Practical Technology

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OwnCloud: An open-source cloud to call your own

Everyone likes personal cloud services, like Apple’s iCloud, Google Music, and Dropbox. But, many of aren’t crazy about the fact that our files, music, and whatever are sitting on someone else’s servers without our control. That’s where ownCloud comes in.

OwnCloud is an open-source cloud program. You use it to set up your own cloud server for file-sharing, music-streaming, and calendar, contact, and bookmark sharing project. As a server program it’s not that easy to set up. OpenSUSE, with its Mirall installation program and desktop client makes it easier to set up your own personal ownCloud, but it’s still not a simple operation. That’s going to change.

According to ownCloud’s business crew, “OwnCloud offers the ease-of-use and cost effectiveness of Dropbox and box.net with a more secure, better managed offering that, because it’s open source, offers greater flexibility and no vendor lock in. This makes it perfect for business use. OwnCloud users can run file sync and share services on their own hardware and storage or use popular public hosting and storage offerings.” I’ve tried it myself and while setting it up is still mildly painful, once up ownCloud works well.

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