Your private cloud storage with OwnCloud

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owncloud-logoThanks to the advent of Cloud Computing we have several services aimed at storing files online. For instance, we could mention DropBox or Google’s Drive.

These services allow you to store any type of files remotely and access them on the road, wherever and whenever as long as you have an Internet connection.

However, sometimes we would like to have those files stored on our private server. OwnCloud is the answer to that, and with City Cloud it couldn’t have been easier to have it running in a few minutes. Read on to know how.

OwnCloud

OwnCloud (4.0.7) is a great software application that lets you keep your files in one remote place, provided you already have a dedicated server. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, OwnCloud has a great web front-end that allows you to visualize pictures, listen to audio files, organize yourself using a built-in calendar and even have version control for documents.

It’s also possible to have different users with their own space limitations. Since you are the administrator, you can decide who gets in and how much they use. All it takes is a username and a password.

Another way to use OwnCloud is to install a sync client, which is basically a small application that you setup on your computer and tell which folder should keep up-to-date. Best of all, there are clients for Windows, Linux and Macintosh.

Instructions

We just created an Image with OwnCloud ready to go. Images are just pre-defined templates with an operating system and sometimes, such as this case, with something extra.

If you don’t have an account with us, worry not, it’s really simple. Once you have registered or if you already have an account, go ahead and create a server. Make sure you choose the image named “OwnCloud”, you can start off with a small profile and then scale up from there.

Important: First thing you’ll have to do is get into the server via SSH, using a client like Putty for instance, and change the default password of the admin user. The default credentials are written on the Virtual Machine description. The process is straightforward and the system will automatically ask you for a new password. Please note that after you have set up the password, your terminal will automatically close and that’s completely normal.

Wait a few minutes and once you have the server, go to the details tab and locate the IP public address. Finally, go to this address on your preferred browser: http://[replace_with_you_ip_address]/owncloud.

As you can see on the image above, all you have to do is complete the admin username and password. Make sure you choose a complex password, we wouldn’t want anyone poking at our private files.

And that’s it, you will immediately access the web front-end.

To do a quick test, click on the white arrow and select a small file from your computer, preferably an image. You will see a progress bar on the top right side and then if you go to “Pictures” you will be able to see it.

From now on, you can upload all kind of files, the only limit is the space available but for starters, all servers come with 20 GB which is plenty to begin with.

Further down the road

What follows? Well, as we mentioned you could have a sync client installed and drop files in that folder, that will be uploaded transparently if you are connected to the Internet. Be careful though, if you delete a local file it will also be deleted on the server, as OwnCloud explicitly states on their website, this is true synchronization.

Next stop should be having a domain name instead of the IP address. You can do that in our trusty control panel, if you have any doubts about that, don’t hesitate to contact us.

You can also share any of the files with your friends, users inside your OwnCloud private instance or simply others with a public link. And you can browse different types of files directly in the browser. To see a full list of features, here.

Finally and eventually if you start using it a lot, you will probably need to add a bigger hard drive to store more files but that can done with relative ease.

Conclusions

As you can see, this was pretty easy to accomplish. You should have now your very own private storage of files, readily available to be synchronized and accessed at your will.

There are plenty of uses for this kind of scenario, from storing sensitive information to having all of your photos and audio in one place.

As we are accustomed with City Cloud, the choice ends up being up to you.