nextcloud, nextcloudpi, odroid

NextCloudPi Saves the Day

Before I begin, I would like to thank “nacho” and the contributors to NextCloudPi!!!


Summary
After several years of frustration trying to replace my DropBox account, I finally found a simplistic solution with NextCloudPi!!! NextCloudPi was FULLY OPERATIONAL within 24-hours after receiving and assembling the hardware.
The solution needed to bring “the data” in-house. It also needed to be secure for internet use, quick/easy installation, simple to manage, mirror hard drives, and use a static-ip. My budget for the solution was $300, without the hard drives (purchased earlier).
Several solutions were tried / tested from brand names like: Seagate, iOmega/EMC, Asustor, and QNap. After the evaluating the other products, I settled on hardware that was more affordable ($158.92) than most of ‘Off-the-Shelf’ NAS Systems. By using this combination of hardware and software, it has proven to be easier to manage and be more secure.

Evaluated (Table below for more information)
  • Seagate BlackArmor NAS 400
  • Iomega/EMC StorCenter ix2-200, Cloud Edition NAS
  • Asustor AS3204T NAS
  • ReadyCloud on Netgear R7800 Router
  • NextCloud on FreeNAS
  • QNAP TS-231P purchase was made out of desperation. Please read the Qnap solution and issues.

The Final Solution
ODRIOD XU4
ODRIOD CloudShell2
Hardware:

Software:

Story
I’ve been trying to replace my Dropbox account for 2 years. After receiving an email from Dropbox to renew my subscription for April 27th, 2018, I decided to cancel the subscription. The cost savings ($99) would help fund some of the hardware needed for the replacement solution.
I stumbled on NextCloudPi while researching a problem on NextCloud. Reading the NextCloudPi web-page, I thought it might be the turnkey software solution that I was so desperate for:
  • Easy to install
  • NextCloudPi Web Panel – management (GUI)
  • Static IP
  • NextCloud 13.0.4
  • PHP 7+
  • Use of the NextCloud ‘Data’ directory outside of the NextCloud File Structure
  • fail2ban
  • Security audits (it was going to be on the internet)
On June 18th, an order was placed an , and misc items. They arrived on Wednesday. Assembly was easy with the CloudShell2 Case, 2 x 2TB HDDs and the XU4Q. Downloaded the newest NextCloudPi image and Etcher (to write the image to the micro SD Card). Ran Etcher to install the image on the micro SD. Placed the micro SD into the XU4Q and powered it on. Watching the console, the boot went FLAWLESS. This was the first good news in several months!
CloudShell2 Note: Do NOT Upgrade the firmware!!!

Ideas tested and tried
Many ideas were tested and tried over the last several years. But, as time went on, they failed to produce any trust-worthy products that could be placed on the internet.
Product
Reason(s) Not Selected
Netgear R7800 Router with ReadyCLOUD
At time of testing, not all of my clients could connect
ASUSTOR AS3204T Quad-disk NAS (had)
  • NextCloud
  • Linux Center
  • VirtualBox
  • AiData
NextCloud was too old, PHP was too old
Linux Center wouldn’t use Static IP
Virtualbox – couldn’t get OS Installed properly
AiData is for mobile devices, not desktop/laptop
Purchased QNAP TS-231P NAS
  • NextCloud
  • QSync / QFile
  • Virtualization of Linux / NextCloud
Only support Owncloud, not NextCloud
Found issues with Qsync deleting data (forums)
Qfile is for mobile devices only
VM – Device didn’t have enough memory (1GB)
FreeNAS Server (used Primary Storage Server)
  • NextCloud Plugin
  • VM Linux & Install NextCloud
NextCloud Plugin was too old, PHP was outdated
Canceled because of concerns of hacking:
  • Main storage server (don’t want on internet)
  • felt best to use separate system
Other Cloud Storage Providers
Analyzed, but decided against it:
Still costs money for amount of space required
Doesn’t bring data back to inside the house

Qnap solution and issues
The QNAP was configured and running with Qsync Central and CloudLink. The client apps were installed on a MacBook Pro (Qsync), iPhone 8 (Qfile), iPad mini 4 (Qfile), iPad Air 2 (Qfile), Windows 10 Dell Laptop (Qsync), and a Windows 10 Quad-Core Desktop (Qsync). Everything ran fine for about two weeks when the Qsync on the MacBook stopped sync’ing. The app was stopped and restarted with no avail. Then, the app was shutdown (exited). Still not working. So, as a last resort, the MacBook was rebooted. Qsync worked for awhile, then stopped again. The research on the web resulted in an article in the forums (https://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=101672&hilit=qsync+mac). Realizing that the article is fairly old, it didn’t bother me at first. But, as the research continued, more information started appearing about Qsync. Once again, the risk was too high in my mind. QNAP only has Owncloud so I couldn’t use NextCloud. It only has 1GB Ram so VM was out of the question in my mind. As a result, the QNAP was shutdown. Anybody want to purchased a 3-month old QNAP NAS??? Just kidding.

2 Comments on “NextCloudPi Saves the Day

  1. I have a little different story for more or less the same reasons to migrate to nextcloud.
    Stumbled on nextcloudpi today and found the docker image, which I am trying right now on my QNAP 😉
    Perhaps this allows me to migrate my nextcloud installed on a old laptop with ubuntu 16 on it and lots of tinkering already in place, to something more hazzle free and stable.

    if this story could be interesting for your blog, just inform me, I can provide you some text 😉

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