secure private key

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http://www.unix.com – Hello all, We have unix environment and we would like to use ssh public and private key to move between server using ssh. I do know how to test this and have it up and running on some sandbox...but my question is how would one secure the PRIVATE KEY....we are not using a passphrase...and i know looking at all the BEST PRACTICE the first thing said is have a passphrase....besides the passphrase how can we make sure/protect our keys (permissions are set to 600)...here is the setup... server1 have my private key server 2 has public key server 3 has public key server 4 has public key (HowTos)