Last year I decided to test Nextcloud on a Raspberry Pi II. Before this installation, I had gained experience with ownCloud on the Raspberry Pi. However, I found the setup of the webserver, database and in-memory cache and message broker complicated.
As a solution, I found NextCloudPi. NextCloudPi provides virtual machines and docker images. A docker imager hast the following advantages:
- The container image contains Nextcloud, web server, database, and cache server in one container instance.
- NextCloudPi provides an administration console for setup and backup of all servers.
During the first year, the installation runs very robustly on an IoT computer. Automatically upgrades to higher versions runs, not every time without incidents. Two upgrades failed, so I had to install the system from scratch. A complete fresh installation needs up to two hours. As good news, NextClouPi does not lose any data.
In conclusion, it is a beautiful maker project for IT-Experts, and nerds. The data privacy aspect of the project is very high. Nextcloud provides some security features. In my opinion, it is the best way to run the system on a local network or protect it via Virtual Private Network (VPN). To run such a complicated installation in one container is not state of the art. NextCloudPi is robust, but it is open-source; nobody knows how long it gets maintained.
My first intention was to provide small and medium companies with a standalone cloud solution. From the cost perspective, a customer has to buy a Raspberry Pi for the minimum configuration and run it 24/7. They are maintenance tasks from a minimum of six to ten hours per year. Cloud providers can be cheaper, especially for small businesses. Operating a complex infrastructure is more than hardware and essential operation costs like electricity and internet costs. In the first year, maintenance costs can easily exceed the acquisition costs for small installations.