Friday, December 13, 2013

My Own Cloud Storage Solution

Dropbox, Google, Office365, iCloud, Cubby all offer cloud storage with sync for Mobile & Desktops.  And like many I have accounts on all, and I am sure like a lot of people, I have filled up my free storage on most of them (Admittedly, Google's 25Gb has some space left).  I have always wanted to have my own personal cloud storage with 500Gb that i could put everything in.  One folder to rule them all.
About a year ago I came across OwnCloud and was intrigued at the premise.  Open source cloud storage that you can download and install on your own Mac, Windows, Linux machine and the HD space that you allocate on the machine can now become your own Cloud solution.
The hold up was having a machine that I could put this on that had no other use, I had plenty of old Mac Mini's sitting around collecting dust but the HD's were only 250Gb and I had my dream number of 500Gb of storage.
Over the next couple of months, I kept following development, which is very active, but kept on shying away because of the lack of space on the drives.
For whatever the reason one day I finally realized that I should take my old external 250gb HD's and raid them together as a 2nd HD and install Mac 10.6 server on the Mini and I had my setup.
I have no other system resources installed and running on the mini except for the base Mac http service and enabled the Mac installed PHP as the machine only boasts 2 GHz Intel Core Duo processor with 4Gb of RAM, not a best of machine by any means, but sufficient to be a webserver.
Installing OwnCloud is extremely, there is a nice little installer available at the website that requires you to download one file, upload it to your webserver, navigate to said file in your browser.  You follow the onscreen instructions, set the proper file sharing permissions and voila, 1Tb of personal cloud storage.
A nice little bonus is that you can set up OwnCloud for multiple users, so family, small business now have a cheap, and so far in my experience, very reliable cloud storage.  Just remember to setup a backup of your cloud files so that if something goes wrong, your data is safe!
So if you have an old computer laying around that you are saving for no particular reason, but find yourself running short of HD space or need a place that is your own central location for storing all your files.  Check out OwnCloud, I have a feeling you will not be disappointed.