Building vs Buying a Dropbox Solution
Privacy, Security, Control, and Easy are trade offs we need to make on deciding our best solution. Recently, I found this option in cloud hosting from a NANOG thread. After installation and observing the speed, I was more impressed and wanted to know more and found this video of one of the founders that has me reevaluating yet again what is possible in todays fast moving cloud world. For example, using a combination of technologies below it is very possible to create that secure and private dropbox offering at no cost using technologies such as:
- bitsync – http://www.bittorrent.com/ and this article from the forums. Here are more sync hacks.
- Pydio – Pydio/AjaXplorer Community with its 100’s of plugins with simple JS interface
- www.filerun.com/features-bittorrent-sync – sync mobile devices with your server (not really free or open source)
or parts of complete solutions like:
- S3 (AWS) — my old standby since 2006 or .. HINT: smugmug for unlimited S3 storage with some clever packaging.
- google drive
- 12 free cloud storage options – Network World June 2014
My old stand by is still: rsync over ssh but things are progressing as my rdist to rsync history has shown. LOL. Perhaps its time for me to move forward with less memory intensive methodologies given how large some video and backup archives can be. Current mobile platforms continue to be slow for on the fly encryption/decryption so one still has to be a little careful with that part of the system. Lots of great options for the future.
History: My first home Internet server (sun workstation) was uucp in 1989. That progressed to a home built T1 router (486,BSDI,RISCom) and my first T1 in 1993. That led to Colocation that started with an ISP in 1995 until I saw my first real Internet data center in 1997 with Global Center (who came about because of Netscape). From there price drove me to neutral NAPS until 2003 when I first began the move to building and testing our own private cloud using various providers. In 2008, I removed the last of my physical hardware from my $5K/month cage holding 4 racks with MCI/UUNET in one geographic location to 5 geographic areas. The cost went down drastically from owning the servers,switches, OOB terminal servers, etc, etc all while still paying for bandwith with 95% billing – to unlimited bandwidth with higher availability and no cost for hardware. With reliability increasing and hosting prices dropping again, my use of dedicated physical machines at softlayer.com and 1and1 are all that remains of my dedicated leased servers as everything else is now slices of VPS. In 2003, we began deploying Virtualization from free software first with vmware server 1 and eventually moving to Xen, and KVM for extra disk I/O performance . The last vmware server instances just came down in April 2014 and it had worked flawless for various zimbra instances. In hindsight, it was the early Amazon experience in 2006 with their Xen instances with EC2/S3/AWS that showed it could do be done cheaper and better. They had collocated to the same datacenter my cage was in so I had an early view of their infrastructure. As the price of virtual slices continue to drop and reliability continues to increase, I believe I am no longer sure I can match the infrastructure players and I wonder how long before our next services is built on top of multiple public cloud services instead of virtual system platforms. Security, privacy, and control will dictate how fast we move. We will not give up privacy and control for cost however as it still is about the data. Interesting times we live in.