ownCloud service

We’d like to bring the ownCloud service to the attention of the research community. It is an exciting new feature that is part of the data storage suite that ICT offers to campus.

The software allows you to use part of your Cabinet disk storage as a facility for sharing data. Cabinet is mounted on many systems as a “home directory” to store your work files in a secure, backed up environment. Associated ownCloud client software also permits you to synchronise the ownCloud directory on Cabinet to another computer or handheld device. (Android and iOS applications are available through the service page. Computer clients are available at the ownCloud main site for Windows, MacOS and Linux.) The default quota on cabinet has been increased to 50GB to accommodate the extra demands expected for this service.

There are a number of potential uses for this service.

As an example, I use the service to share large files with colleagues who are not on campus. (Or even if they are on campus – this past week, I used it to send a video file of how to install a software package to a colleague in ICT.) Sharing is configured through the web interface, and allows you to send a link to a file or directory to a colleague. I recommend that you protect any shared data with a password. I do not synchronise these files as they would take considerable time and bandwidth to transfer. This could be a concern for mobile handhelds or laptops on slow connections.

On the other hand, small files (e.g. that paper you’re currently preparing) that you wish to have available to you anywhere could be easily accommodated through the synchronisation clients. You can have access to documents that you are working on through your desktop on campus, your laptop at home or your mobile device.

Help for this service is available through the ICT Help Desk.

The ownCloud community that develops the software for the service is an open source group. It has been under development for exactly 5 years this month.

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