Alternative to Dropbox in Canada


One of the more common things we find running on Cloud-A these days is a great little App called OwnCloud. It’s a free Open Source project that offers a similar solution for document management as can be found with Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, iCloud, or Microsoft’s One Drive with the added benefit that you get to decide where your data is stored.

Similar to Dropbox, Owncloud is used by thousands of people often at work and for personal use. With OwnCloud & Cloud-A you get the same features of Dropbox including advanced admin controls, all the space you need, AND your Data is not subject to the patriot act.

Here we’ve made a practical 4 step guide to getting started:

  1. Determine if you are a DIY (Do It Yourself’) kinda person or if you should consider working with one of our trusted partners to help you get things setup. DIY isn’t for everyone and for a reasonable fee you can find atrusted partner who will be more than happy to setup Owncloud for you or your business.
  2. All set? Ok, so now you’ve got to setup the business end of the application that will be running in the Canadian Cloud. Owncloud can be run on either Windows or Linux  so you need to determine what version you are most comfortable with. Here is a tutorial on how to configure Owncloud on Windows. If you prefer to install the Linux version you can see how that’s done here.
  3. (OPTIONAL) Most people will want to use the more cost effective cloud storage option we have at Cloud-A (that costs only $0.075/GB/month !!!) so we’ve written a step by step guide for those who want to configure Swift Cloud Storage on Cloud-A.
  4. Setting up the Owncloud Desktop Client is easy, the step by step guide is here:

That’s it, now you are all set to use Owncloud as an alternative to Dropbox where you data is in Canada. Of course you will likely want to install the Owncloud mobile App to access your files on your iPhone, Ipad, orAndroid devices as well.

Installing ownCloud Desktop Client

Installing ownCloud Desktop Client

If you have been following our blog you will know that we have recently published two posts on ownCloud. The first, “Deploying ownCloud on Cloud-A” was a tutorial on how to install and configure ownCloud on a Windows 2008 R2 instance on Cloud-A and the second titled: “ownCloud: Infinite Expandability with Cloud-A’s Bulk Storage” was how to expand your ownCloud deployment with our bulk storage powered by Swift. Today we are going to show you how to install the ownCloud desktop client for OSX and Windows Server 2008 R2 (instructions will be the same for Windows 7.)


Download and Install Desktop Client

You will need to download the appropriate ownCloud desktop client from Once your download has completed, run the installer for the ownCloud desktop client.

Authenticate to your ownCloud Server

Upon completion of the installation you will need to authenticate to your ownCloud server with the correct IP address.


Next, you will need to authenticate with your ownCloud credentials.


Configure Settings

At this point you can choose your folder syncing preferences. Depending on your preference, you can choose from syncing everything from your ownCloud server or just specific files and folders.


Much like Dropbox, ownCloud will create a cloud-syncing local drive on your desktop. An ownCloud folder shortcut will appear in the top menu bar as well as your Favorites under in Finder. In Windows, an ownCloud folder shortcut will appear in the tray as well as your Favorites under in My Computer.

Next Steps

At this point in our ownCloud blog series you have learned how to create an ownCloud server on a Cloud-A Windows instance, expand the storage space with Bulk Storage and configure desktop clients. To take it one step further and enable your users for mobility you can download and configure mobile apps for iOS and Android.


ownCloud: Infinite Expandability with Cloud-A’s Bulk Storage


We previously published a blog post on creating an ownCloud server on Cloud-A’s public cloud, but we would like to build upon that and show just how expandable and agile a Cloud-A hosted ownCloud deployment can be by introducing bulk storage.

By leveraging our Bulk Storage powered by Swift, users can expand the size of their ownCloud deployment very quickly and inexpensively to facilitate growth. Unlike a hardware deployment, where you would purchase drive space up front to account for future growth, a Cloud-A deployment will allow an organization to scale their storage as needed on a pay-as-you-go utility model.

Getting Started

We will begin with the assumption that you already have an ownCloud deployment running on Cloud-A with administrator access to the program.

Create an Object Storage Container

From your Cloud-A dashboard, select “Storage” and then “Containers.” Select “New Container,” and name the new container.

Configure External Storage in ownCloud

ownCloud comes prepackaged with external storage support, but the functionality must be enabled in the “apps” dashboard of your ownCloud instance.  In the “apps” dashboard select “External storage support” on the left-hand side bar and enable it.

This will populate an External Storage section in your ownCloud Admin panel. Select “OpenStack Object Storage” from the “External Storage” dropdown menu and fill enter the following credentials:

Folder Name: Name your storage mount point.

User: Your Cloud-A username (your email address)

Bucket : The name of your Cloud-A container

Region: “regionOne”

Key: Your Cloud-A username

Tenant: your email address

Password: Your Cloud-A password

Service_name: “swift”


Timeout: Timeout of HTTP requests in seconds (optional)

If you have correctly input the information above and ownCloud accepts that information, a green dot will appear to the left of the folder name.

Validate External Storage

To further validate the access to the new external storage, go back to the main ownCloud screen by clicking the ownCloud logo in the top left corner, and select external storage. You should see your newly created ownCloud folder which points to your Cloud-A object storage powered by Swift.

Next Steps

Adding additional external object storage to your Cloud-A hosted ownCloud instance sets you free from the traditional limitations of hardware, allowing you to scale on demand. This is an ideal solution for any growing company looking to have control of their own data, but also have that data stored securely in Canada.

Stay tuned for the next post in our ownCloud series.