking

Use asset/inventory tracking tags on NAS devices for recovery in case of burglary.

Surge Protection

Use uninterruptable power supply (UPS) devices to protect against power surges that can corrupt data.

Cool Dry Location

Ensure NAS operates in a temperature controlled, dry environment to prevent overheating and moisture damage.

Backup Internet Connection

Have secondary internet provider or 4G/5G connection as redundancy if primary ISP faces an outage.

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Core Data Protection Software Features

Well-designed personal private cloud NAS offerings incorporate multiple layers of data protection:

Native Encryption

Encrypt data both at rest on the drives and in transit over connections using AES-256 or similar strong encryption.

Immutable Backups

Backup destination volumes optionally support only appending data to prevent corruption or deletion.

Multi-Version Histories

Restore previous versions of files or folders to undo unintended changes or recover lost data.


Advanced threat detection technology recognizes unusual read/write patterns indicative of ransomware attacks to prevent data loss.

Anomaly Alerts

Receive notifications of unusual events like failed login attempts or spikes in data egress that could signal a cyberattack.

Remote Replication

Asynchronously mirror backups or entire datasets to another NAS system for redundancy against local failures and disaster recovery.

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Cost Savings and Other Private Cloud Benefits

In addition to the enhanced security, privacy and control, personal private cloud offers other advantages:

No Vendor Lock-in

NAS operating systems allow migrating data between different provider's devices. Public cloud makes data extraction difficult and expensive.

Cost Savings Over Time

Avoid ongoing public cloud monthly subscription costs that compound over years. Expand NAS storage incrementally as needed.

No Recurring Fees

Most personal NAS devices just have upfront hardware cost and minimal ongoing electricity expense and maintenance.

Leverage Existing Network

NAS integrates with your home or office network and internet connection you already pay for rather than needing dedicated cloud infrastructure.

Resilient Local Access

Unaffected by internet outages. Private cloud remains continuously accessible to local devices during broadband disruptions.

Environmentally Friendly

Small, efficient NAS devices consume minimal power. Much lower carbon footprint than massive hyperscale data centers needed for public cloud.


Private Cloud Deployment Tips

To summarize key best practices:

  • Seek user-friendly NAS devices - Many NAS operating systems are designed for easy self-maintained home use rather than requiring IT skills.
  • Wired connectivity preferred - Wired Ethernet delivers vastly faster and smoother streaming and backups than WiFi.
  • Enable remote access (if needed) - If remote access is a requirement, configure VPN or cloud gateway connectivity.
  • Use RAID wisely - Leverage RAID for the right balance of capacity, performance and redundancy.
  • Encrypt personal data - Encrypt irreplaceable personal data and sensitive documents as a precaution.
  • Multi-destination backup - Backup NAS locally and to cloud for optimal redundancy against failure scenarios.
  • Carefully plan capacity - Consider long term storage needs when selecting NAS capacity, allowing room to grow.
what is RAID

UGREEN's Specialized NAS Appliances for Personal Private Cloud

UGREEN offers a range of user-friendly, high-performance private cloud NAS products designed specifically for home users and small offices.

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Key features of UGREEN's personal NAS appliances include:

Modern Multi-core CPUs

Provides smooth 4K transcoding and supports virtualization needs.

Up to 184 TB storage

Scale on demand from 4 bays up to 23 bays for massive capacity.

2.5GbE/10GbE Networking

Achieve faster wired throughput speeds to avoid bottlenecks.

Thunderbolt 3 Connectivity

Enables direct-attached peripherals for extremely high transfer rates.

Advanced Data Protection

Leverage multiple RAID types, offline backups, cloud backups and encryption.

Intuitive Apps and Interface

Create shares, schedule backups, access remotely easily through desktop and mobile apps.

With innovative NAS hardware and software solutions tailored for personal media management and storage, UGREEN empowers home users to consolidate and protect their digital assets privately on-site with full control.