Nextcloud is clearly the # 1 private cloud solution!
About 1 year ago we launched our “Veera-Cloud-Portal”, since then we have been constantly expanding. Now Nextcloud is playing an increasingly important role within our Veera-Cloud. Below is a short report on our experiences with Nextcloud.
In summary: Nextcloud is very simple, flexible, expandable, stable but very cheap. Nextcloud is suitable for both private and corporate cloud solutions, with almost no no upper limits on users and possibilities to expand.
I’m will stick to the most important aspects of Nextcloud, otherwise I’d have to write a book.
The Nextcloud installation was very simple and unspectacular. Nextcloud can be installed on various platforms, the system requirements are very moderate, as with most Linux systems.
For private and small companies Nextcloud can be operated as an independent application. For example, on a inexpensive NAS like QNAP, or on an existing PC / Server hardware, or on a Virtual Machine. The effort for installation and basic configuration is limited to about 2 to 4 hours. If desired, dozens of additional functions can be activated later on. Integration into more complex corporate networks with centralized user and authorization control, like Microsoft ActiveDirectory or other LDAP-based user management, or connections to other applications, etc. takes a little longer, but all this is usually easy to implement too.
We decided to integrate our Nextcloud into our UCS domain system and additionally connect to an OnlyOffice server for online editing and collaboration of documents. Gradually we discovered more features and implemented them with enthusiasm.
Sync: First, Nextcloud served us only to sync data on different devices. We use Windows PCs, Apple Laptops, Linux workstations and different smartphones / tablets with Android and iOS. Thanks to the respective clients, this worked without problems. We use also different browsers, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE, etc with success.
Sharing: At the same time we discovered the simple sharing feature of individual files, or complete folders with internal and external partners. This greatly facilitates collaboration with partners and working in teams.
External Storage: Nextcloud makes it easy to include more external storage without duplicating the data. For example, local or network drives, as well as various other cloud storage such as from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc can be incorporated via FTP, SFTP, CIFS, WebDAV, etc.
Encryption: All or even selected files can be encrypted. This is particularly interesting when integrating external storage. Because even external administrators at Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. have no insight into your data. This can also be automated and implemented with many options. For example, when a document is tagged “private”, it is automatically encrypted or can no longer be shared, or just for specific groups, etc …
Collaboration: Through the integration of “OnlyOffice” directly in Nextcloud via browser Office files, (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.) can be edited online. Simultaneous editing with multiple users is possible. OnlyOffice is one of the best Microsoft Office alternatives.
Notes: With the “Carnet” app, you can easily create and manage notes, and to-do lists. These notes, like everything in Nextcloud, can be shared with others. As well as being edited in different ways and options.
Talk: With the Talk App, you get you own private “chat/voice/video/share screen app.” It allows you to communicate securely with other users. Even with external partner who don’t have an Nextcloud account. Just send a link and lets start talking.
Groupware: With Groupware Nextcloud is extended by a web-mail client incl. address management and calendar. You can integrate several accounts and of course with internal and external shearing possibility. All inclusive…
Audio Player: One of the newest applications, an audio player with many features that are constantly being expanded. We’re about to test it, looks promising …
Deck: A Kanban board to organize project tasks and collaborate effectively in teams.
App Store: There are dozens more, extensions that make Nextcloud even better. An overview is available at: Apps.Nextcloud