Is it paranoia when the hackers really are out to get you and your cloud-based data? I don't think so. And, neither does Nextcloud, the new open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud company. So, Nextcloud, in partnership with Canonical and WDLabs, a division of Western Digital, has released the Nextcloud Box.
The Nextcloud Box is a secure, private, self-hosted cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) platform. It makes hosting a personal cloud simple and cost effective whilst maintaining a secure private environment that can be expanded with additional features via apps.
The Nextcloud Box consists of a WDLabs's 1 TB USB3 hard drive powered by a Raspberry Pi 2 computer. It uses Snappy Ubuntu Core as its operating system on a microSD card. The mini server comes ready to run with the Apache web server, MySQL, and the latest Nextcloud 10.
It's not just a standalone cloud server. Nextcloud empowers users to sync and share their data while remaining in control and accessing and collaborating through a range of devices and platforms. These range from browsers and mobile phones to desktops and laptops. The federation capabilities make it possible to share between users on different Nextcloud servers, participating in and creating a network beyond the single device.
The per-configured, easy-to-use platform handles file storage and syncing. It requires no maintenance and enables users to install more functionality through apps like Spreed, video-conferencing; OpenHab, open-source home automation, and Collabora Online, a cloud-based version of the LibreOffice office suite.
There will be more. Frank Karlitschek, Nextcloud's founder, said, "The Snappy technology from Canonical enables users to add more functionality, turning this into a true IoT hub in their home." Ubuntu Core enables the device to act as an extensible IoT gateway at home. You can add functionality to it and control other devices and connect to them while keeping the user secure through automatic, unattended updates.
"We have always believed that collaboration brings out the best in communities and companies alike," said Jane Silber, Canonical's CEO, in a statement. "Together with WDLabs and Nextcloud we are able to bring the first Ubuntu Core-enabled device, as an app-enabled IoT gateway, to the market and to people's homes."
I've already set up my Nextcloud box and I'm impressed. If you want more resources than a Raspberry Pi 2 can provide for you, you can always download and install Nextcloud and run it on your own Linux-powered servers.