Adam Bien's Weblog

Tuesday Apr 16, 2013

The Raise Of Anti-Cloud Devices

Transporter [amazon.com] feels almost like dropbox, but is a physical device you have to plug somewhere into your network. Folders on your machine are going to be synchronized automatically with the transporter. You can choose whether you would like to keep a local copy or access the remote files directly.

You can even keep multiple transporters, which synchronize the data in P2P fashion.

The main difference to dropbox is the data location. Transporter is you device and your data is stored on a replaceable hard disk and your own private cloud.

About four years ago, I wondered Will Moores Law Kill Public Clouds?. There are still public clouds out there :-), but cheap hardware and technologies like KVM, VMWare, or XEN bundled with automation, make a private cloud interesting.

The only caveat of private clouds is power and bandwidth. Because of higher density, centralized computing is more efficient, than decentralized devices. However, Transporter is a low power device and could be competitive with commercial, public cloud storage offerings.

No idea, whether Transporter uses Java somewhere, or not :-)


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Comments:

Looks neat. I would like to see what software is on that thing. I just finished setting up my own private cloud based on the ownCloud software (owncloud.org - PHP-based). It offers sync options with all major operating systems.

So now I suddently have something useful to do with my 6 TB NAS box ... :)

Posted by Martin K on April 16, 2013 at 01:08 PM CEST #

If you want to protect your privacy, SpiderOak.com is a great cloud storage service. They cannot decrypt your data even if they wanted to, and have clients for Mac, Windows, Debian, Red Hat, Ubuntu, etc. It can be used for nightly server backups or like dropbox.

Another way to protect privacy is to use StartPage.com as your search engine. They are a front end to Google that uses HTTPS, doesn't put your search terms in URL parameters (viewable in history), doesn't log your searches or IP, and are focused on protecting privacy.

I think privacy concerns will be mainstream in 5 years. Google is the anti-privacy.

Posted by Guest on April 16, 2013 at 09:37 PM CEST #

Also check out OX App Suite 7, an open source, web based groupware/CardDAV/CalDAV system written in Java. You can use it with your existing mail server infrastructure (such as postfix/exim/dovecot/courier) and ditch gmail.

Posted by Guest on April 16, 2013 at 09:41 PM CEST #

Adam - Thanks for the kind words on Transporter.

Regarding software, it is Linux-based and currently using FUSE.

The folks here seem pretty technical and are likely capable of building their own private cloud. The key difference with Transporter - as you point out - is the ability to easily create a P2P network of devices. There is no other turnkey technology out there today that allows this kind of functionality.

Not sure if you do reviews, but we'd be happy to get you a unit if to look at if interested.

Regards,
Jim Sherhart
Connected Data

Posted by Jim Sherhart on April 22, 2013 at 10:14 PM CEST #

@Guest,

OX App Suite 7 is actually interesting. Will look at that--thanks for the link!

adam

Posted by Adam Bien on April 25, 2013 at 12:36 PM CEST #

@Jim,

thanks for responding. I bought Transporter first, then wrote the post--works good so far (several thousand documents are shared). But thanks for offering me the unit :-).

Btw. I'm maintaining my own infrastructure, hardware and software (e.g. this blog is running on my machine with software adjusted to my needs) so I easily could built my own file sharing infrastructure, but I didn't :-) Reason: Transporter provides a similar experience to Dropbox (copies are synced). This is a lot harder to implement from scratch. Also there is a working iOS client as well. Nothing is perfect yet, but I'm hoping you guys are still improving things :-)

And: Transporter is small, consumes little power, and looks great. So I'm using transporter as add-on.

What interests me: do you have a public API? I would like to play with it,

thanks!,

adam

Posted by Adam Bien on April 25, 2013 at 12:43 PM CEST #

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