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My situation: I manage a small business, and would like to migrate the files on our local file server to a 'cloud' service. There are a large number of 'file storage' and 'file hosting' services (S3, Rackspace Cloud Files, Dropbox, ...). They offer 'features' (versioning, sharing configuration, smartphone apps, ...), but no services seem to offer the obvious: an NFS filesystem that I can mount simply and securely on our UNIX boxes.

Obviously, I could set this up myself with a dedicated server in the cloud, but part of the incentive to move to the cloud is that my server's configuration is taken off my back. So: what services exist that offer NFS hosting?

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What ones offer NFS access? None that I know of. But you don't want that, anyway -- NFS is one of the most insecure protocols out there, I dare say even worse (from a security-conscious standpoint) than FTP. It's okay (but still not great) in a network that you fully control, but you should never offer NFS across the internet.

There are a few services (e.g. that allow SSH access to your cloud-hosted file system; you could then use e.g. SSHFS to access those in much the same way as you would use NFS.

I would caution, however, that migrating from a local file server to the cloud will result in (often times severe) performance degradation. I would suggest that you keep your local file server, but use a cloud-based service for backup. If you don't want to maintain that file server, you can either hire a part-time sys admin, or outsource the administration to another company (this is increasingly common, and in point of fact the company I work for is starting to offer this service).

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You could do NFS over a VPN or IPSec connection as well, which would at least be secure in transit but the performance would suck as bad or worse. – mfinni May 24 '11 at 17:29
@mfinni True, but then the OP would not only have to find a cloud service offering NFS in the first place, but one that also supports VPN or IPSec connections to same. Theoretically possible, indeed, but I know of no such offerings. – Kromey May 24 '11 at 17:32
I've worked with providers of various services that will offer VPN access as an add-on. Some companies simply want to ensure that a service is locked-down such that only someone from their company can access what would otherwise be a public service. – mfinni May 24 '11 at 17:45

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