I’ve blogged about ownCloud before, and written a couple of features about it for MM. Unlike a lot of software that I’ve installed, tested, written about then forgotten, ownCloud is in regular use.
My entire /home/phil directory is synced to an ownCloud server, which is just an old Athlon 3500+ desktop sat in my office, and I can access it from anywhere with an internet connection. It’s so convenient I’ve installed the client on my wife’s PC and use a folder we can both access for simple file transfers between our machines. Changes are afoot though some falling out between the majority of ownCloud devs and the management of the ownCloud company which markets the supported commercial version has led to the majority of devs leaving.
Being open source of course they left with a full copy of the source code which they have forked to create Nextcloud, and have just put out their first release with instructions for upgrading from ownCloud.
We’re moving house soon (-ish subject to lawyers) so the server and network is all going to be packed away. Once we’re settled I think I’ll stick a new disk in the server and install Nextcloud from scratch, and do it right this time using MySQL rather than the default SQLite.
ownCloud on my webserver works just fine. But the obvious snag is that web host companies charge for storage space, and generally charge more than a dedicated cloud storage provider. ownCloud have thought of this and provide a plugin to connect to external storage using various common protocols.
Given that I got into ownCloud because I want to avoid government snoops and US corporates selling my data I want a UK based cloud storage provider that allows access by FTP or SFTP. There are several issues.
A lot of companies with a UK website turn out to be branches of US companies who don’t disclose where there servers are. Many companies provide cheap, even free, storage but only if you use their Windows, Mac or Mobile client software. Won’t link to ownCloud unless you pay for the ‘Pro’ package which often starts at £10/month. I did find one exception, Memset which charges 4p/GB/month. Set up is easy and it links to ownCloud via FTP or SFTP. But I can’t make it accept files.
In desperation I signed up to a 30 day free trial with iWeb. It also uses FTP and connects to ownCloud just like Memset – but it works. This demonstrates to my satisfaction it’s not me or ownCloud at fault, so I’ve filed a support ticket with Memset. I hope they fix it, after 30 days iWeb gets expensive!
The long term plan is to mirror my entire /home/phil directory on ownCloud so I can work anywhere without needing to remember what to copy/backup before I go.
“I seriously believe that the people who brought us sub-prime loans all moved to promoting cloud computing.”
No, not me some bod on TechRepublic.
The thing no-one seems bothered to address is, bandwidth. I’ve tried Googledocs and Aviary (graphics apps online) and neither work sensibly here especially in the evenings or weekends. The web is great for file transfer and backup, Dropbox, UbuntuOne etc, but do I want to be writing a 2000 word piece on it when the screen display lags about 5 words behind my feeble typing speed? And then stop altogether when Llan’s teen population get home and fire up MySpace, Bebo, Facebook. and bring the network down to a crawl?