Do backup Google or paranoia about sanctions. Owncloud and other open source solutions

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In light of the latest topics, including “Autodesk will not sell software to companies that have fallen under sanctions,” there is a feeling that the flywheel of absurdity is spinning more and more. We will not condemn the political reasons for all this disgrace in this topic, but rather think about what happens if Google is suddenly turned off, no matter which side. I also propose to consider one of the options to collect the accumulated content using open source software.

First, let's think about what is most valuable to most users of Google services? First of all, this is personal content that is stored in the cloud, mail and other materials. Secondly, these are services that need to find a replacement as soon as possible. We will not consider the needs of professional developers for Android and corporate needs.

Preparatory work

To begin with, it would be nice to decide where we will put this data and how much will it cost us? There are two main approaches - to take the entire infrastructure on yourself and get one-time expenses for iron or rent other people's capacities in the cloud for your needs. But as we are trying to get rid of dependence on external factors, we will try to consider the option of our own infrastructure.
So our current choice is a Linux home server. Without diminishing the talents of people building a server from sticks, electrical tape and a Chinese iron, I would insist on a classic x86-64 solution. In this case, we will have the following advantages:
  • Scalability - easy swap add processor power, RAM or disk space
  • Component compatibility - there will be no problem replacing failed parts
  • Software compatibility - for x86-x64 architecture it is much easier to find the necessary packages than for the rare version of ARM or MIPS.
  • No bandwidth limitations for SATA and LAN interfaces, typical for many compact ARM platforms

We have decided on the concept. Since we want easy expansion of components, various mini-ITX form factors also do not quite fit into the concept. For myself, I chose a standard PC in the case of BitPhenix Prodigy:


I also consider the HP Microserver Gen8 series to be extremely successful, which is compact, has a nice appearance and the ability to replace the processor as part of the thermal package.


The price of both decisions is around 20,000 rubles. A lot, but a home server can perform a lot of different functions. In order not to overload the article, we will assume that we already have iron, and Debian Wheezy or any other stable distribution to taste is based on it.

Raise Owncloud

Why exactly owncloud? This software refers to open source software and is already stable enough for everyday use. There are clients for any platform, including mobile. The main motto of the project is web services under your control . This is a very versatile tool that combines the server and client parts like Dropbox, calendars, contacts, co-editing documents, photo galleries and much more. If you are missing something, there is a huge pile of plugins at your service, which, however, often do not differ in stability.

Deploying your owncloud is very straightforward.

Ubuntu 14.04 and its forks
sudo apt-key add - < Release.key  
sudo sh -c "echo 'deb /' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/owncloud.list"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install owncloud

Debian stable
apt-key add - < Release.key 
echo 'deb /' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/owncloud.list 
apt-get update
apt-get install owncloud

Initial setup is also not difficult. Owncloud itself is based on PHP, the necessary versions are pulled according to dependencies without problems. Configuring Apache is also no different. More details can be found in the configuration section of the official manual. The main rake is described there. It is highly desirable to get a normal domain from an inexpensive registrar and issue an ssl certificate, for example, from StartSSL or generate it yourself, but then you will need to add a certificate on client machines.

Key Services

Well, we raised the server, there is access from the outside. What's next? Consider the main features of the web interface:

In the new interface, the selection menu is now hidden behind a compact button in the upper left corner. Consider the bulk of the possibilities.

Files section - your directory structure is displayed here.

The system for sharing files and directories has been extremely successfully implemented. You can generate a public link, protect it with a password and, if necessary, add an expiration date. You can also allow upload to this directory and the ability to download content in one archive.

The calendar. Classic with the division into separate calendars, groups and all other goodies.

Contacts. Import in standard formats, editing. It seems there is an opportunity to connect to synchronization with Android, as well as calendars instead of Google services, but, unfortunately, I have not tried it.

For those who lack the standard functionality - any plugins, including encryption, RSS and others.

The gallery service provides a simple and convenient interface for viewing a group of images.
Overboard in the review were document editing functions (odt, collaboration, as a replacement for Google Docs) and a number of others. I suggest you try it yourself.

We take our data

Fortunately, Google provides all the features for uploading data in convenient formats. The service is located at this address .

All main sections are available for inclusion in the archive. The standard vcard format is successfully imported into any convenient software, in particular in the same owncloud.

Mail is unloaded in the universal mbox format, which can be fed to the same Mozilla Thunderbird.

Instead of a resume

Maybe it's just an attack of paranoia. Maybe. But every admin knows about the importance of backups and reducing points of potential failure. All good and galaperidolinkoy.

Do not forget that the server becomes a point of failure. There are several options:
1) To score. If the central server dies, then full copies of the files will remain on all clients.
2) Add RAID to increase fault tolerance
3) Geographically distribute server copies. Either a cold backup through the same BTSync, or replication of a KVM container within a ProxMox cluster from several machines .
4) Any other ideas that will increase fault tolerance.

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