Cloud Storage

We have several computers, tablets, and phones here on the farm. Keeping everything in sync, is an important aspect in keeping ourselves organized.

If I’m in the barn and want to check my bride’s calendar from my phone, or maybe check the vet records on one of my goats, it’s easy to do when everything is in sync.

Enter Cloud storage. For many years, we used the services of Ubuntu One. Their cloud service was cheap, fast, and scalable to our changing needs. Sadly Ubuntu One is closing down!

There are many other services that offer cloud storage of course, but we got to thinking, Do we really want to trust them? Is our data really secure from hackers? Is the company hosting our data, mining it for juicy information to target advertising at us, or worse, sell to the government or other industries?

What to do? Simple, build our own cloud server!

ownCloud Client

ownCloud Client

It takes very little computing power to run a cloud server. Any old machine will do (like that old Windows XP box collecting dust) or even a Raspberry Pi with an external hard drive.

We started with an old desktop computer that was lying around unused. added an unused 500 gig hard drive, installed Linux Mint, along with a LAMP stack, and then installed ownDrive.

The ownDrive install is pretty simple. Just drop a single file that you download from their site, into the root of your web server *(usually /var/www/) and then open your web browser, point it to the file and the install will begin.

The file is called setup-owncloud.php, and when you browse to it, the script will check that your web server is all up and running properly, then go out and download, and install all the files you need to make it all work.

Once that’s done, then install the desktop clients following the ownCloud instructions, and the Android or IOS applications for your phone or tablet.

Need even more power? There are applications you can add to your ownCloud server, to allow it to then sync with services like Dropbox etc.!