Canonical today announced that they are shutting down their Ubuntu One file storage service. The services being discontinued are file storage, music store and music sync – other services that are offered by U1 will continue to exist. The landscape has changed a lot lately with Dropbox, Google and Copy getting really aggressive with pricing and storage space.
Canonical just couldn’t compete with these players especially when cloud storage never was Canonical’s prime business. One thing I never understand about cloud storage, and that’s why I keep my data on my local hard-drive or on my server with rsync being my best friend, is that the moment you use service from a proprietary company you lose ‘ownership’ and computing of the data. Yesterday there was a story that Dropbox checks content in your folder and blocks files which might have been pirated. It’s more or less like DHL or UPS opens every box that you send to see what you are sending. I don’t get it that’s why I use any such service other than sending big files to friends and families.
However, I do use cloud services – but it’s the one that I own and run. It’s called ownCloud which originated in Germany as a project and has now evolved as a US based corporation which have raised over million in funding.
Why ownCloud and what Ubuntu One has to do with it?
ownCloud is an open source project, so you can study the code, just like any other free software project whether it be WordPress or Drupal. You can install ownCloud on your own server, you can choose a provider which is outside the USA and is not very NSA friendly. You own your very cloud just the way you own any site that you run. If you don’t want to deal with running your own server then you can choose ownCloud recommend providers and get it as SaaS.
Now what has Ubuntu One to do with it?
If you are an Ubuntu One file storage user, you must know that you data will be deleted on July 31 so you have 3-4 months to download or migrate your data to a different service. As the Lubuntu folks expressed their annoyance:
Ubuntu One is about to close. Canonical can’t continue offering this service anymore. This is really annoying to all of us, who trusted in their (excellent, by the way) service, the high transfer ratio and the space. But for this blog this can be awful, because all the links in this site are pointing to files hosted in this service, and now I have to migrate all of them.
They are not alone, there are many such users who were using Ubuntu One in such a manner and these users need a solution. Users can very easily move their data to ownCloud and stay within the free software world instead of having to go to a proprietary provider.
App developers can also use ownCloud to add more functionality to it and make it much more than just a close storage service – it already offers many services including music, video, contact sync and online document collaboration.
So, the best cloud is to own that you own; time to migrate to ownCloud.