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Ask Slashdot: Building a Personal FOSS Cloud?

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the and-you-will-always-have-shade dept.

Cloud 189

An anonymous reader writes "Cloud-based personal data management is pretty cool... if you don't mind entrusting the entirety of your personal data to a gigantic corporation. Apart from the risks of their doing unseemly things with your data, also the security of your data is entirely in their unreliable hands. So, is it possible to build my own personal data repository, where for example, I can store my contacts and calendars to sync to multiple devices? This could be hosted on any third party hosting service assuming also that all of my data was encrypted at the data level. So even if the host wanted to look at my data, all they'd see is 1s and 0s. What are the options for the tinfoil hat wearing FOSS folks that want to participate in the cloud age?"

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189 comments

Africa (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646501)

Who cares about a fucking FOSS cloud. Children are starving in Africa and you give a shit about a fucking FOSS cloud? Fuck you. Instead of shooting electron beams at a FOSS cloud to see what happens these scientists should be in the wheat fields growing food for starving children in 3rd world countries. First world fuckers like yourself are decadent faggots who care more about a FOSS cloud than humans. Those same starving children probably mined the FOSS cloud for you so you could play with it in your lab. Fuckers.

Re:Africa (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646679)

So do you propose a free cloud solution for starving kids in Africa? The food thingy might be a bit difficult to accomplish but if they can store their music safely at least the on line world is doing their bit to change the world.

Re:Africa (2)

drinkydoh (2658743) | about 2 years ago | (#40646729)

You save their music by providing food and shelter. You know, in some places people still listen to live music.

Check out Facebook's infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646989)

Reading the parent post feels like wiping your ass with silk.

Re OP: If you really want a FOSS personal cloud, you might be interested in knowing that Facebook documents its whole platform [opencompute.org] .

Also, unless cloud got dumbed down to the point where hosting anything on a single server is "being in the cloud", you might find it easier to build a fucking toaster [thetoasterproject.org] .

Re:Africa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647247)

Maybe those fuckers should refrain from sticking their dicks in places where they shoudn't be.

Re:Africa (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647501)

Yea, those poverty-stricken, starving kids in Africa should keep their aircraft carriers, long-range bomber aircraft and unmanned drone fleets in their own fucking country!

Thanks for sharing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646517)

So even if the host wanted to look at my data, all they'd see is 1s and 0s.

That was the dumbest thing I read all day.

Re:Thanks for sharing (5, Funny)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about 2 years ago | (#40646527)

Yeah, that's like saying that if I open a book all I'll see are characters.

Re:Thanks for sharing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646585)

In front of me, there is a pile of clothes. In this pile of clothes is a portal to the insides of your ass. ...

I'm gonna violate it! I'm gonna violate everything inside you are ass!

Re:Thanks for sharing (3, Funny)

jxander (2605655) | about 2 years ago | (#40646825)

Unsure if troll, or honest effort to top the dumbest thing heard all day.

Re:Thanks for sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647331)

I think he just literally meant that he hides a huge (uncleaned) anal dildo in his pile of clothes -- which is not dumb to say per se, but dumb to admit, I guess.

Re:Thanks for sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646907)

What is the matter?

Words.

Re:Thanks for sharing (2)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40646773)

No kidding.....I cam in to post, "Who's writing this shit?" Anonymous Reader my ass. This is garbage. The whole post is garbage.

Re:Thanks for sharing (0)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#40647381)

Dude...Its the Steam sale, mmkay? STEAM SALE! The editors are probably having to actually work and/or look for old dupes to throw up because everybody is too busy blasting the hell out of each other in their new games to be actually writing submissions.

Hell i'm shocked half the geek sites aren't just sitting there barren with nothing but the words STEAM SALE for how little seems to be going on anywhere. Now if you'll excuse me i got a pile of new games to play...Steam sale!

Re:Thanks for sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646995)

It's less dumb if you read up on what encyption is.

Re:Thanks for sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647449)

it's a crypto within a crypto, and who is to say when you're finally in the real unencrypto!

Re:Thanks for sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647027)

That was the dumbest thing I read all day.

no surprise then it was posted by timothy

Re:Thanks for sharing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647419)

So even if the host wanted to look at my data, all they'd see is 1s and 0s.

That was the dumbest thing I read all day.

That was the dumbest comment I read all day.

Re:Thanks for sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647585)

Wow, what happened to Slashdot? If you're going to call something dumb, please state the reason why it's dumb. That goes for the comment as well as the comment to the comment. As far as I can tell the poster is asking for convenient encrypted storage for his contacts, accessible from multiple devices. Why is that dumb? If it's not possible, why is it not possible?

Found it when googling for dropbox alternatives (4, Informative)

BagOBones (574735) | about 2 years ago | (#40646533)

http://owncloud.org/ [owncloud.org]

- Calendar
- Contacts
- dropbox like storage

Re:Found it when googling for dropbox alternatives (4, Interesting)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 2 years ago | (#40646595)

Or use any of the usual storage services that provide a client to maintain a sync'd mount point, and just secure the contents. Jungledisk will do this for you for Amazon or Rackspace backed storage. Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. can be used with your own encryption mechanism.

For bonus redundancy, sync the local cache to an external USB drive so you don't get caught with your pants down if one of those services botches your remote store.

Re:Found it when googling for dropbox alternatives (2)

sortadan (786274) | about 2 years ago | (#40646643)

It looks like this could work well with a Synology [synology.com] configured for disk redundancy, plus a home router with VPN (dd-wrt [dd-wrt.com] or tomato [tomatousb.org] ).

Re:Found it when googling for dropbox alternatives (2, Informative)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 years ago | (#40646657)

http://owncloud.org/

It's pretty cool, but right on the first page it pulls code from googleapis.com. Hit the front page and you send a request with the referrer URL to one of the biggest stalkers. Maybe it's still good, maybe it's not hard to redirect that js link to your own machine, but it just seems like they've missed the fundamental point of not giving your data away.

Re:Found it when googling for dropbox alternatives (-1, Troll)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40646795)

Just freakin use Google for shit's sake. This crap is really going too far. On /. people act like Google is up their ass, when in fact they keep little relevant personal data. Besides, who gives a rat's ass what data they have. They only have what you give them!

Re:Found it when googling for dropbox alternatives (2)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | about 2 years ago | (#40646855)

If you found out your local department store was sending your home address through to the local marketing agency you'd be pitching an absolute fit. This is the same. I'm just browsing to a web page, that shouldn't mean that [google/jquery/insertother] should know about it, even if their code is being used on that web page. Just because it's a digital way of gathering the information, doesn't mean it is any less of an intrusion.


And the sysadmin in me feels that constantly polling off to get the latest version of adsense/jquery.js/googleapi is just a waste of bandwidth and resources. Just because you have a 100MB link and 64GB of RAM doesn't mean browsing to a web page or running a program should use it all.

Re:Found it when googling for dropbox alternatives (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about 2 years ago | (#40647379)

You're right! They only have what you give them, so don't give them anything... I'm not sure what your problem is with that?

"Besides, who gives a rat's ass what data they have."

You seem to be mighty excited, so.. you, for one. Certainly enough to make claims such as "in fact they keep little relevant personal data" with nothing to back it up :P

Re:Found it when googling for dropbox alternatives (3, Insightful)

jcreus (2547928) | about 2 years ago | (#40646809)

It's open source! You either: a) send them a bug report, or b) download it, and change the code to whatever you want.

Re:Found it when googling for dropbox alternatives (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646835)

The actual ownCloud application that you setup on your server doesn't have a reference to googleapis. I just checked on my installation.

For those wondering, the project website links to the jQuery library hosted on Google's server so they don't have to host it themselves.

Re:Found it when googling for dropbox alternatives (4, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | about 2 years ago | (#40647527)

For those wondering, the project website links to the jQuery library hosted on Google's server so they don't have to host it themselves.

And more importantly, so that we don't have to be constantly re-download the same file, since we probably already have Google's copy cached.

Re:Found it when googling for dropbox alternatives (2)

datajack (17285) | about 2 years ago | (#40646859)

That's on their site. The one where you download the software from. The point of his question was how to store data on your own site.

Download and install owncloud, and there's no sign of googleapis.

cloud vs server (4, Interesting)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 2 years ago | (#40646545)

At what point does this involve a cloud? Renting a server(providing ftp, for example) is easy, and doesn't require anything from the "cloud age".

Also, building a server or buying one secondhand is cheap, if you want to DIY.

Re:cloud vs server (4, Interesting)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 years ago | (#40646607)

I was wondering the same, when I first read the headline I had visions of friends setting up partitions on each others hard drives and do cloud storage between mom,dad,sister,brother,grandparents,friends

redundancy for family photos for instance on all family computers for instance. obviously private storage as well. the odds of all computers going down at once in multiple locations is highly unlikely. p

Re:cloud vs server (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646751)

I think the storage part is the easiest part. It is the syncing of contact info, calendars, etc. with various devices (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.) that might be harder. Also, how about collaboration type stuff like shared calendars and contacts.

Is this easy or hard or impossible or what?

Re:cloud vs server (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646863)

GlusterFS does that in their "replicate" volumes. You specify how many copies per file, too.

Re:cloud vs server (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 2 years ago | (#40647013)

You might want to try tahoe-lafs [tahoe-lafs.org] if you want to share stuff with a fair number of people without giving them default access to the content.

Re:cloud vs server (1)

metrix007 (200091) | about 2 years ago | (#40647077)

I've actually been confused for a while now how the "cloud" is different from just having servers on the internet.

Is it just the synchronization that makes it the "cloud"?

Re:cloud vs server (5, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | about 2 years ago | (#40647157)

Servers are web 1.0. Cloud is web 3.0. Much buzzier and hipper.

Re:cloud vs server (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647459)

Goddamnit, item 6 on the go-back-in-time list is kill whoever showed someone in marketing a network diagram...

Re:cloud vs server (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#40647187)

Abstraction and provisioning. With the cloud, you don't need to worry about where the server really is physically and can alter the configuration at very short notice (It'll be a virtual machine). The 'cloud' term comes from the network diagram use of a cloud to represent internet connectivity: The server is out there on the internet, somewhere, and you don't need to care where. The cloud service operator handles that. So they can juggle workloads around for peak efficiency and thus minimum cost, or let you easily add another virtual processor and a few gig more ram if you suddenly find business booming. But in technology terms, it's really just virtualisation and some fancy management software. The cloud is a business innovation, not technological.

Re:cloud vs server (1)

metrix007 (200091) | about 2 years ago | (#40647237)

I'm still not really seeing the difference. I rent a VPS that I rsync stuff to. I don't care where it is physically, it has a domain name and I can reach it wherever it may be, even if it gets relocated somewhere.

Re:cloud vs server (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#40647417)

Then are are just using the cloud, from before someone started calling it 'the cloud.' As I said, the cloud isn't a technology: It's a business model based on not just selling virtual servers but managing them on large resource pools too.

For Christ's Sake, Just Get A Big USB Drive (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646547)

You can write "The Cloud" on it with a Sharpie if you absolutely must.

Re:For Christ's Sake, Just Get A Big USB Drive (4, Funny)

petsounds (593538) | about 2 years ago | (#40647023)

The difference is, if there's a fire in the house, your cloud will go up in smoke.

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week.

ownCloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646549)

You could check out ownCloud [owncloud.org] . According to the website it supports encryption [owncloud.org] . Remember, though, that even if data is stored in encrypted form on disk, the hosting service could recover your data by monitoring your requests to the service. If that is a concern then you'll have to host it on a machine in your basement.

We're working on it (5, Informative)

wurp (51446) | about 2 years ago | (#40646555)

https://github.com/wurp/Friendly-Backup [github.com]

It works now, with some bugs. The first targeted usecase is distributed backup.

However, it can store arbitrary read-only content-addressed data as well as signed labels that point point to a particular piece of CBA data to emulate mutable data.

I have a whole slew of plans beyond backup for it, but backup seemed like the thing everyone needs and would most like to have for free on a federated data store.

I don't get it. (5, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#40646565)

OMFG, the cloud. I got to have or do the cloud. Magic Ponies in the cloud!!!!

Seriously, wtf do you really need the cloud for? Is it going to magically sync all your different data together so you can access it all the time?

No, seriously, do you think it's going to sync all your data so you can use it and access it anywhere?

No, it's not. Sure, you can access you data anywhere, but duder, we've been doing that for a couple of decades now, way to join the late train.
Unfortunately, the various corporations don't want to agree to standards, so having docs/apps/whatever working with everything isn't in the "rape as much money as we can" business plan. so nothing is going to change.

Now let's look at the Megaupload thingy. That was cloud storage, file lockers. It's not around now, is it? That is what happens to clouds, the winds blow them away. The wind? Oh ya, in this case, that's the good old USA Government, working for their Pimps, the Music/Movie Industry. You think that can't happen to any "cloud" servers? Think again. OMG, Terrorist used that server, Child porn was on that server, boom! You're data, which has nothing to do with those 2 things, is gone also. Hope you make a backup. Oh, wait, the cloud was magically supposed to back it up for you?

Cloud has been around for awhile, but we called it what it was, the internet.

 

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646601)

yes. yes. yes.

I have the above, and it's not a cloud (4, Interesting)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 years ago | (#40646649)

You want the above? That's easy. Access to email from anywhere, access to my contacts and my calendar, how about access to all my files? Yep got that. Though it doesn't have a fancy name like "cloud". If I were into marketing I'd call it a cloud, but right now I'll stick to calling it an "internet facing linux machine"

Yeah it's not as exciting, but it does everything the so called cloud has done and it has done it for many years before this mythical cloud has existed. My phone sees the same set of files and emails as my home desktop PC, and there's a web interface to access all the above too.

Seriously just google "Linux Groupware" and maybe "Linux Web Fileserver" and you'll have everything that the cloud has.

Re:I have the above, and it's not a cloud (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | about 2 years ago | (#40646823)

It is a fun reaction when I show folks how my netbook storage expands from a measly 250GB to 6.2TB when I'm connected to the Internet.

SSHFS has been around for years!

Re:I have the above, and it's not a cloud (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647479)

but right now I'll stick to calling it an "internet facing linux machine"

Right now, I'm going to stick to calling you a pretentious fuckwad.

Go ahead, throw that word "linux" around like you think you know what it means. You're probably hoping that mentioning the word multiple times in your post will get you mod points. You can't buy a session with a cam girl with mod points, though. Too bad for you.

You have a sorry, pathetic excuse for a life. You'll die alone with your dick in your hand.

Re:I don't get it. (5, Insightful)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about 2 years ago | (#40646899)

Oh give the guy a break. This is exactly the situation the "the cloud" buzzword was created for: people who are scared of the phrase "file server". There is absolutely nothing new about "the cloud" in any way but it's a nice fluffy word that people are comfortable with and it's acceptable to not have any idea what it actually is. I'd change the hostname of my home server to thecloud just for wiseassery's sake if it wouldn't hose my Trek shipname naming scheme.

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647175)

The Cloud stands for: Distributed (by internet or intranet or hybrid) compute services (mail, calander, maps, updates, backup, whatever...) and resources. (calculation power, storage, processing of video for example, or data mining or scientific number crunching)

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647193)

In other words: distributed (networked) operating system and scalable hardware (through abstracted virtualization). It combines 'software as a service' with 'IBM on-demand hardware as a serive'.

"The internet" -ROFLOLzz Are you twelve years old, already?

SSH not good enough for you? (3, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | about 2 years ago | (#40646577)

What's in the cloud that is better?

Re:SSH not good enough for you? (1, Insightful)

NormalVisual (565491) | about 2 years ago | (#40647511)

Hardware redundancy is the big one. Your server runs as an abstracted VM in a management framework (XenServer, VMWare, etc.) that allows it to be instantly migrated to another machine with no interruptions/downtime if there are problems with the physical hardware it's running on. If you'd been running a real server instead of a cloud-based VM, you'd be down until that server could be fixed.

Freedombox (4, Informative)

Qubit (100461) | about 2 years ago | (#40646603)

slashdot ate my last comment, so just check out the link [debian.org]

Re:Freedombox (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646781)

For more context: http://archive.org/details/EbenMoglen-FreedomInTheCloud2010

Re:Freedombox (2)

ICantFindADecentNick (768907) | about 2 years ago | (#40647123)

Don't know why it's modded "Informative". The link posted has a lot about vision, and freedom but nothing about what functions the freedom box is meant to provide.

don't trust others... (3, Informative)

swell (195815) | about 2 years ago | (#40646629)

the safest storage is your own high speed server quality RAID 7 write-only drive

Re:don't trust others... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 2 years ago | (#40646803)

Yes with http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/07/13/039233/feds-we-need-priority-access-to-cloud-resources [slashdot.org]
and
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/07/13/1247257/facebook-scans-chats-and-posts-for-criminal-activity [slashdot.org]
and
http://www.zdnet.com/aussie-govt-aloof-on-cloud-csc-1339320492/ [zdnet.com]
You have the US gov telling you it wants in on your data, a US .com telling you about chat data been watched and a great friend of the US gov suggesting keeping your data safe.
The cloud is not looking great from any perspective, as FOSS data storage or a web 2.0 chat experience with 'free' storage options.
As people have hinted, get a few low cost 'unlimited' US servers, spread your daily encrypted data into the back end of your new 'blog'/'homepage' .
Any of this 'cloud' stuff can be lost in bulk at any time just to find one ip posting to a forum/blog as the US gov lifts out hardware for a few months/years.

Re:don't trust others... (4, Funny)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | about 2 years ago | (#40646881)

the safest storage is your own high speed server quality RAID 7 write-only drive

There's a readily available device for this that emulates a RAID 7 write-only drive but with better performance. It's called /dev/null.

Here's an idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646663)

http://sourceforge.net/projects/funambol/

That and a server you can ssh into.

Good Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646677)

It was surprising to see the first ten or twenty posts criticizing the poster's question. Some respondents were sick of "the cloud." Others thought the question was lame.

This is a good question. While the world is moving toward "cloud"-based storage and applications, we trust unknown third parties with our information. Would it be too much to ask that we have control of our personal data while making use of the benefits that cloud has to offer? I don't think it's too much to ask, but I don't see a solution that solves the whole problem.

To the original poster - this is a work in progress, and you will see incremental steps to address your needs. At the same time, you will see that application providers continue to build solutions to trap you in their environments. Keep trying, and find a solution that works well enough while we get this right.

Re:Good Question (-1, Redundant)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40646805)

Thank you AC with nothing valuable to add. Had you provided an insightful comment maybe then AC would have been a sensible choice. But since nothing of value was added you are obviously trying to hide for reasons other than to protect your personal privacy. Your post gave me that feeling I get when I see an old laptop that has covers missing and has been stripped of its hard-drive and RAM.

Re:Good Question (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about 2 years ago | (#40647391)

"Had you provided an insightful comment maybe then AC would have been a sensible choice."

Point out how it's not an insightful comment. Just you stating so doesn't cut it.

"Your post gave me that feeling I get when I see an old laptop that has covers missing and has been stripped of its hard-drive and RAM."

That's awesome. Now shit or get off the pot.

Re:Good Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647587)

Do people still come here for insightful comments? I've been on vacation.

SparkleShare (4, Informative)

SpzToid (869795) | about 2 years ago | (#40646709)

Try the free open-source SparkleShare software and roll your your own cloud 100%. That would trump any cloud provider option if this is your concern, since all the disks and PCs are under your ownership and control.

SparkleShare is essentially a DropBox clone in terms of a GUI, which extends to recovering older versions with a right-click. It looks like DropBox, and it works like DropBox too. But it is just a scripted GIT environment. In fact if you already have a GIT Repo hosted on a server (or service) somewhere, SparkleShare is easily configured to wrk with it. Here's how you start from scratch, assuming you already have PGP keys shared with the server:

At the server, create a new, empty GIT repository:
git init --bare NEWREPOSITORY.git
At the workstation:

Normally, you might use something like the following commands to work with GIT. (these are not necessary if you use SparkleShare)

git clone ssh://user@example.com:port/home/user/NEWREPOSITORY.git
cd NEWREPOSITORY.git
git clone ssh://user@example.com:port/home/user/NEWREPOSITORY.git
The SparkleShare config:

Add Hosted Project...

Address:

ssh://user@example.com:port

Remote Path: /home/user/NEWREPOSITORY.git

This document explains how to add a layer of encryption, (which also works to secure services like DropBox btw: https://github.com/hbons/SparkleShare/wiki/Encrypting-your-files-before-transfer [github.com]

Re:SparkleShare (1)

kotku (249450) | about 2 years ago | (#40646743)

Sparkleshare is nice but not ready for production. The second bug report in the issue tracker has the developers/users sharing thier code by dropbox of all things ironic.

Re:SparkleShare (2)

devent (1627873) | about 2 years ago | (#40646879)

Git is not designed to handle big binary data. Since Git is creating SHA hashs for each file, with a file 500MB and more it will take more time, also it will use up all the RAM to calculate the hash. In addition the size of the repository will skyrocket if you put revisions of big binary files, since you can't easily delete old files in a git repository.

Git is good for text documents and source code. But since even the Odt documents are binary blobs (the xml data is compressed with zip), you can't use git efficient with open document text files or other documents like Excel, Spreadsheets, etc.

So either you are using a modified git version, or you just ignore the issues? Do SparkleShare delete old revisions of a file?

But I'm using Git for all my documents, too. Git is secure (the hash is almost a perfect proof that the files were not modified) and fast. With the bonus that I can delete/modify all my documents with the save guard of revision history.

Re:SparkleShare (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 2 years ago | (#40647239)

There is a variant of ODT which is a flat uncompressed XML file... That works well with git, also there is a plugin for libreoffice which saves your documents directly into a git (or subversion, cvs etc) repository (which i believe stores the data as dirs rather than zipfiles)...

Re:SparkleShare (1)

jgrahn (181062) | about 2 years ago | (#40647383)

Git is not designed to handle big binary data. Since Git is creating SHA hashs for each file, with a file 500MB and more it will take more time, also it will use up all the RAM to calculate the hash.

Git uses way too much RAM for some reason, but this is not it. Correctly done, it only takes kilobytes to calculate any hash, regardless of the size of the hashed data.

[...] Git is good for text documents and source code. But since even the Odt documents are binary blobs (the xml data is compressed with zip), you can't use git efficient with open document text files or other documents like Excel, Spreadsheets, etc.

My solution to that is to avoid file formats and tools which are hostile to version control. We knew decades ago that MS Office was a mistake; why repeat it?

Real Cloud (3, Informative)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | about 2 years ago | (#40646719)

I did misread this. When I think cloud computing, I am coming for a CS point of view, which is that cloud computing is the terms used to describe the efforts to make scalability of software as a service ubiquitous. Basically, the cloud is not a bunch of servers, it is the infrastructure that provides scalable services to an application layer like the web. Amazon pretty much built the best cloud and others are following their lead. So, I have been looking at OpenStack [openstack.org]
If anyone actually thinks this question is in any way relevant, please let me know if there are other resources.

Sd card? (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#40646725)

pull it out fo your phone and plop it into another device to import? If you're gonna pull all this retarded effort into the "cloud" why not just set up VNC and log into your computer at home and grab the contacts? You know something thats been available for over a decade.

Encrypt + Store your data in multiple places (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646807)

Easiest way of making sure your data is secure and still available everywhere is to store it on a encrypted filesystem image (gpg + loopback image) and copy it to many public cloud storage providers to ensure its redundant. Just make sure they are not all backed by the same infrastructure.

My experience: possibly eGroupWare or SOGo? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646831)

*snort* 27 posts so far and no one seems to really have addressed the poster's real question. (Instead, all I've read is basic suggestions like a file share, VNC/SSH, or OpenStack; all of which seem to ignore the main point: "is it possible to build my own personal data repository, where for example, I can store my contacts and calendars to sync to multiple devices?")

I've been looking for something like this for a while now, actually. From my research, I think the best way to solve this problem is to set up your own 'groupware' server on a hosted VM somewhere. You can custom-configure the VM to make sure that it stores your server-side data in an encrypted filesystem within the VM itself. [To make it that much harder for anyone from your hosting company to spy on you, naturally... ;-) ]

Then, you can use the open-source sync clients from the "Funambol" project to synchronize the contacts and calendar data on the phone with the data on the groupware server. The issue I've had is that I *also* want a non-shitty *Web* interface for calendar management... and so far, *that* has been hard to find. (I can't bring my personal smartphone into work, so I need something to be able to manage my calendar over the Internet and sync those appointments back to my phone).

So what server to use? Well, I set up an eGroupWare server a few years ago (before all this shit was called "cloud" everything :-P) and it seemed to have most of the features I wanted as far as calendar management goes. [I even locked everything down, moving the back-end database to an encrypted filesystem that wasn't auto-mounted...] Unfortunately, the default web interface kinda sucked. And the good Funambol 'web' client is only available on their own 3rd-party calendar hosting servers, which I wouldn't use because I wouldn't get to control my own data. (Again, the project only ships with a crappy text-based one out of the box :-P) So I stopped using that solution. Consequently, I never actually got all the way to the point of trying out the PalmOS(which I was using at the time)/Android/iOS Funambol clients to see how well they worked to synchronize contacts and calendar data.

Recently, I've been looking at SOGo, another open-source groupware server which apparently has a fancy Ajax-based web UI... and should also work with the Funambol open-source sync clients for all the major mobile OS devices. I haven't set it up yet, though.

Incidentally, I'd be *very* interested to hear from anyone else who's attempted to set up similar solutions about your problems and successes. Has anyone else actually tried this?

Re:My experience: possibly eGroupWare or SOGo? (3, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40646921)

I tried something like this last year using Linuxy solutions. For a midsized setup (30k users in groups ranging from about 30-500). For personal though I'm not sure it doesn't make more sense to just treat calendar and disk storage as two totally distinct problems and thus simplify the solution. Pick any of a dozen different internet calendar / scheduling services and do storage by itself.

But if you want to know the lay of the land as far as groupware:

1) I didn't go with Zimbra because at the time they were focused heavily on the rack server space and their longer term direction scared me. The cost per user was high for the commercial version and I did want commercial version features.

2) Scalix was really good 4-5 years ago. But is essentially now unmaintained. If you can live with broken compatibility and FireFox 3 for less than 10 users it is free. It has a very advanced calendar and an easy to use but powerful administration system. Really nice but I'd have a hard time going with a product that is now essentially dead.

3) OX (http://www.open-xchange.com/home.html) has what you are looking for. But understand that for whatever reason the app is not written MVC gui code is completely intermixed with functionality. It is effectively not much more changeable than a closed source program. They were working on this and by 2014 or so that likely will be fixed.

There were some others I experimented with if this is the sort of information you are looking for.

Re:My experience: possibly eGroupWare or SOGo? (1)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | about 2 years ago | (#40646961)

At least I told you when I mentioned Openstack, I was talking about cloud services and not the failure of all mobile vendors to implement SyncML.

Re:My experience: possibly eGroupWare or SOGo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647553)

(same AC here)

Yes, you're right -- the failure of most mobile OS vendors to implement SyncML is something that just *grates* on me whenever I think about this topic. On the other hand, I agree with you, OpenStack does seem like a promising platform. I've used SliceHost (now RackSpace) and I've also taken a look at Amazon, Linode, and Microsoft.

As odd as this sounds for a Linux VM project, I'm kinda leaning towards Microsoft's platform ("Azure", is that what it's called?). It seems to have a pretty awesome feature where you can configure a virtual machine on your own box exactly the way you like it, and then just upload the entire VHD file (basically the entire "virtual hard drive") to their servers. And they run it for you, and that's that. No need to start from scratch configuring a VM on some high-latency connection to a remote vendor's servers -- just set up everything exactly the way you like it, locally, and then push it up and let them run it. I like this proposition, and it may lead me to leave RackSpace for M$... :-}

Re:My experience: possibly eGroupWare or SOGo? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 2 years ago | (#40647255)

I looked at funambol, but didn't like the idea of having to install a client on each device.

However, I do something similar with Zarafa...

Their old web ui was pretty ugly, but the new one is much improved...
It supports caldav (which many desktop clients and ios devices support by default).
It also supports activesync through the z-push plugin, which ios/android/webos/etc all support by default, and which will sync mail/contacts/calenders.
And there's another plugin i recently installed to get carddav support, the name escapes me at the moment but it works well with the osx address book.

CloudI (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646873)

http://cloudi.org [cloudi.org] for BSD license open source project to avoid virtualization but receive fault-tolerance and scalability (along with efficiency). Includes integration with C/C++, Java, Python, Ruby, and Erlang along with various databases (PostgreSQL, MySQL, memcached, couchdb, tokyotyrant) and ZeroMQ.

Repurpose Bittorrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40646887)

What if the FOSS crowd could create a customized sort of BitTorrent thing, where you encrypt your data and then put it out as a seed. Others just automatically download it, then seed it as well, until a distributed tracking system sees enough full copies running around that it tells other clients there's no need to pull it anymore.

The trackers share information about your data, which is encrypted and named some gibberish that makes no sense but won't be likely to be duplicated. So long as a minimum number of copies are out there, it doesn't tell any more to download and seed. If total good copies go down, then it triggers reseeding again until there's enough copies.

Then you just need to know your filename(s) and encryption key(s) to get your data back. Probably not as convenient as plain old cloud storage, but could work for archival store.

Plus, if you needed to transfer files anywhere in the world, all the recipient would need is your encryption key and filename.

WD mybook live (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#40646901)

It runs linux, you can ssh into and install or compile whatever you want, comes in upto 4 gigs and i think they just got a dual drive one. Use the built in internet access to the twonky server or install some free cloud software.

Really not that hard (1)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about 2 years ago | (#40646987)

Grab an old box, stick some hard drives in it with some sort of RAID, encrypt the partitions and use rsync or similar for backing things up. Want extra redundancy? Use a USB drive or buy a cheap old tape drive off ebay.

Forward SSH to it and you have "Cloud Storage". This really isn't a new concept.

Re:Really not that hard (1)

Knuckles (8964) | about 2 years ago | (#40647251)

That helps with contact sharing to the phone (one of the OP's requirements) how exactly?

6 Machines minimum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647041)

The problem with setting up a cloud, is that to get a reliable configuration you can't use less than two banks of 3 machines

1 Load Balancer/reverse-proxy or front-end, this can NOT be a VPS
1 Web Server (you can add more as necessary, these can be VPS (mySQL, memcache, etc can all be their own VPS instances)
1 Data store, absolutely NOT VPS.

Commercial/Openstack includes a 4th machine that simply operates as a boot image store/management for configuring the VPS machines.

Then you need to duplicate this bank somewhere else, like another physical location on the other side of the planet.
This is where things start to break down, because to keep the two data store machines in sync, you'll burn a fortune in bandwidth. If you're just doing things like contact storage, cloud storage is so extremely overkill.

But for web servers, you don't have any redundancy if all the hardware is in the same data center, even if you have redundant machines. You're looking at maybe 12 machines minimum to have zero possibility of fail. Then you need to ad additional edge nodes (basically LB/Reverse proxies) for where you want the data available without latency. So Europe, Australia, etc.

By the time you price this out, you've probably have a bill of materials around 100,000$ without even considering bandwidth and power to build a completely secure, disaster-proof (short of a EMP burst knocking out everything on the planet) cloud configuration. If you're just putting contacts in the cloud, this is overkill times 2000. 1200$/mo ... yeah I think this is not for you.

If you just want a way to keep your contacts with you everywhere there is internet access, pay for separate physical machine, of the lowest possible configuration (Atom, etc) and that will run you maybe 100$/mo and then make sure that it's in a country that is not run or owned by US companies, so this eliminates all the big companies like Peer1, Equinix, Telehouse, Cogent, Level3, etc, who won't let you put a machine in their center for less than 1200$/mo anyway.

Nigger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647065)

When you introduce a sentence with 'apart from' you don't put 'also' in the second clause. It's implied already.

Fucking porch monkeys.

"The Cloud" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647177)

Remember back in the day when a network - any network (you LAN, corporate WAN, internet) - was represented by drawing a picture of a cloud? (This is still the case).

That is "the cloud." Access a server by first traversing that cloud in you network diagram... that server is now "in the cloud."

Services such as Amazon EC2, software such as Hadoop - these are all various entities that are accessible via the cloud.

Christ that is it.

Re:"The Cloud" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647535)

Christ that is it.

So many people posting that don't have the first fucking idea what they're talking about....

Amazon S3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647211)

http://code.google.com/p/s3fs/ to mount Amazon S3 storage as a directory on your computer. (FUSE based)
Then use LUKS for encryption: http://forum.xda-developers.com/wiki/Guide:Setup_Encrypted_Folder_with_LUKS
Then if even Amazon's redundancy isn't good enough for you, why not run RAID?

Cost (1)

vakuona (788200) | about 2 years ago | (#40647259)

What is the cost of a roll-your-own cloud solution? Most discussions about the cloud miss out on the most important element, which is the cost. People use Google because it is essentially free, and gives you very decent reliability. I know you can make your own home server super reliable, but in aggregate, if 1 million people were running their own servers, compared to 1 million on google, I would bet that the 1 million on Google's cloud would do better on uptime in aggregate. The cost of trying to get to Google levels of reliability is quite steep, and fairly prohibitive for all but the few hardcore geeks who are comfortable managing their own servers, and even then, only if they pretend their time is worthless.

Use rsync, mysqldump and mysql replication (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about 2 years ago | (#40647405)

Run your own fail safe data repository. Companies have been doing this for ages and it isn't that hard nor expensive to implement it at a smaller scale for your own needs. No cloud needed;-)

Just use rsync, and something similar to mysqldump and mysql replication along with 2-4 linux nodes ideally hosted on different network/providers. You can host the nodes in VMs connected to regular consumer grade DSL or cable modem connections. You could make peering agreements with friends and relatives, I host your node you host my node.

Optionally, throw in some DynDNS or alike, or better, run your own dyndns and you are pretty much done. if you do not want to run your own dns, you can also have the nodes publish their IPs on some free website hosting site. Machines can also find each other IP by exchanging emails through a third party provider like gmail.

Ruby solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40647489)

Check out http://github.com/ohler55/orefs. It is still under development but provides encrypted remote storage if you are comfortable with a command line.

personal cloud, like a pogo plug? (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 2 years ago | (#40647573)

most of us nerds have been doing cloud computing with our own *NIX on x86 boxes for years, running home servers with lamp + SSH.

then there is this pogo plug thingy which does the same thing but for newbs who don't want to do the setup, and for cheap.
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