ownCloud on Docker + CentOS 7

Docker-shippingLooking for a Canadian-based Dropbox alternative that’s also easy to setup and manage? Look no further. Using the power of Docker as well as Cloud Brewery’s open-source docrane project, we’re going to create a self-healing ownCloud installation, that’s also easy to patch and upgrade. In this tutorial, we’re going to be using CentOS 7 as our Docker host, however you can adapt these instructions for any other Linux distro.

To get started, let’s grab and install Docker:

curl https://get.docker.com | bash
usermod -a -G docker centos

That may take a few minutes to complete. This might be a good time to grab a coffee.

Next up, we’re going to install docrane (and it’s dependencies):

easy_install pip 
yum install -y git libffi-devel gcc python-devel
git clone https://github.com/CloudBrewery/docrane.git
cd docrane && pip install -r requirements.txt && python setup.py install

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WordPress Backups for Beginners and Advanced Users

Backup MemeWe all know that backing up data is important. Whether it’s a corporate Windows file server, or our treasured family photos, we make sure that we can recover our data in the case of a hardware failure. Oddly enough, most folks tend to skip over their website data when considering their backup strategy.

Although WordPress is the most used CMS in the world, many users still struggle to find a good backup solution. Thankfully, using a combination of Cloud-A’s Bulk Storage and the popular Updraft Plus WordPress Backups plugin, automatically backing up and restoring your website is extremely easy and cost effective. This makes it an ideal solution for WordPress users of any skill level.

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A Weekend in Waterloo

codefestA couple of weekends ago Cloud-A headed to Waterloo, Canada’s tech mecca, to sponsor and judge the city’s first ever open data hackathon: the Waterloo Codefest. Waterloo is a city where we have several users and hanging out in Waterloo for the weekend gave us the opportunity to meet with some of these existing users, gain feedback and better understand exactly what our users are looking for in a cloud provider.

The Hackathon

Waterloo Codefest was a 36 hour hackathon that was held at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a beautiful venue that provided the amenities and comfort to dozens of programmers, designers and business minded participants.

I had the opportunity to judge the event and spent the weekend with the participants, watching them take their ideas and turn them into fully functional applications that make use of Waterloo’s open data sets.

Nearly 20 applications were presented, where participants had 5 minutes to present and demo their concept to satisfy the criteria that was set out for the event:

  • Technicality
  • Originality
  • How unique and innovative is the demo?
  • Practicality
  • How useful is this demo based on the problem they are trying to solve? Issues/problems that were identified by the public on Open City Hall.
  • Aesthetics
  • How good is the visual design and interaction experience?
  • Wow Factor
  • Are you blown away by what you see?

In the end, Timber, an application that plotted the location free within Waterloo on a map and allowing users to become more connected with nature, report damaged trees to the municipality and schedule “Treetups” – public meetups at a tree of your choice, was the winner. The group  included uWaterloo Computer Science student George Utsin and high school students John Fish and Alex Foley.

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Waterloo Codefest Special Offer

All new signups from the Kitchener-Waterloo are will receive $50 account credit during the hours of Codefest (3)In celebration of this upcoming weekend’s Waterloo Codefest, we are offering $50 credit to new signups from Kitchener/Waterloo during the 36 hour hackathon. We are hoping that the Waterloo Codefest will inspire some innovation and we would like to think that this credit can give some runway to develop the bright ideas that come out of the weekend.

If you haven’t heard, Cloud-A is proudly sponsoring Waterloo Codefest and our very own Geoff Sullivan will be attending and judging the event.

About Waterloo Codefest

When: This 36-hour hackathon will take place Oct. 24 and 25, 2015

Where: Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), 67 Erb St., West, Waterloo

The hackathon will begin at 7 a.m. on Oct. 24 and end at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25, after which there will be an awards ceremony for the top three applications developed.

How do I register?

Register online using Dev Post.

Participation is free; sign up either by yourself or with a team of up to four members.

For more information on Waterloo Codefest check out the following links:

City of Waterloo – Waterloo Codefest

Waterloo Codefest Devpost page


Cloud Object Storage Survey

Copy of cloud66 webinar graphic (1)

Hello Bulk Storage users! Our partner CloudBerry Lab is offering a free license of their CloudBerry Explorer PRO to any Cloud-A Bulk Storage user who fills out the 9 questions in the link below. Please note that this data will be shared with CloudBerry Lab for market research purposes, so take this into consideration prior to submitting your responses.

We will be submitting responses to CloudBerry Lab at the end of everyday and they will be sending out the licenses to your email address.

This offer expires October 27th, 2015

Take the Survey!


Data Residency, Sovereignty and the Safe Harbor Sham

This past Tuesday it was announced that the American ‘Safe Harbor’ compliance has been ruled invalid by the EU’s highest courts – a ruling that is unappealable. Safe Harbor was the standard for data privacy in the US as well as Europe, but was shot down after it was proven that European data stored by American companies could be accessed and surveilled by spy agencies like the NSA.

This is the second high profile, precedent setting case where data residency has been a majorly concerning subject matter. Last year, Microsoft was ordered to hand over data residing in an Irish data centre. It was determined in court that US cloud computing companies, like Microsoft Google and Amazon Web Services, must turn over private information when served with a valid search warrant from US law enforcement agencies, even if that data resides in data centres outside of the US.

We feel that this is an extremely relevant piece of news for our customer base considering that many of our users have data residency concerns.

Here are two main considerations for keeping your data out of reach of wondering eyes:

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Announcing Cloud-A Managed Security Services

Managed-Security-Services1-396x196A few months back we released our Web Application Security Survey and were amazed at the amount of participation we had – it was the single greatest amount of feedback we have ever received at one time, which helped us realize that security is a very important topic for our users that has been unaddressed. From this data we were able to determine two main things. Either developers:

A) Don’t have confidence in their own security measures and procedures

B) Don’t have the time to spend implementing security best practises

While we were not entirely surprised with the results of the survey, it helped us realize that there was a gap in our user’s understanding of the Cloud-A security partnership model, and there was a gap in our offering to help our users better secure their environments on Cloud-A.

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Hadoop <3's Bulk Storage

We have touched on Hadoop before in our blog, first announcing our partnership with Hortonworks, back in February of 2014, and more recently on our Big Data Solutions Page. Hadoop is a powerful open source framework that allows for the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using simple programming models, making it an excellent Big Data tool. Hadoop can benefit from the operational efficiencies of Cloud-A’s elastic, API driven infrastructure-as-a-service – and it is a growing use case among our users.

There are many aspects of our compute that lend themselves to successful Hadoop deployments on Cloud-A, like our Big Data High Memory® and Big Data High Compute® instance flavours that provide the scale and power for the biggest jobs, but there are other elements of Cloud-A infrastructure-a-service that make it an ideal host for Hadoop Big Data solutions.

Let’s take a look at how you can leverage Cloud-A Bulk Storage, our object storage product, as a reliable, scalable and cost-effective Big Data repository for your Hadoop platform.

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Our eBook Review of “Migrating to Cloud Native Application Architectures”

We like to think of ourselves as thought leaders in the cloud space, but sometimes some people have already said it best. This is certainly the case with the eBook “Migrating to Cloud Native Application Architectures” written by Matt Stine of Pivotal.

The 51 page eBook, introduces and outlines the concept of modern application architecture that is “cloud aware,” and enables organizations to ship better, faster and more robust software.

The book is organized into three parts, The Rise of Cloud-Native, Changes Needed and the Migration Cookbook. The first section of the book explains the “why” of migrating to cloud-native architectures, as well as the unique characteristics of cloud-native application architectures. The section introduces new concepts and buzzwords like the Twelve-Factor App and Microservices utilizing Containerization, which we have covered in in detail on our own blog.

The “Changes Needed” section of the book discussed the required cultural, organizational and technical changes required to adopt this new methodology of application architecture. The section introduces the importance of moving from siloed IT resources to a DevOps methodology to enhance communication and collaboration through software development, quality assurance, database administration, system administration, IT operations, release management and project management. Stine also explains the importance of embracing a Continuous Delivery model to ship better software more efficiently.

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Introducing the Bulk Storage Content Delivery Network

worldYou may or may not have noticed that we have quietly launched brand new functionality to our Bulk Storage product. We are very happy to announce that you can now access your Bulk Storage files faster than ever before with the public BETA launch of our new Bulk Storage Content Delivery Network (CDN.)

Our Cloud CDN technology was built from the ground up to deliver your content most efficiently from anywhere. Bulk Storage content served through the blkstr.ca network is propagated intelligently to edge nodes for blazing fast downloads of media, large static files, or dynamic content.

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