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New Project Ideas Thread, Dropbox style client for your own server in EduGeek Projects; I see a lot of users that would like a seamless backup & synchronisation tool. Dropbox offer a service with ...
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    somabc's Avatar
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    Dropbox style client for your own server

    I see a lot of users that would like a seamless backup & synchronisation tool. Dropbox offer a service with 50GB of server space for $99/year. But in any enterprise it is always preferable to have control of possibly sensitive data on your own servers and to run your own backup & retention policy on that data. My idea is essentially similar to the dropbox service except you would be able to backup to your own server rather than pay dropbox to use theirs.

    While Dropbox functions as a storage service, its focus is on synchronization and sharing. Dropbox synchronization uses SSL transfers with AES-256 encryption, and it supports revision history, so files deleted from the Dropbox folder may be recovered from any of the synced computers. Dropbox's version control also helps users know the history of a file they may be currently working on, enabling more than one person to edit and re-post files without complications of losing its previous form. There is no limit to file size for files added via the Dropbox application, but files transferred through the web interface are capped at 350 MB. Dropbox uses Amazon's S3 storage system to store the files.
    How this would work?

    Dropbox creates a shared folder that is automatically replicated between computers that have the client installed and is also uploaded to the 'cloud' so files can be accessed and recovered wherever you are working.

    Users install a client on their computer (Windows/Linux/OSX) this monitors a given folder (such as My Documents or their Home drive). Any files placed here will be indexed and hashed (compared to other files on the server). If the file does not exist on the server it is uploaded to the server then replicated to any other computers the user has installed with the client. There should also be a web interface to enable access to files while at other computers.

    Technology?

    Probably use SVN or GIT for indexing & version control (needs to be automatic)
    Some sort of Scripting with suitable GUI can be used as a client
    Server (Webdav?) with configurable user quota
    Single Instance Storage
    Branding for your School / Workplace throughout
    Emphasis should be on ease of use for the user

    Dropbox - Home - Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subversion_(software)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Git_(software)
    [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Instance_Storage]Single-instance storage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    Dropbox: No-Nonsense Online Storage
    Last edited by somabc; 6th February 2009 at 02:24 AM.

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    Any fresh insight?

    Hi All,

    Just wondering if any new insight had been made into this topic as it is a subject I am recently looking into myself. Any new views/opinions or experiences would be greatly received.

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    this is an fantastic idea. I found drop box useful but the price is steep. Web space is easy to come by so why not host your own dropbox site! If there is an open source my own drop box.

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    App to sync to school

    Nice to see that the thread is gaining support. I was wondering though whether any server/client app exists that is like Dropbox that can be used to drop documents to the file store's within school? Am curious as to try and eliminate the need for memory sticks being brought back and forth and the other document transfer methods and thought Dropbox an excellent way of doing so.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Novell had ifolder but they have dropped that now.

    I think git is the way to go, the major problem is writing a client that will be easy to use. Anyone have good coding skills?

    There are git based backup CLI solutions for Linux.
    eigenclass - A better backup system based on Git
    10 Reasons to Use Git for Research « The Mendicant Bug
    Journey to a backup solution: Git « .square

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XpnKHJAok8"]YouTube - Tech Talk: Linus Torvalds on git[/ame]
    Last edited by somabc; 22nd April 2009 at 01:10 PM.

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    Any ideas about Windows based server/client app?

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    Deltacopy?
    DeltaCopy - Rsync for Windows
    What is DeltaCopy

    In general terms, DeltaCopy is an open source, fast incremental backup program. Let's say you have to backup one file that is 500 MB every night. A normal file copy would copy the entire file even if a few bytes have changed. DeltaCopy, on the other hand, would only copy the part of file that has actually been modified. This reduces the data transfer to just a small fraction of 500 MB saving time and network bandwidth.
    In technical terms, DeltaCopy is a "Windows Friendly" wrapper around the Rsync program, currently maintained by Wayne Davison. "rsync" is primarily designed for Unix/Linux/BSD systems. Although ports are available for Windows, they typically require downloading Cygwin libraries and manual configuration.

    Unlike "rsync", DeltaCopy is a only available for Windows and is tightly integrated with services available only on Microsoft platforms (NT4, XP, 2000 & 2003). Here is a list of features.

    Incremental backup - Copies part of the file that is actually modified
    Task scheduler - Profiles in DeltaCopy can run based on a schedule
    Email notification - Administrators can receive email confirmation on successful as well as failed transfers
    One-click restore - Backed up files can be easily restored.
    Windows friendly environment - No need to manually modify configuration files or play around with command line options.

    If you have an "rsync" daemon running on Linux/Unix/BSD or any other platform, DeltaCopy client will successfully connect to them.
    Last edited by somabc; 22nd April 2009 at 10:11 PM.

  8. Thanks to somabc from:

    mark (31st January 2010)

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    somabc that looks a very interesting link, thank you. I will take a look at that in the next few days. I think it goes back now to your question as to if anyone has any good coding skills? Unfortuantely I don't myself but would love to hear from anyone that does in relation to this project.
    My original thought was whether like Dropbox there could be a server/client app that will perform synchronisation via the internet, but rather than have the document stored in the 'cloud' that is then retrieved it is stored on our internal file servers. Then when the user comes in from outside the school they have access to the document they worked on, as well as similarly a revision history and the other nice features that Dropbox provides.

    Could DeltaCopy do such a thing if you had WebDav set up? It could then authenticate via LDAP as to get the Users home directory.

    Just another thought for the mix.

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    hum... sounds interesting to me. acutally I've got some coding skills (php&python mainly), but I doubt they're enough to code such a thing.

    nevertheless I could provide a server for testing and would of course try to contribute my coding skills

  11. Thanks to JohnPower from:

    scsitsupport (6th May 2009)

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    Appreciation

    John, thank you for taking up the mantle on this as it were. Would be very interesting to see what you are able to come up with.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Canonical (Ubuntu) are now offering their own service in this vein. Here's hoping they release the GPL sourcecode soon!

    https://ubuntuone.com/
    Last edited by somabc; 11th May 2009 at 10:26 PM.

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    And if you can't wait, and have a little money, I got spammed with this Secure Online Data Backup Service, PC & Laptop Backup, London, Cambridge, Essex

    Although, I find their pricing model unsustainable... I would expect an ongoing charge for this, otherwise there's nothing to stop them from going bust in 3 years and cancelling the agreement.
    Although I like the two lines.. "...No extra hidden costs, as many backups and restores as you like!.." and then "...A small monthly payment for your incremental data backups..., so that would be an undisclosed cost not a hidden cost.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Came across this today...

    CrashPlan – Automatic Online Backup >> Support

    Has two options pc-2-pc backup or a paid option to do remote backup to their servers.

    Russ

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    SimpleSi (29th June 2009)

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    We're doing this with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Express and OpenVPN to a 2k3 server in a data centre.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    The best cross platform open source software I have found to do this is Unison.

    Unison

    * Unison runs on both Windows and many flavors of Unix (Solaris, Linux, OS X, etc.) systems. Moreover, Unison works across platforms, allowing you to synchronize a Windows laptop with a Unix server, for example.

    * Unlike simple mirroring or backup utilities, Unison can deal with updates to both replicas of a distributed directory structure. Updates that do not conflict are propagated automatically. Conflicting updates are detected and displayed.

    * Unlike a distributed filesystem, Unison is a user-level program: there is no need to modify the kernel or to have superuser privileges on either host.

    * Unison works between any pair of machines connected to the internet, communicating over either a direct socket link or tunneling over an encrypted ssh connection. It is careful with network bandwidth, and runs well over slow links such as PPP connections. Transfers of small updates to large files are optimized using a compression protocol similar to rsync.

    * Unison is resilient to failure. It is careful to leave the replicas and its own private structures in a sensible state at all times, even in case of abnormal termination or communication failures.

    * Unison has a clear and precise specification.

    * Unison is free; full source code is available under the GNU Public License.

  19. Thanks to somabc from:

    mark (31st January 2010)



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