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Ask Slashdot: Distributed Online Storage For Families?

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the she-can-live-in-my-spare-room dept.

Data Storage 168

StonyCreekBare writes "What options are available for distributed storage for families? My two brothers, my daughter and her husband, and his mother all have homes in various parts of the country. We use various cloud storage providers to keep our shared data. This has numerous limitations and we are starting to think maybe we can do it better ourselves. We all have decent Internet connections, are all somewhat tech savvy, and think that by leveraging the Internet we can maybe provide for our needs better and at lower cost by buying some hardware and doing it ourselves. How would you go about implementing such a family-oriented, distributed cloud platform? What hardware? What applications, beyond simply the preservation and sharing of family data, (grandkids' photos, home videos, and more) would be good to leverage such a platform? Security Cameras? HTPC? VoIP? Home Automation? Primary requirements are Cheap, Secure, Reliable."

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s3 (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197417)

Amazon S3 with Expandrive

Re:s3 (4, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#46197475)

Amazon with OwnCloud [owncloud.org]

Re:s3 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197697)

ownCloud would be great, if it wasn't an application that looks like it was written in single hardcore coding session one night and then never touched since... I know someone is working on it, from the looks of it, just one someone, but it's like 0.01% done, and it this pace, will take around 75 years to get to 100%

Re:s3 (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#46197869)

Troll.

v6. If you want stability, I can vouch for v4.

The interesting thing... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197785)

Indeed, the interesting thing about using OwnCloud on Amazon is FUCK BETA!

Re:s3 (1)

apraetor (248989) | about 9 months ago | (#46198327)

I don't see Amazon in the list of supported hosting providers.

Owncloud on your shared hosting! (1)

Herve5 (879674) | about 9 months ago | (#46198339)

Why restricting OwnCloud to an Amazon hosting?
Any shared hosting, preferably via an association that you can become part of (and control, and check its costs), will run OwnCloud perfectly well!
Here in Europe I'm running OwnCloud on All2All in Belgium; I'm pretty sure there are many such services in the US
(all2all.org)

Re:Owncloud on your shared hosting! (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#46198385)

Yeah. I run on noname VPS. But Amazon is an easy to do 1-shot for app + storage. I was contrasting to the Closed Source app.

Re:s3 (5, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#46197523)

Commercial, propietary and expensive. Stand up a linux box on EC3, with your storage portal of choice.

ownCloud is open source. If you are a Slashdotter, the time investment should be trivial and the geek/maker factor somewhat exhilarating. 20 bucks a month will blow the doors off of Dropbox pricing for terabyte in the sky. Plus you have a migration/passthrough to Drop, etc.

Re:s3 (2, Interesting)

Immerman (2627577) | about 9 months ago | (#46197637)

But that's not distributed. Power outage at Uncle Jeremiah's while he's on vacation means everybody loses access to all their files until he gets home and fixes it. A fire means everything is lost permanently.

Now if ownCloud allows transparent mirroring between servers at different locations then you're on to something.

Re:s3 (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#46197873)

Backed by AWS? You aren't reading.. :-)

Re:s3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46198381)

Subscribe to a business plan for one of the reliable cloud storage providers. Just be aware unless the service provider offers encrypted storage your files can and will be accessible to the Government. Oh look photographs of children in a bathtub and they're naked. Notify local law enforcement and arrest every male adult in the family.

Not with a bang, but with a Beta. (-1, Offtopic)

emmagsachs (1024119) | about 9 months ago | (#46197429)

What company directs 25% of its users to a partially-working, not-ready-for-production website? Please realize that Beta will not have the features that we want, because it goes against Dice's plans for Slashdot. To their advertisers, Dice presents Slashdot as a "Social Media for B2B Technology" [slashdotmedia.com] platform. B2B - that's the reason Beta looks like a generic wordpress-based news site. A large precentage of the current userbase might be in IT, but /. is most certainly not a B2B site.

Nevertheless, Dice is desperate to make money off of Slashdot, since it has not lived up to their financial expectations, a fact that they have revealed in a press release [diceholdingsinc.com] detailing their performance in 2013:

Slashdot Media was acquired to provide content and services that are important to technology professionals in their everyday work lives and to leverage that reach into the global technology community benefiting user engagement on the Dice.com site. The expected benefits have started to be realized at Dice.com. However, advertising revenue has declined over the past year and there is no improvement expected in the future financial performance of Slashdot Media's underlying advertising business. Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero.

Beta is not a cosmetic change. It is a new design that deliberately ruins the one thing that makes /. what it is today -- the commenting system. There is nothing wrong with Slashdot, from the users' perspective, that demands breaking its foundations. As others have commented, this is an attempt to monetize /. at any any cost [slashdot.org] , and its users be damned. Dice views its users, the ones who create the site [slashdot.org] , as a passive audience. As such, it is interchangeable with its intended B2B crowd. We, the current users of Slashdot, are an obstacle in Dice's way.

That is why they ignore the detailed feedback they have received in the months since they first revealed Beta. That is also why they now disregard our grievances. Their claims of hearing us are a deliberate snow job. It is only pretense, since at the same time they openly admit that Classic will be cancelled soon [slashdot.org] :

"Most importantly, we want you to know that Classic Slashdot isn't going away until we're confident that the new site is ready.

Don't hold your breath waiting for Dice to fix Beta. Their vision of Slashdot is a crippled shadow of the site as it is today. Don't let them pull the wool over your eyes. Dice doesn't need us, and it wants us out.

Slashdice delenda est!

Re:Not with a bang, but with a Beta. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197455)

WE HEAR YOU! We did tell you we wanted feedback. Here's our response [slashdot.org]

Re:Not with a bang, but with a Beta. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197571)

Here's mine: BOYCOTT SLASHDOT FROM FEBRUARY 10 TO FEBRUARY 17

FUCK BETA

25% - what are the odds ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197491)

I keep reading that 25% of /. users are directed to the beta site ... how come I have achieved 100% redirection to beta over the past week with NO classic? hmmmm...

Re:25% - what are the odds ... (0)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 9 months ago | (#46197821)

I'd guess that it set a cookie. You can always click the little link at the bottom of the page.

Re:25% - what are the odds ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46198335)

I keep reading that 25% of /. users are directed to the beta site ... how come I have achieved 100% redirection to beta over the past week with NO classic? hmmmm...

You were one of the "lucky" 25%, is that not obvious?

Re:25% - what are the odds ... (-1, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 9 months ago | (#46198483)

You're a cunt, that's why.

Maybe you're the blithering imbecile who designed it, and coded your personal exception the wrong way round. Could happen to anybody, especially if you're a cunt.

Re:Not with a bang, but with a Beta. (0)

Workaphobia (931620) | about 9 months ago | (#46197519)

What the hell? I don't know what that social media B2B page you linked to is, but how can anyone read something with font so small and a giant, conspicuous, two-second-scrolling hype banner?

Re:Not with a bang, but with a Beta. (0)

emmagsachs (1024119) | about 9 months ago | (#46197581)

There is a reason [slashdotmedia.com] why "News for Nerds, stuff that matters" no longer appears in the header:

Slashdot Media’s brands include Slashdot and SourceForge. These technology sites provide access to tools, software and forums for enterprise IT professionals working in all industries and companies from the world’s largest to small and medium-sized firms. Slashdot and SourceForge harness the power of social that no other tech site can compete with.

Slashdot Media provides its partners with proven integrated media strategies to effectively influence technology buyers. With over 15 years experience working with the largest and most engaged professional technology communities, Slashdot Media’s expert staff continues to contribute to the success of its partners branding, demand generation, and social media marketing programs.

I, for one, abhor our new corporate overlords.

Re:Not with a bang, but with a Beta. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197893)

Basically this is all Tim Lord's doing. Guess he didn't want to just ride herd on Commander Taco's creation, so he's out to make his mark. (http://www.businessinsider.com/check-out-the-sleek-redesign-of-news-for-nerds-site-slashdot-2013-10)
This is from the /. sales pitch that Tim (timothy) Lord made up. (http://slashdotmedia.com/about-slashdot-media/slashdot-org/)
Lots of funny stuff in the slashdotmedia site. I wonder what Tim means by "our network"? (http://slashdotmedia.com/about-slashdot-media/whos-on-our-network/)
I beginning to think that the pushing force behind this new "beta" design is not as much Dice Holdings as it is Tim Lord.
Look Tim, no one comes here for the articles. We can (and do) read them for ourselves from sources such as The Register, TechCrunch, Techdirt, cNet, BBC, NYT, The Independent and dozens of other trade and science journals at least a day or more before they get to /., No we come here for the discourse and that and that alone is what drives the millions of page hits to the site.
Anything that detracts or interferes with that discourse will drive millions of people away. The people that participate in that discourse are not an "audience". They are the existence of the site.
And, oh, Just remember that the people who do drive this discourse pretty much built the Personal Computer business and the Internet and wrote the software that runs them. Do you really want to piss off so many people who have so much power?

Re:Not with a bang, but with a Beta. (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 9 months ago | (#46198505)

I often wondered why SourceForge was a bathtub of babber.

Re:Not with a bang, but with a Beta. (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 9 months ago | (#46198551)

Well there are problems with /. but it has little to do with the look and feel.

Some real problems:

* The mobile site doesn't work on either iOS (Safari) or Android (Chrome, Dolphin, Firefox, etc.), which are the two mobile platforms you need to support. Is it even possible to get to the comments at all on the mobile site? How?
* Unicode support is needed.
* Your editors suck and the news here is not timely and is often wrong. This is a non-technical issue which no amount of software or stylesheet change will fix. This requires that your editors actually do some work - some cursory spell and grammar checking, and some really basic fact checking.
* it is far too easy to lose a post in progress

Some things that are right with the current site:

* The ads are mostly unobtrusive. I have yet to see browser-filling popovers with a really puny (x) or [X] button to click in order to see the content
* the page resizes sanely with the browser window
* the comment box is a reasonable size
* it has an almost-perfect amount of white space - easy to skim and speed read on any screen
* the news category icons are quirky and amateurish. It somehow makes this site and the brand unique
* The moderation system, for all its faults, is one of the best if not the best for this sort of site. Peer moderation is ultimately what made /. what it is.

You're fucking up everything Rob and everyone else involved worked so hard to build and make a success. Stop fucking it up!

Want to make the site better? Fix the mobile site, fire your editors and hire editors who will actually work, and implement unicode since /. readership does extend beyond USA+Canada+UK

LOCKSS (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197435)

You might want to check out LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe). http://www.lockss.org/

Tahoe-LAFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197437)

Tahoe-LAFS

Distributed BETA for families? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197443)

Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet. (Copy-paste the html from here [pastebin.com] so links don't get mangled!)

On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design. Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this [slashdot.org] in a new tab. After seeing that, click here [slashdot.org] to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott [slashdot.org]

Moderators - only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors - only discuss Beta
  http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] - Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

-----=====##### LINKS #####=====-----

Discussion of Beta: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=56395415 [slashdot.org]

Discussion of where to go if Beta goes live: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submission&id=3321441 [slashdot.org]

Alternative Slashdot: http://altslashdot.org [altslashdot.org] (thanks Okian Warrior (537106) [slashdot.org] )

Re:Distributed BETA for families? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197739)

I looked at BETA and this is really what you are so upset about? Really? You guys are pathetic. It is no wonder Dice doesn't listen to you. They have written you guys off. So go away for the next week. Who cares? I can bet money Dice doesn't care.

It depends (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197457)

Many viable technological solutions are rendered useless by PHBs that do not understand what the users actually want. Fuck beta.

Breaking news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197463)

/. goes rogue.

Skydrive (-1, Flamebait)

jamesl (106902) | about 9 months ago | (#46197465)

Primary requirements are Cheap, Secure, Reliable.

Cheap? Free.
Secure? That's up to you but normally, yes.
Reliable? In my experience, yes.

Re:Skydrive (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 9 months ago | (#46197963)

And as a bonus all your content is scanned and censored by microsoft.

Re:Skydrive (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 9 months ago | (#46198071)

What's special about Skydrive? All the cloud storage services are free up to a limited number of Gbs. Skydrive offers 7 gigs free. Copy offers 15 gigs with an extra 5 gigs for each person you refer. Sounds like a better deal to me. Oh, and it's not Microsoft. Even better.

Re:Skydrive (1)

Mashdar (876825) | about 9 months ago | (#46198299)

What is? You only listed attributes... Oh, nevermind, I see you've plaved vital information where I shouldn't have to read.

Re:Skydrive (3, Informative)

StonyCreekBare (540804) | about 9 months ago | (#46198583)

Skydrive is currently the primary cloud service we are using. That is what we're considering an alternative from...

It tolls for thee, Timothy. (0, Offtopic)

emmagsachs (1024119) | about 9 months ago | (#46197471)

Is it just me, or have the "editors" been exceptionally prolific these past two days? The rate they're working, the stories might still be new and relevant by the time they're posted!

Although they try to drown out the criticism, they cannot shut out the death knell of Slashdot.

Re:It tolls for thee, Timothy. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197569)

Superb.

Re:It tolls for thee, Timothy. (2)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 9 months ago | (#46198441)

Even more interesting is how all posts criticizing slashdot beta are being modded down. So many mod points. None in my possession. Wow.

Shitting on the community is time and time again proven to have the worst outcome... why don't people learn?

Re:It tolls for thee, Timothy. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 9 months ago | (#46198539)

It's like when people used to criticise Michael Sims and Retard Prickpole for the utter shite they'd post. Ahh, the good old days...

Reminder (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197473)

It is rude to randomly redirect visitors to beta.slashdot.
Even more so because beta sucks.

Providing a hard to find opt-out, adding /?nobeta=1 to the url, just upgrades the aggravation level from "rude" to "insulting and infuriating".
The only acceptable option is, as always, opt-in.

I guess you need reminding. a lot.

rsync (5, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | about 9 months ago | (#46197479)

What applications, beyond simply the preservation and sharing of family data, (grandkids' photos, home videos, and more) would be good to leverage such a platform? Security Cameras? HTPC? VoIP? Home Automation?

FIRST, you decide on what functionality you want.

THEN you look at how to achieve that functionality within your budget.

I'd use rsync as the cheapest means of replicating data between multiple sites. But once you start adding additional functionality requirements that might change.

Re:rsync -- look at Unison! (5, Interesting)

drstevep (2498222) | about 9 months ago | (#46197641)

Rsync is a one-way synchronization. Check out Unison; it readily performs a bidirectional merge. You might have to do a little compiling, but hey, isn't that what the Family Geek is for?

I've been using Unison to sync a pair of Synology boxes that act as my cloud. (One in my office, one at home, each with a RAID-1 array.) I've also gotten it running on a pair of DLink DNS-323 boxes (yes, also RAID-1'ed). The Synology has cloud software; might be a good choice if you want to invest in a cheap small light unobtrusive (Linux) NFS/cloud/music server/etc box.

Re:rsync -- look at Unison! (3, Informative)

khasim (1285) | about 9 months ago | (#46198105)

I've used rsync to push and to pull so it is bi-directional.

The main difference between rsync and Unison is what happens when file X is altered at the local site AND at the remote site between a single sync interval.

With rsync, one of the altered files will be over-written by the alterations to that file at the other site.

Whether this is a problem or not depends upon your specific situation.

Re:rsync -- look at Unison! (1)

F. Lynx Pardinus (2804961) | about 9 months ago | (#46198155)

I've tried the rsync and Unison solutions. If you have all Windows boxes (2 PCs and 2 laptops for my family), the free Microsoft SyncToy is very user friendly to keep a Documents or a Pictures directory synchronized across multiple boxes.

FreeNAS (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | about 9 months ago | (#46198419)

First, throw a few large disks in a spare PC at each location, install FreeNAS on a USB stick, create a ZFS filesystem. Now you can replicate snapshots between units. Rsync is there if you want it. Owncloud has a plugin you can install.

Easiest answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197495)

FOIA request made to the NSA

It's cheap since you don't have to buy hw, sw or bandwidth. It's secure for the same reason that access to your data might be time-consuming and unreliable.

overthinking it!!! (4, Insightful)

khelix (987576) | about 9 months ago | (#46197503)

has anyone thought of a simple VPN + NAS solution?

Re:overthinking it!!! (3, Insightful)

jcbarlow (166225) | about 9 months ago | (#46197791)

Yes, the first thing you need is a firewall / VPN gateway at each home. IPCop or IPFire and an old PC will do nicely. Then once you have everyone on the same virtual LAN you can all share webcams, NAS boxes or whatever. A cron job that runs rsync at 2AM should keep everything backed up at multiple sites. KISS...

overthinking it!!! (2)

khelix (987576) | about 9 months ago | (#46197939)

I know it is not a fancy or automated solution. But is should provide a cheap solution to most of the functions that the poster wants.

An option (1)

LavouraArcaica (2012798) | about 9 months ago | (#46197507)

I'm using copy.com . It's good, reliable and the price is fine.

BittorrentSync or git-annex (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197529)

Off the top of my head, there's two obvious solutions I can suggest. Bittorrent Sync or git-annex. The former is easymode but limited in scope. The latter comes with a webui for some simple things, but also gives you a *lot* of power from the command line. I've never used either on Windows, but if that matters, Bittorrent Sync is probably the more stable of the two right now for that platform (but improved Windows support is the theme this month for git-annex's crowdfunded development, so it should be improving).

Obligatory FUCK BETA, because seriously... fuck it.

The Dice-man cometh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197539)

On behalf of Dice Holdings, Inc., I'd like to formally welcome the new audience to Slashdice. To the decades old /. community, fuck you.

rainmaker: open source shameless plug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197545)

I'm working on an open source project to bt-sync, its not ready yet though, but bt-sync is. I'd use that for sure.

Try the new Synology that is soon coming out (2)

Sven-Erik (177541) | about 9 months ago | (#46197549)

The next version (beta version released) of the system that runs the Synology NAS will offer synchronizing from one NAS to another. And the available products from Synology are very reliable. I have been using their products for a few years now and is a very satisfied customer.

You can read about this new feature her [synology.com] .

Re:Try the new Synology that is soon coming out (2)

drstevep (2498222) | about 9 months ago | (#46197649)

Damn, and I think of the time I spent setting up Unison between my boxes! :-)

Did you say Beta? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46198177)

I hope people don't mix up the beta you are mentioning and the beta on which I'm writing this now.

We use Synology (1)

IDtheTarget (1055608) | about 9 months ago | (#46197561)

They're a bit expensive and I wish the documentation was better, but I've had some luck with the Synology products. They've got a lot of plug-in software modules, including an Asterisk PBM for VoIP, Cloud Station for folder synchronization, etc.

Make sure that you look at the specifications, if you're wanting encrypted tunnels or encrypted data on the drives, ensure that you buy one with the AES encryption set in hardware.

One more thing: I have had very poor luck with the Seagate drives I originally bought and put in a DS 412+. I replaced them with Western Digital Red NAS drives, and they work much better.

Fuck Classic Slashdot! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197583)

HA!

This is a very good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197585)

I have set up multiple clients to compress then encrypt their database backups and/or logs and then push them from their office site to a drive on a distantly located employees machine at home. Several directors have a CD that contains the decryption keys and instructions for reconstituting the data center from the backups and logs. Data is pushed during off hours. A similar setup can be utilized by your family. Keep two encrypted copies in two locations geographically separated and decryption keys/software on media in a distant location that you can control.. You can then easily recover lost data.. If you can afford raid clusters, to guard against drive failures, all the better.

Many solutions (4, Interesting)

Tynin (634655) | about 9 months ago | (#46197591)

I think I would have each family member that wants to be part of this shared drive do something like:
- each of you buy the biggest HDD available
- setup a ssh tunnel in the form of a circle between each family member, where Alice connects to Bob, Bob connects to Charlie, and Charlie connects to Alice.
- each family member then rsync's to the next family member over, where they would do a full rsync of the shared disk, but do an rsync --delete on directories that belong to themselves, so if they delete / move files around, it makes the needed corrections on other family members shared disks without wasting space.

If you are running Windows, you can setup a scheduled task to at a time in the middle of the night to launch cygwin, open the ssh tunnel, and rsync away. If it is linux, setup a crontab. Initial coordination would need to be done to get everything right, but then it would be very automatable.

I do not suggest trying to setup a distributed filesystem across the internet. There are many pitfalls. Whereas this solution, your only concern is, 1) is ssh up? 2) did rsync run? 3) is the disk full?

Re:Many solutions (3, Interesting)

Compunexus (711717) | about 9 months ago | (#46197985)

Well that works if each house has a Geek. I have reduced the number of "please help" calls I get since I started getting them to use Bittorrent Sync. It works on almost any platform, does multi-way sync, and is as private as you want it. The caveat I found is that if one person deletes something it gets deleted on all. However, there is a settings file for each sync share that can alter that in a variety of ways. The only limit is the amount of storage that is dedicated to the share. Since everyone has a local copy of the files, even connection speed is not a factor.

Re:Many solutions (1)

Tynin (634655) | about 9 months ago | (#46198163)

Cool beans, I'll have to try that out. Thanks!

The NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197593)

I just post stuff to the internet and let them take care of the storage. If I need anything I just submit a FOI request.

Re:The NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197671)

That would have been funny. Last year.

Distributed storage for families (-1, Flamebait)

PCM2 (4486) | about 9 months ago | (#46197599)

When you're talking about consumer storage for families, you need three things: reliable, easy to use, and web-based.

That said, it seems to me what you're looking for is SLASHDOT BETA. It has been designed with ease of use in mind, in fact, a complete idiot could poke around at its big images all day and have a great time, and all the whitespace means you'll never get lost, even if you have a major stroke while using it. It's reliable, because unlike the old Slashdot its daily traffic is almost zero, so you'll never have to worry about slowdowns. And it's web-based, because unlike the old Slashdot it uses lots of HTML5 and JavaScript, so that's how you know it's the web, real modern-like.

On the other hand, if you'd prefer to BOYCOTT SLASHDOT, that starts on Monday, February 10. Make sure you logout on Sunday, so that even if you want to check in to see whether Dice has got the message, Slashdot gets NO TRAFFIC from registered users.

And for all you quislings posting about "whining ACs," my real name is Neil McAllister and I am one of the first 5,000 people to register on Slashdot, which means I have been here for almost 20 years. I am fully in support of the anti-beta effort and I am willing to burn all of my karma to bring you this message.

Re:Distributed storage for families (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197703)

Now get off my lawn!

Block it at the firewall (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197881)

Also, on Sunday, block it at the the firewall for the week. That way you won't accidentally send any traffic their way. The rule in iptables or ufw can be taken back out after it is over.

File Transporter (3, Informative)

Greasy Spoon (2317) | about 9 months ago | (#46197607)

Been looking for the same thing for a while. Finally settled on File Transporter. http://www.filetransporter.com... [filetransporter.com] Now owned by Drobo.

ownCloud Community edition will do nicely (5, Interesting)

passionplay (607862) | about 9 months ago | (#46197615)

Clients for every platform. Server distributions for every platform. Mobile clients too. Runs on HTTPS.

  1. 1. Download the community edition from any of the repositories found on https://owncloud.org/ [owncloud.org]
  2. 2. Install using wizard - if you pick SQLite as the database, there is nothing to install for the database - configure to force SSL connections
  3. 3. Setup your router to forward 443 to the box you've set up
  4. 4. Setup a dyndns or similar IP address (or your own domain name) to said IP address.
  5. 5. Install client (desktop or mobile) and start accessing using https://yourserver-or-ip-addre... [yourserver-or-ip-address] as the URL

I've set up something similar for my family - love it. I've also set up something simliar for our enterprise. No complaints about the regular feature set. Just some of the enterprise level things could do with a little more work.

BitTorrent Sync (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197617)

BitTorrent Sync http://getsync.com/

Your description seems to be the perfect use case for BTSync

Re:BitTorrent Sync (1)

simplypeachy (706253) | about 9 months ago | (#46198127)

Definitely agree here. It's cross-platform and I've put it in place for various use-cases and it hums along nicely, efficiently and effectively. As there's a Linux client it'll also run on a NAS box. No need to hand your data out to a third party nor have any dedicated hardware.

Twenty shillings to the pound. (-1, Offtopic)

emmagsachs (1024119) | about 9 months ago | (#46197623)

There is a reason [slashdotmedia.com] why "News for Nerds, stuff that matters" no longer appears in the header:

Slashdot Media’s brands include Slashdot and SourceForge. These technology sites provide access to tools, software and forums for enterprise IT professionals working in all industries and companies from the world’s largest to small and medium-sized firms. Slashdot and SourceForge harness the power of social that no other tech site can compete with.

Slashdot Media provides its partners with proven integrated media strategies to effectively influence technology buyers. With over 15 years experience working with the largest and most engaged professional technology communities, Slashdot Media’s expert staff continues to contribute to the success of its partners branding, demand generation, and social media marketing programs.

I, for one, abhor our new corporate overlords.

Simple NAS boxes (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197635)

Our family uses simple NAS boxes (Dlink DNS-323, etc.). We put Debian on them and all the boxes use rsync over ssh in the middle of the night to synchronize the data. Pretty much every "family site" has one. They are also useful for private local storage, shared folders, etc. Everyone knows that any file they put in the "backup" folder will be looked after, everything else is just local. Been working okay for 2 years now. Note - this is not RAID, just distributed backups. Way cheaper than commercial offerings.

Git Annex Assistant (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197661)

This is exactly what this product has been designed for.

Joey Hess does a great job.

http://git-annex.branchable.com/design/assistant/

The Red Matrix Solution (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197663)

The Red Matrix. Install your own hub or use a public one. https://libertypod.com

I would love a solution for that. (5, Funny)

aix tom (902140) | about 9 months ago | (#46197669)

Online Storage for Families would be great.

A place where you can store the kids in the cloud while you go on holiday. Or something where you can permanently dump the in-laws without hating to store them at home where they take up valuable space. Something that puts them in deep hibernation would be nice, so that the food cost don't run rampant.

Synology CloudStation (2)

protoporos (900257) | about 9 months ago | (#46197685)

You can buy one or more Synology NAS and sync your files with all devices. Even access them on the go, from mobile/tablet. http://www.synology.com/en-glo... [synology.com] The cost is quite small, you reuse what HDDs you have sitting around, and you only need to do parameterization.

bittorrent sync seems to answer your problem (2)

choadrocker (197577) | about 9 months ago | (#46197759)

bittorrent sync seems to answer your problem. distributed, secure, free, etc.

everybody shares a folder, everybody's got a copy of it

What services again? (2)

SeaFox (739806) | about 9 months ago | (#46197769)

VoIP, Security Cameras, HTPC, Home Automation?

I don't see these as services that should be moved outside your home. VoIP is going to be dependent on a third-party provider to start with. Security cameras are going to need to record to a in-home location due to data amounts, and putting home automation control outside your home sounds like a security risk.

In the end this still sounds like a case of wanting to share files, pictures, and video really, so you'd want the storage to be off-site. You could have your own server put up at a shared data center if you want to own the hardware, but you could get a VPS account and then tweak it as you want instead. If you do the colo solution you do have the bonus of shipping the hardware around the country for the initial (looong) backup before it's installed.

Bitsync (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197771)

Will this work?

http://www.bittorrent.com/sync/get-started

BitTorrent Sync (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197797)

I'm already using it to share family photos back and forth with my sister, brother, and octogenarian grandparents.

Works flawlessly and transparently, has no space limits, and requires no user training beyond setting up a folder.

I'm also using it at an art gallery I volunteer for to sync files between machines at the office and several board members, which allows both collaboration and provides us an automatic file backup.

BitTorrent Sync (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197799)

BitTorrent Sync is an easy to use free file-syncing program.

http://www.bittorrent.com/sync/get-started

Bittorrent Sync + NAS-of-some-kind (5, Informative)

Voyager529 (1363959) | about 9 months ago | (#46197815)

Everyone's fairly tech savvy, right?

1.) Figure out a folder structure that makes sure that everyone's data will be put somewhere and won't accidentally be overwritten by someone else's.
2.) Install BitTorrent Sync on something with a hard drive to hold it. Windows box with a USB hard drive? There's a client. OSX? Client. Ubuntu box? Client. DIY FreeNAS with a RAID-1 in a small case? There's a client. Synology or QNAP box? There's a client, albeit with a little command shell necessary. Hell, those $199 Western Digital Personal Cloud drives can run it.
3.) Create those folders on everyone else's machine, e-mailing around the BT Sync folder keys.
4.) Wait for replication of everyone else's data to your drive, and vice versa - everyone will help everyone else get a copy of the data they don't have.
5.) Profit.

Literally every question answered:
How would you go about implementing such a family-oriented, distributed cloud platform?
See above.

What hardware?
Whatever hardware you have lying around, as long as it has the storage capacity you're looking for, and can permanently stay on. A few suggestions are above, but I'm a bit of a FreeNAS guy myself, especially since you can build a half-decent one with a 2TB RAID-1 for about $400 these days. The WD Cloud Drives are about the cheapest and self-contained route to go, so they may be worth considering if you need more than 3 or 4 of them.

What applications, beyond simply the preservation and sharing of family data, (grandkids' photos, home videos, and more) would be good to leverage such a platform? Security Cameras? HTPC? VoIP? Home Automation?
Well this is the rather perplexing part, because on the one hand you're asking for decentralized storage, and then you ask why you'd use it (VoIP + decentralized storage?!? wtf??). If you need decentralized storage, one should safely be able to assume that that there's already a reason. Having said that, photos would be my first use case, with disaster recovery being the second - Acronis True Image supports backup to FTP/SMB locations, so as long as you can back up to one of them that way, the rest will distribute.

Primary requirements are Cheap, Secure, Reliable."
Cheap? BT Sync is free; you'd need storage regardless. There's 10,001 topics on Slashdot where "the most reliable form of storage" comes up. "How much do you want to spend" is inherently the question, and "Cheap" indicates "not much"...it also doesn't answer exactly how much storage you'll need. Are you undertaking a massive photo album archiving project, or capturing the last 20 years of home videos? a 2TB drive just might cut it, or not. Are you backing up everyone's laptops? 6TB, MAYBE, and single-drive solutions won't cover it anymore...but are you prepared to start forking over $600 a box, along with a weekend of your time (at least) to the cause? Are you doing a roll-your-own Netflix where everyone will add their own CD/DVD rips to the units and then let Plex Media Server work its magic?

Okay, so I lied...one of the underlying questions have been answered: how to get files to the geographically disparate places in the easiest way possible. BT Sync, at the low, low cost of 'free', resolves this. The questions regarding hardware, and how much storage you will need, and what protocols it will need to support, are wholly dependent on how much data will, in total, have to sit on each device. Answer that question, along with the follow-up of "how safe do you really, REALLY need to be?"and then you can start figuring out numbers to go along with it.

Re:Bittorrent Sync + NAS-of-some-kind (1)

emag (4640) | about 9 months ago | (#46198133)

Heh, funny, this is exactly what I'm in the process of doing. Hell, if I can convince my cheapskate friends to pick up NASes, I'd start syncing with them too, especially the friends on the other side of the country from me, for the geographical separation.

Re:Bittorrent Sync + NAS-of-some-kind (1)

itzdandy (183397) | about 9 months ago | (#46198271)

I'm using btsync as well. I have about 20 sites with various synced folders. I have two primary nodes at my office and at my home that have all folders synced, they are essentially where I create all folders. People each get their own folders (actually zfs volumes). I run ubuntu w/ zfs and dedup the storage pool.

When I create a small NAS, I use a refurb computer with ubuntu, zfs even for a single disk (for compression, dedup, snapshots), and samba to share the files at the site.

I use apache w/ webdav and a link for the .zfs/snaphosts directory to a history directory and to once daily snapshots. Can access the files through webdav AND access historical copies..

NAS ? (1)

Archfeld (6757) | about 9 months ago | (#46197905)

WD has a really cool NAS device, if your audience has a bit of tech knowledge it should be easy to get one or even 2 of the devices (backup is great) send them to 2 of your family in geographically diverse locations and presto, private cloud storage for you and the family.
Cnet has a review posted here
http://www.cnet.com/network-st... [cnet.com]

Why not just use dropbox? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46197909)

Seriously. Dropbox is dead simple, which is good for non-savvy family. It just works, handling all the dirty work for you. No tunnels, rsync, no crap like that. The weakest point of Dropbox in my opinion is that any person can delete a file. But Dropbox keeps backups, and you can keep backups yourself of course. It costs money, but in the grand scheme when you consider what you'd have to buy to do it yourself, along with the time it will take, then Dropbox doesn't look all that expensive to me. I pay $200/year for 200 GB. I run a VM at my office, a VM in Azure, a server at home, and two laptops (wife and myself) along with a couple shared folders with family, and it's seamless. I keep mirrored backups on one of my VMs and my server at home, so nothing is going to get lost no matter what computer blows up, or if Dropbox blows up.

Re: Why not just use dropbox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46198009)

Dropbox is NOT distributed. It is centralized.

rent servers and host your own software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46198035)

there's plenty of ways to get server power without going to amazon. I'm gradually becoming an AWS fan from using it at work, but still not for home use and managing your own server wouldn't be centrally located for the family nor worth the trouble. I and some fellow devs use Site5.com. Set up your own server starting at $25 a month. Basically, you get a spot in a data center to do as you please. Simpler than using AWS.

Crashplan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46198095)

Crashplan is what you want. The free version allows you to cross-backup to the other boxes for free.

I'm currently doing this with my brother-in-law; he lives in Oregon and I'm in New Hampshire.

Buy a single high-capacity box and install it at one location and use that if you want an easily combined large storage unit. We used an HP Proliant N40L with 4 x3TB drives; the replacement N54L is even nicer.

This may not be the cheapest... (1)

emag (4640) | about 9 months ago | (#46198117)

This may not be the cheapest solution, but it's what I'm planning to do...

  • Everyone acquires a NAS device (Drobo, Synology, etc) of an appropriate capacity, ideally something that can handle several TB and is expandable.
  • Fill up with 4TB drives.
  • Install BitTorrent Sync [bittorrent.com] , and share out a portion of the NAS.

You can install the client on your desktop, mobile, linux, and freebsd [bittorrent.com] devices, too (you'll want a supported NAS [bittorrent.com] , so something linux-based or FreeNAS or such, unfortunately nothing MIPS-based.

I'm primarily planning on just dropping something (probably a Drobo 5N [drobo.com] ) off at my mom's (she & my step-dad aren't tech savvy), and setting everything up for them, including backups of their PCs to the device, sharing of photos & videos, etc. And then setting up replication of critical, irreplaceable data between their place and mine. On my side, I already have a Synology DS1813+ [synology.com] that I need to set up, first.

The Synology stuff also has the capability to deal with IP Cameras for monitoring (though I suspect that if you just set up a share to dump images to, you won't need a license for it). For streaming, I believe both Drobo & Synology (as well as others) have media servers, so app-enabled TVs, BluRay players, and game consoles should be able to stream appropriate movies and music as needed.

I'm thinking the NAS, my laptop (which I'll also start backups to the NAS, likely NOT shared), my VPS, and my mobile devices (phone, tablet) will all sync, as will my wife's laptop & devices.

Yes, this is probably heavily overdone, but it also avoids putting private data on systems that I don't control, and avoids the commercial cloud providers at the same time. And, not surprisingly, I play a sysadmin for my day job, so this ties in nicely with that, too.

As seen on Usenet: comp.misc (5, Informative)

water-and-sewer (612923) | about 9 months ago | (#46198159)

I've been reading Slashdot since 2000, so going on 14 years now. But I'll be stopping next week in support of the boycott, and maybe after that, if the interface catastrophe called "Beta" goes live.

See you on Usenet at comp.misc where old school commenting is happening: no mods, no karma, no whitespace, and no advertising. Just a lot of old geeks with killfiles and a keyboard.

Uck fay Eta bay!

Pogoplug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46198251)

Is there something wrong with pogoplug? No one seems to have mentioned it yet. They are cheap, you add your own storage and backup to your personal cloud is automatic from android, iOS, macOS and windows (don't know about Linux). Each family household can host their own pogo plug and you can set up automatic sync between them. I've got one at my house and one at my mother's house. My family photos are synced both places and as soon as I take a pic on my phone it uploads to both sites within minutes, automatically.

Family Cloud Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46198305)

The new Mac Pro, with a few Thunderbolt drives & Mavericks Server

vpn (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 months ago | (#46198323)

Just setup your own stuff at home and vpn there. Its yours, its secure and as cheap as you like.

if you care about your family (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46198403)

you won't store your data on the NSA's hard drive, but your own

Try 'SmartOS' from the makers of Node.js (1)

Eyeballs (64172) | about 9 months ago | (#46198443)

You can see it here: http://smartos.org/

This OS allows for ZFS+DTrace+Zones+KVM

In the regards to the original poster, I would use this since the ZFS file system would protect against silent data corruption. And (Zones/KVM) would allow for Virtual Machines to be used as part of the cloud.

I'm actually thing of using this for my dad's photo collection.

Copy.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46198519)

I would say use Copy. It is like Dropbox but created by Barracuda. You get 15 GB for signing up, or 20 GB by using a referral like this https://copy.com?r=EOFh2o

Copy also has fair sharing, so the space is divided by the number of people sharing the folder. So if 2 people are sharing a 2GB folder they are each only charged with 1GB storage (unlike Dropbox which would charge each user with 2GB).

Pogoplug does this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46198529)

Their family plan allows you to have user accounts, and with a device in every location, you have a lot of duplicates if something does go down somewhere.

AeroFS (1)

lyran74 (685550) | about 9 months ago | (#46198591)

AeroFS is like Dropbox without the middleman; they control only credentials, but your content never touches their servers. It's free for up to three users, and $10/month per additional user.
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