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mdf



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Topic # 201547 23-Aug-2016 16:46
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I'm looking at doing some work in an area that has been slow to wake up to the full implications of cloud computing. Words like data sovereignty, shared hosting, offshore transfer of personal information, and layers of IaaS/PaaS/SaaS providers are just starting to come into vogue and potential clients are asking questions of their service providers (I don't want to be providing advice on these things directly, just satisfy potential clients that I satisfy their requirements for these things).

 

One option could be "secure" or "encrypted" cloud providers like ProtonMail or KolabNow, while another option would be a "trusted" cloud provider like Microsoft and Office 365.

 

However, I'm just exploring all the options at this stage, and wondered if there is any kind of plug-and-play appliance to provide self-hosted email and file hosting/dropbox/owncloud functionality? I've seen the Spreedbox (which looks pretty cool, if over-engineered), but this doesn't currently provide email services. I know that I could probably set this all up myself using any number of proprietary or open source solutions on generic hardware, but I also know that running an email server without really knowing what you're doing is about the least responsible Netizenery imaginable. So really looking for something plug and play/minimal configuration, and with Windows-style updates/patches to deal with any security issues automatically.

 

Or am I dreaming and the only way to get this style of service/appliance is to pay someone that knows what they're doing to maintain it for me? Does a service exist where I can get them to do this on dedicated hardware, or only virtual machines? I know dedicated hardware is going to be more expensive.

 

If it matters, size will be very small, max 3-4 users (and probably just 2 to start with).

 

And yes, I know that email is about the least secure form of communications currently available, but demonstrating better-than-market awareness of these issues and solutions will only help if I decide to go down this potential route.

 

PS. Not really sure if this is the right forum. Query is kind of an anti-cloud one.


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BDFL - Memuneh
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Meow
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  Reply # 1616566 23-Aug-2016 23:10
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I've gone the route of being "anti cloud" with hosting my own mail server (on Linode) along with my own instance of OwnCloud however have given up since I have an Android phone and many other products that do track me (including using Google Chrome). In the end, I've gone fully Google as they know me already paying for Google Apps - it is convenient, I get 1tb of storage on Google Drive and it is cheap too along with having Hangouts which almost everyone I know is on too. Just too much hassle having to manage your own infrastructure especially when dealing with email.

 

If you wanted to be security conscious then Proton Mail + Owncloud (hosted on something like AWS or Linode) is for you - I'd never host anything like this from home as dealing with my own backups etc became a nightmare too (backing up 3+tb to the "cloud" got quite annoying for both me and my ISP).

 

My internet usage has dropped significantly since going this route and my cupboard is no-longer a fire risk having retired my HP Microserver after 7 years.





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  Reply # 1616569 23-Aug-2016 23:43
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I'd say Synology meets a fair number of your requirements. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1616596 24-Aug-2016 08:04
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If you want to discuss security or data sovereignty I have some knowledge in this area. Educating non-technical stakeholders is a challenge - regardless of mitigation there is still risk there and trust required, as whoever runs the hypervisor / service has full access to data running running through it. Encryption at rest, encryption in transit, at some point the data is in plain text in a system you don't control. However, government recommendations are opening this area up signficantly, and there's an effort to encourage public cloud use in government - that should produce results by August 2017.

 

Hosting this stuff in-house will likely be far less secure, reliable, and performant than a cloud service / services, and will cost more, but I guess you know that.

 

So I can't answer your question, really.





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mdf



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  Reply # 1617008 24-Aug-2016 19:52
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Thanks all. I will certainly look into the Synology NAS (didn't know that these had an email option), but I think @timmmay pretty much sums it up with this one:

 

timmmay:

 

Hosting this stuff in-house will likely be far less secure, reliable, and performant than a cloud service / services, and will cost more, but I guess you know that.

 

 

Yet overseas servers and shared hosting also seem to scare people.

 

@michaelmurfy, you mentioned

 

 

Owncloud (hosted on something like AWS or Linode)

 

 

How does this work? Does OwnCloud (or NextCloud now, I guess) encrypt data stored on shared hosting? Otherwise, wouldn't it just be the same as going with one of the mainstream cloud hosting providers? Or is there something I'm missing?


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  Reply # 1617017 24-Aug-2016 20:21
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@mdf I just hosted it on a VPS with an encrypted filesystem at Linode mainly.





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