Make your own cloud

wiredzero talks you through how to set up your own cloud storage on Linux but , as he says, you can set it up on any operating system. If you want something which is already done for you , then you need to be looking at CNET’s video and if you want a Raspberry Pi project then AvoidErrors has a video about setting up cloud storage using a Raspberry Pi.

Cloud storage has become a bit of a thing because we do have large amounts of data , especially in media files and we want to be able to access them when we want to. We also are getting to the point where our smartphones are becoming overloaded with data files and we need to rethink our storage. Personal or third party cloud storage is then an option provided you have internet access. Pocket drives are the option if you don’t. You cannot always connect a pocket drive to a smart phone , though. Most people would need a laptop so cloud storage is back on the menu of options.

People want to be able to use their own files and their own media in particular. We are closer to the day where we shall only have digital media files and no hard copies of anything. Creating a personal cloud still means you are using a service from somewhere . You need to understand how you can benefit from cloud services or what they offer so you can decide whether it is for you. Cloudwards gives you a detailed run down on the free services available. With the wiredzero video you are making your own virtual server to store your media so that you are in control of your media storage.

It’s not Google Docs – it’s Google Drive!


I shall not call it Google Docs. I shall not call it Google Docs. I shall not call it Google Docs. How did I miss that one? It’s only been a year since Google Docs became Google Drive, or at least, integrated into Google Drive. Had it not been for the recent email from makeuseof, I’d still be wandering in ignorance. That link has some good tips about how to get the best use out of Google Drive for research. To me , they were two separate things. Google Drive was cloud storage and Google Docs was … Google Docs. I just thought it looked nicer. I confess I was a bit nonplussed when my MacBook decided to send a Powerpoint presentation to someone by using Google Drive instead of as an attachment. That was in GMail. As it turned out it was quicker to put the said Powerpoint onto a USB drive and take it to the person’s office. By the time I got back, Google Drive had sent me the link to include in my email. All this was without explanation or by your leave. Google just did it. Google might have thought it was being helpful but had no idea I had no idea. Makeuseof has straightened me out. So watch the video and then go to the Google Drive support site where you will find another really good video and some helpful information. You, too, will now stop calling it Google Docs. This is why we need teachers on the Net. They don’t let you make fundamental errors in process.

Cloud computing – yes or no?

clouds Image : Web weather for kids As we transition into a real technological society we constantly have to question the changes and look at the advantages and disadvantages for us all. Down the track it will be decided and resolved. In the meantime we have to discuss and debate. Right now we have our head in the clouds. We constantly come back to cloud computing. It’s hardly cool to be talking about server farm storage so cloud computing has a nice ring about it which can be quite appealing. There are things to consider, though, and they need to be considered. There are a lot of “itties” when it comes to server farm storage.

Security : The server probably won’t be in your country. Is that a problem if your files are stored there? They are on the internet. Is that a security risk to your files? Many are wondering about the safety of their files.

Compatibility : Will the cloud storage software and set up suit your own hardware and software? Will there be issues with some files not being able to be opened or stored? Will the cloud computing set up be safe to run in your environment?

Financial viability : Is it going to cost too much if you store a lot of data? Will your data then become unavailable because it is in the cloud and you cannot pay for it? Is it cost effective compared with how we store things on DVDs, hard drives, external drives, flash drives. How does it compare if you pay for cloud storage compared with what we do now? There are plenty of places which offer modest free storage. Will that be enough?

Responsibility : What happens if something goes wrong with your cloud applications? What happens if you pay for apps and you can only use them if you are online. This has been an eye opener for many. They pay to rent something which is only available online when they thought they had purchased an application they could use anywhere any time. Who is responsible for explaining that to the general public? What if your online storage isn’t functioning properly and you can’t seem to access support? This would be a real issue for classroom teachers.

Availability : Will the servers go down? What if there is an outage? What if you cannot access the internet? What if the files go missing or become corrupt? Will the storage always be there when you want it to be?

So then we come to scalability. Organisations are going to have to make bigger decisions than individuals. One of the advantages is scalability when it comes to cloud computing. You can have as much or as little storage as you wish and so accommodate storage needs without rewiring, renetworking ,repurchasing hardware, recycling, replacing. In that sense it is very attractive. The other great advantage is mobility. People can access cloud storage from anywhere and at anytime – assuming the world is perfect.

I use some cloud storage. I have written about how I came to use Dropbox and basically it is about getting files around easily and ensuring I have my must haves backed up. Our education department site has storage too but it needs to be increased to make it viable and that would be an issue for the department in terms of all the itties I have discussed. My itties are fairly easily resolved. I still back up files elsewhere and need to because no one way of storing is totally fail safe . Cloud computing has its place but for large amounts of storage we do have to consider the issues carefully.

Meanwhile, take a look at the Web Weather for Kids site where I got the picture. It’s a nice teaching site.

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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