The cloud by the name indicates something which is very huge and present over a large area. Going by the name, in a technical field, Cloud is something that is virtual and provides services to end-users in the form of storage, hosting of apps or virtualizing any physical space. Nowadays, Cloud computing is used by small as well as large organizations for data storage or providing customers with its advantages which are listed above.
Mainly, three types of Services come associated with Cloud which are: SaaS (Software as a Service) for allowing users to access other publically available clouds of large organizations for storing their data like Gmail, PaaS (Platform as a Service) for hosting of apps or software on Others public cloud ex: Google App Engine which hosts apps of users, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) for virtualizing any physical machine and availing it to customers to make them get feel of a real machine.
Cloud Storage means storage of data away from users’ local systems and across the span of dedicated servers which are meant for this. At its earliest, CompuServe in 1983 offered its customers 128k of disk space which could be used to store files. Whereas this field is under active development and will be because of potential threats including loss of data or information, data hacking or masquerading and other attacks, many organizations have come forward with their own solutions to Cloud Storage and Data Privacy which is strengthening and stabilizing its future.
In this article, we will present some of the selected contributions for this concern which are open source and successfully being accepted by huge masses and big organizations.
OwnCloud employs WebDav server for remote access and can integrate with a large number of Databases including SQLite, MariaDB, MySQL, Oracle Database, PostgreSQL.
Provides a large number of features countable of which include: File storage and encryption, Music Streaming, content sharing across URLs, Mozilla sync hosting and RSS/Atom feed reader, one-click app installation, Video, and PDF viewer and many more.
The latest version of ownCloud i.e. 10 adds on other new features including improved design, allows admin to notify users and set retention limits on files in the trash.
Nextcloud is an open-source suite of client-server applications for creating and using file hosting services. The software is available for everyone from the individual to large enterprises to install and operate the application by their private server device.
With Nextcloud you can share multiple files and folders on your system and sync them with your nextcloud server. The functionality is similar to the Dropbox, but it offers on-premises file storage hosting with strong security, compliance, and flexibility in synchronization and sharing solution to the server that you control.
Seafile is another file hosting software system that exploits open source property to avail its users with all advantages they expect from a good cloud storage software system. It is written in C, Python with the latest stable release being 7.0.2.
Seafile provides desktop clients for Windows, Linux, and OS X and mobile clients for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Along with a community edition released under General Public License, it also has a professional edition released under a commercial license that provides extra features not supported in community edition i.e. user logging and text search.
Since it got open sourced in July 2012, it started gaining international attention. Its main features are syncing and sharing with the main focus on data safety.
Other features of Seafile which have made it common in many universities like University Mainz, University HU Berlin, and University Strasbourg and also among other thousands of people worldwide are online file editing, differential sync to minimize the bandwidth required, client-side encryption to secure client data.
Earlier known by the name AjaXplorer, Pydio is a freeware aiming to provide file hosting, sharing and syncing. As a project, it was initiated in 2009 by Charles du jeu and since 2010, it is on all NAS equipment’s supplied by LaCie.
In itself, Pydio is just a core that runs on a web server and can be accessed through any browser. Its integrated WebDAV interface makes it ideal for online file management and SSL/TLS encryption makes transmission channels encrypted securing the data and ensuring its privacy.
Other features that come with this software are text editor with syntax highlighting, audio and video playback, integration of Amazon, S3, FTP or MySQL Databases, image editor, file or folder sharing even through public URL’s.
Ceph was initially started by Sage Well for his doctoral dissertation, and in fall 2007 he continued on this project full time and expanded the development team. In April 2014, Red Hat brought its development in-house. Till now 14 releases of Ceph have been released and the latest version is 14.2.4. Ceph is a distributed cluster written in C++ and Perl and highly scalable and freely available.
Data can be populated in Ceph as a block device, a file or in form Object through RADOS gateway which can present support for Amazon S3 and Openstack Swift API. Apart from being secure in terms of data, Scalable and reliable, other features provided by Ceph are:
- network file system which aims for high performance and large data storage.
- compatibility with VM clients.
- allowance of partial/complete reads/ writes.
- object level mappings.
Syncany is one of the lightest and open-source cloud storage and file-sharing application. It is currently being actively developed by Philipp C. Heckel and as of today, is available as a command-line tool and GUI for all supported platforms.
One of the most important features about Syncany is that it is a tool and requires you to bring in your own storage, which can be FTP or SFTP storage, WebDAV or Samba Shares, Amazon S3 buckets, etc.
Other features which make it an awesome tool to have are: 128-bit AES+Twofish/GCM encryption for all the data leaving the local machine, file-sharing support with which you can share your files with your friends, offsite storage as chosen by user instead of provider-based storage, interval-based or on-demand backups, binary compatible file versioning, local deduplication of files. It can be more advantageous for companies who want to use their own storage space rather than trusting some providers provided storage.
Not just a file-sharing or synchronization tool or software, Cozy is bundled as a complete package of functions that can help you build your complete App Engine.
Like Syncany, Cozy provides flexibility to the user in terms of storage space. You can either use your own personal storage or trust the Cozy team’s servers. It relies on some open source software for its complete functioning which is: CouchDB for Database storage and Whoosh for indexing. It is available for all platforms including smartphones.
Main features which make it a must to have Cloud storage software are: ability to store all the Contacts, Files, Calendar, etc in the Cloud and sync them between laptop and smartphone, provides ability to use to create his own apps and share them with other users by just sharing Git URL of the repository, hosting static websites or HTML5 video game consoles.
GlusterFS is a network-attached file storage system. Initially, started by Gluster Inc., this project is now under Red Hat Inc. After their purchase of Gluster Inc in 2011. Red Hat integrated Gluster FS with their Red Hat Storage Server changing its name to Red Hat Gluster Storage.
It is available for platforms including Linux, OS X, NetBSD and OpenSolaris with some of its parts licensed under GPLv3 while others dual-licensed under GPLv2. It has been used as a foundation for academic research.
GlusterFS uses a client-server model with servers being deployed as storage bricks. A client can connect to a server with custom protocol over TCP/IP, Infiniband or SDP and store files to the GlusterFs server. Various functionalities being employed by it over the files are file-based mirroring and replication, file-based stripping, load balancing, scheduling and disk caching to name a few.
Another very useful feature of it is that it is flexible i.e. data here is stored on native file systems like xfs, ext4, etc.
Git-annex is another file synchronization service developed by Joey Hess, which also aims to solve file sharing and synchronization problems but independent of any commercial service or central server. It is written in Haskell and available for Linux, Android, OS X, and Windows.
Git-annex manages the git repository of the user without storing the session into git again. But instead, it stores only the linking to the file in the git repository and manages the files associated with the link at a separate place. It ensures the duplicate of a file that is needed in case the recovery of lost information is required.
Further, it ensures the availability of file data instantly as and when required which prevents files to present on each system. This reduces a lot of memory overhead. Notably, git-annex is available on various Linux distributions including Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, etc.
Yandex.Disk is a cloud storage and synchronization service for all major platforms including Linux, Windows, OS X, Android, iOS and Windows Phone. It allows users to synchronize data between different devices and share them with others online.
Various features provided by Yandex.Disk to its users is the built-in flash player that lets people preview songs, sharing of files with others by sharing download links, synchronization of files between different devices of the same user, unlimited storage, WebDAV support allowing easy management of files by any application supporting WebDAV protocol.
XigmaNAS is an open-source powerful and customizable storage NAS (meaning Network-Attached Storage) operating system based on FreeBSD, built for sharing computer data storage over a computer network. It can be installed on virtually any hardware platform and supports the sharing of data across Linux and other Unix-like operating systems, Windows as well as Mac OS.
Some of its features include support for ZFS v5000, software RAID (0,1,5), disk encryption, S.M.A.R.T / email reports and much more. It supports multiple network protocols including CIFS/SMB (Samba), Active Directory Domain Controller (Samba), FTP, NFS, RSYNC among others.
Yunohost is a free and open-source lightweight, reliable and secure self-hosting operating system based on Debian GNU/Linux. It simplifies server administration by offering a friendly web interface for you to administrate your server.
It allows for management of user accounts (via LDAP) and domain names, supports creation and restoration of backups, comes with a full email stack (Postfix, Dovecot, Rspamd, DKIM) and an instant messaging server. Besides, it supports security tools such as yunohost-firewall and fail2ban, and management of SSL certificates.
Sandstorm is an open-source self-host web-based productivity suite designed to run easily and securely open source web applications either on your own private server or on community-run servers. It supports file storage and sharing with others using Davros, a chat app, mailbox, a task and project management app, document editing feature and many others.
Each application you install in the Sandstorm is containerized in its own secure sandbox from which it cannot communicate to the world without express permission. And importantly, Sandstorm supports a secure operation model which makes it easy to adhere to security, regulatory, and data privacy requirements. It is built for individuals, businesses, and developers.
Syncthing is an open-source, simple yet powerful and portable private and secure continuous file synchronization tool that synchronizes files between two or more hosts in real-time. It works on Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, FreeBSD, Solaris, and OpenBSD.
All communication via Syncthing is encrypted (secured using TLS) and every device is identified by a strong cryptographic certificate to ensure secure authentication. You can set-up and monitor Syncthing operations via a powerful and responsive user interface(UI) accessible via a web browser.
Tonido is a private and secure cloud storage service that supports file access, synchronization and sharing for home and business use. It runs on Linux, Windows, Mac and all major mobile phones and tablets including iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone. Besides, it works on Raspberry Pi.
It allows you to access, share files from your computer at home. Business users can employ it to organize, search, share, sync, backup, and govern enterprise documents to your employees, customers, and clients. Also, it supports ultra-fast, high-performance media organization and access from anywhere.
Cloud Storage Server is an open-source, secure, extensible, self-hosted cloud storage API for building your own private cloud storage solution. It is a self-contained tool therefore you do not need to install a separate web server or enterprise database engine and is designed to be relatively easy to integrate into your environment.
The underlying server software implements a complete file system similar to Amazon Cloud Drive and other providers. It supports file-based cloud storage operations such as folder hierarchy management, file upload/download, copy, move, rename, trash and restore, delete and more. It also features per-user quota management, and per-user daily network transfer limits and so much more.
These are some known Open Source Cloud storage and synchronization software which have either gained a lot of popularity over the years or have just been able to enter and make their mark in this industry with a long way to go. You can share any software that you or your organization might be using and we will be listing that with this list.