Highly secure, on-premise private cloud solution for small business
The Task: We all love free apps. We love that we can sync our devices and see our mail, contacts, calendars and anything else almost anywhere and on any device we own. With the advent of cloud-based apps our productivity started going through the roof. But then people started wondering about the cost… We know much of it is free, but we also know that, often, when an application is free, the customer is the product. What does Faceb**, Go**e, Ap**e, Drop**x, etc. really do with our information? Who else do they show it to? What if they mine sensitive client data for targeted ads? As users, are we putting our clients at risk? If something were to happen, would our companies—and our reputations—be at risk?
The Challenge: Get all the cloud services that a small business needs into a box and put that box into their office. Make it small, quiet, and shiny. Have it require no maintenance and no IT guy to constantly monitor it. Make sure it has several lines of defense against hacking, stealing, physical destruction, malware, and other security threats. Let every user keep the tools they are used to, be it Outlook or Apple Mail, iOS, Android, or Linux. Give the user a super easy and safe way to share confidential data with their clients, and nobody else. And make it affordable.
The Project: After studying a number of approaches, a decision for a stripped-down, locked-down custom Linux-based solution was met. With many years of Linux server experience, I selected and tested components, wrote glue logic between services, and started with a set of basic services. With a testing suite growing alongside the system, we grew, service by service, always focusing on the core values of Privacy, Data Safety, A One-Stop Solution, and Easy Administration. This project was software- and configuration-heavy—hardware was mostly off-the-shelf plus a few custom additions, and an industrial case design. As I write this article, the first batch is in production. Soon this box will be available to buy in the US. Head over to https://monolit.io to learn more. When available, I will post a link for purchase. You can also contact me and I will keep you updated.