Forum Thread

Creating a file server like dropbox?

APhamX 3,611 557 May 16, 2012 at 06:07 PM
So I see all these cloud services from amazon, dropbox and all that and I was thinking wouldn't it be cheaper to make my own? I mean, I have the hardware and the internet for it and my own domain. I saw something like Ubuntu Cloud here [ubuntu.com] and wondered if I can set something up like this.

Are there any software out there that allows a user to do this? I know there are network drives that have software for the drive itself, but what if I have a small raid server on my home network and want to sync it up with other devices.

Why am I doing this you may ask? My friends are starting to go to college this fall and to help them I was thinking if I could provide them with a free alternative to dropbox. Do you guys think this is possible without brain damaging work that will make me kill myself?

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#2
In college I just setup an FTP server that I gave access to a select group of friends. We used it to share quite a bit of stuff. But they all had their own private folders as well.

That would be the easiest thing to do, just install FileZilla Server and allocate folders/drive space.

The other way to do this, could be to setup a Hamachi VPN (or any other) and just do network shares.

Another way is to setup a WebDAV share (not sure on the security for this one). And then you can map the Web drive to different computers.

These are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head.

Not as elegant as Dropbox, but does work pretty well.
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#3
If you want a legitimate "FREE Private Cloud" rather than a rinky-dink wanna-be's....

http://blogs.technet.com/b/chrisa...ogies.aspx

Software Requirements:


If you have a Technet or MSDN subscription you have everything you need. If you do not have a Technet or MSDN subscription you can use free trial software for everything. Just be mindful of the individual timebombs and make note of when things expire. Using the pieces below you should be able to run for 180 days from the day the Host machine OS is installed.

Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 Trial
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 with SP1 Trial
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Trial (get the 64bit version)
Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 with SP1

Hardware Requirements:


Laptop: Lenovo W510 (quad processor + hyper-threading), 16gigs RAM, (1) 7200rpm SATA drive for host operating system, (1) 140gig Solid State Drive for guest VM storage

Pros: Compact, very portable
Cons: Disk I/O and potential CPU bottlenecks decreases performance. This can be mitigated by investing is higher end disk drive and/or a laptop with greater processing capabilities but increases the cost dramatically. Overall a more expensive solution even with lower end components.

Desktop: Quad-processor CPU, 16gigs RAM, (1) 7200rpm for host operating system, (2 or more ) 7200rpm+ SATA drives for guest VM storage (these drives can be striped as RAID-0 for additional performance *or* they can be formatted independently and place guest VM's on separate spindles. For my desktop implementation at home I am using the RAID-0 option)

Pros: Better performance due to disk drive configuration options. Lower cost of desktop PC components make this a less expensive solution even with higher end hardware.
Cons: More of a fixed solution, less portable. Could potentially use an ultra-mini case or small "media center" type case to increase portability, however, desk top components are not designed to be moved around a lot so you are at a higher risk of component failure.

I also *highly recommend* a high capacity dedicated external storage device for backup up configurations along the way. The entirety of this private cloud configuration is relatively simple but the overall process is time consuming. The more frequently you backup/snapshot at key stages the less likely you will be to spend rebuilding from scratch.


How to set it all up Word document...

https://skydrive.live.com/redir.a...4&authkey=!
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Last edited by boltman2007 May 16, 2012 at 07:10 PM
#4
Thanks for the great information didnt even know it exised other than on my iphone... little green usually leave to my DH or DS...
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#5
Quote from mestizo122 View Post :
In college I just setup an FTP server that I gave access to a select group of friends. We used it to share quite a bit of stuff. But they all had their own private folders as well.

That would be the easiest thing to do, just install FileZilla Server and allocate folders/drive space.

The other way to do this, could be to setup a Hamachi VPN (or any other) and just do network shares.

Another way is to setup a WebDAV share (not sure on the security for this one). And then you can map the Web drive to different computers.

These are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head.

Not as elegant as Dropbox, but does work pretty well.
I'm doing this for myself, however for my non tech savvy friend's it may be hard for them. Maybe I can map my FTP to a network drive and setup a sync/backup with a folder on the comp to a folder on the network drive. Like dropbox?
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#6
Quote from boltman2007 View Post :
If you want a legitimate "FREE Private Cloud" rather than a rinky-dink wanna-be's....

http://blogs.technet.com/b/chrisa...ogies.aspx

Software Requirements:


If you have a Technet or MSDN subscription you have everything you need. If you do not have a Technet or MSDN subscription you can use free trial software for everything. Just be mindful of the individual timebombs and make note of when things expire. Using the pieces below you should be able to run for 180 days from the day the Host machine OS is installed.

Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 Trial
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 with SP1 Trial
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Trial (get the 64bit version)
Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 with SP1

Hardware Requirements:


Laptop: Lenovo W510 (quad processor + hyper-threading), 16gigs RAM, (1) 7200rpm SATA drive for host operating system, (1) 140gig Solid State Drive for guest VM storage

Pros: Compact, very portable
Cons: Disk I/O and potential CPU bottlenecks decreases performance. This can be mitigated by investing is higher end disk drive and/or a laptop with greater processing capabilities but increases the cost dramatically. Overall a more expensive solution even with lower end components.

Desktop: Quad-processor CPU, 16gigs RAM, (1) 7200rpm for host operating system, (2 or more ) 7200rpm+ SATA drives for guest VM storage (these drives can be striped as RAID-0 for additional performance *or* they can be formatted independently and place guest VM's on separate spindles. For my desktop implementation at home I am using the RAID-0 option)

Pros: Better performance due to disk drive configuration options. Lower cost of desktop PC components make this a less expensive solution even with higher end hardware.
Cons: More of a fixed solution, less portable. Could potentially use an ultra-mini case or small "media center" type case to increase portability, however, desk top components are not designed to be moved around a lot so you are at a higher risk of component failure.

I also *highly recommend* a high capacity dedicated external storage device for backup up configurations along the way. The entirety of this private cloud configuration is relatively simple but the overall process is time consuming. The more frequently you backup/snapshot at key stages the less likely you will be to spend rebuilding from scratch.


How to set it all up Word document...

https://skydrive.live.com/redir.a...4&authkey=!
That's quite a LARGE requirement, though I already meet it. Then again I'm going to have a private FTP with no more than 2 people accessing it at once. Though I'd like to see a free alternative. Thanks anyways!
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#7
take a look at openstack.org also trystack.org
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#8
I don't think you understand what cloud storage is. A single server and a single network connection does not make a cloud. It doesn't help that some companies market their products as cloud devices when they aren't. It sounds like you just want centralized private storage. Pogoplug [pogoplug.com]is a cheap cloud alternative.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clou...chitecture
Quote :
Cloud storage is:[2]

made up of many distributed resources, but still acts as one
highly fault tolerant through redundancy and distribution of data
highly durable through the creation of versioned copies
typically eventually consistent with regard to data replicas
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#9
Quote from flea View Post :
I don't think you understand what cloud storage is. A single server and a single network connection does not make a cloud. It doesn't help that some companies market their products as cloud devices when they aren't. It sounds like you just want centralized private storage. Pogoplug [pogoplug.com]is a cheap cloud alternative.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clou...chitecture
Well yea that's what I meant. Though I see deals on pogoplug I see a lot of criticism on it. I want the storage to be made readily available to some people and have it sync with files in certain folders on their computer like dropbox. However, I think it maybe easier to setup an FTP on my network and attempt to map the drives on my home network server as a network drive on other people's computers. Then have a backup software that will sync their folders to my home file server.
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#10
Quote from APhamX View Post :
Well yea that's what I meant. Though I see deals on pogoplug I see a lot of criticism on it. I want the storage to be made readily available to some people and have it sync with files in certain folders on their computer like dropbox. However, I think it maybe easier to setup an FTP on my network and attempt to map the drives on my home network server as a network drive on other people's computers. Then have a backup software that will sync their folders to my home file server.
pogoplug with arch linux plus hamachi, samba, and several USB external storage devices is what I have working for me right now. If the criticism you saw were all about the official software for pogoplug, then I never had the problem since I replaced the software with arch linux since day one. Samba is more than enough for file sharing and user authentication purposes. Hamachi VPN network enables people to access the shares on pogoplug from anywhere just like they are on the same LAN.

Total cost for the above setup would be money for the hardware (pogoplug + external hard drives + power) and your time for setting everything up (from file sharing, VPN to automatic scheduled backup), which IMO is well worth it if you can figure how to get it to work the way you want.

I hardly use FTP protocol though I do keep tftp and vsftpd packages on my system just in case I need them for software testing (ex. web-ftp interface and the like).

To have the content management functionality of a cloud storage there are also freeware options I found working on pogoplug+arch. However it might be too slow(according to my own notes) to have everything on the same pogo unit. Drupal + mysql work but slow, a couple of photo galleries work well (ex. SPGM) but other are too heavy (ex. gallery 3). I am looking forward to migrate everything to Rasp. Pi once they figure out all the bugs.

I've tried MS solution (sharepoint foundation + 2008R2 Server). It's nasty. It requires tons of money for hardware and software licenses and the database doesn't seem to have the ability to control itself from resource hogging. The total cost of ownership is simply not acceptable for personal/friend use.

A low powered X86 compatible PC should be enough for everything above. It's the software and configuration part that takes time and effort but once it's set properly, everything will work out fine.
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Last edited by teetee1 May 16, 2012 at 10:20 PM
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#11
You keep comparing this to Dropbox, so I have to wonder... Why not just use Dropbox? Or Google Drive?

Why reinvent the wheel?
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#12
Quote from FlashX83 View Post :
You keep comparing this to Dropbox, so I have to wonder... Why not just use Dropbox? Or Google Drive?

Why reinvent the wheel?
I think OP doesn't want to spend money for additional storage, considering he said he has the hardware to make his own. That's the way I understand it at least.
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#13
Quote from FlashX83 View Post :
You keep comparing this to Dropbox, so I have to wonder... Why not just use Dropbox? Or Google Drive?

Why reinvent the wheel?
I kind of agree, There are tons of services that do this already, and they all have way more bandwidth, scaleablity, and reliability than a home internet connection will. Most home internet connections are limited by upstream, so anytime friends request a file your limited that way. Another huge benefit of the commercial clients is they are automatic. You put the files in the folder and bang it does the rest. They have apps for all the smartphone clients and some even have API for your smartphone apps to use. The problem with FTP's is security, ISP TOS, Speed, and that they are not automated for your friends. Your fiends would also need to be a little savy to login to an FTP from say a school lab computer to get a file or upload a file, where it is super easy to login to a website like dropbox, drive, skydrive, etc and get/dump files there. I understand the want to help friends save money, but I think you would be better off saving them money in helping them buy a laptop from SD, fixing their computers, etc vs becoming a host from your house.
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#14
Uh yeah, came here to post the same. Use Dropbox or Box.net or one of the existing ones. Although there is $$ involved, it'll be faster, more reliable & WAY less of a hassle to set up.
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#15
Quote from Jeffbx View Post :
Uh yeah, came here to post the same. Use Dropbox or Box.net or one of the existing ones. Although there is $$ involved, it'll be faster, more reliable & WAY less of a hassle to set up.
I would also add that most people I know who use dropbox for school, etc don't pay for it. 2gb is more then plenty for word documents and pdfs for most people. There are services that offer more than 2gb as well for free. If you are looking for a entire hard drive backup program there are good commercial solutions that are reasonably priced and well worth it for the automatic backup they offer the first time you need something like it.
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