Beginner: Managed vs. Non-Managed installations


I’m trying to figure out if I could use Nextcloud to replace my Dropbox/Google Drive/Synology Cloud solution.

To start with I try to understand the advantages and disadvantages of various ways to install and host Nextcloud:

  • Managed Hosting vs. Non-Managed Installation:
    In my understanding a managed hosting gives me the comfort of not having to install Nextlcloud on a server. Also the provider (hopefully) takes care about updating and in some cases backing up my Nextcloud installation and data. A managed installation may not allow me to install and run all applications. For example running full-text search with elastic search or OCR is not supported by all managed offerings since this requires additional applications to be installed on the server.
    On the other hand, a self-installed or hosted Nextcloud will give me all the freedom to add whatever extension I like but I have to manage updates, backups etc. on my own.

  • On-premise or at home vs. hosted server
    If I decide to manage the Nextcloud instance on my own I then can choose between hosting using a provider and hosting “at home”. In the latter case, I have the most control over where my data is stored and may save some money (e.g. if I already own a dedicated server at home) but of course I will require a good internet connection. There will also be some additional effort to backup and secure the server.

Does this summarize the different options correctly?

Thanks and a Happy New Year,

Your summary looks good. I’m not sure about the full text search, if that is an issues with all Nextcloud hosters. And backup is a tricky thing, unless you test and verify your backup, you can’t really rely on. And worst case the provider could always say “oups, something went wrong …”.
Self-installed means also that you have to invest some time to learn how manage your system, it is not extremely difficult but it’s not automatic either.

At home, you can start slowly. First learn a bit how such a system works before exposing everything to public internet. The barriers to start are very low, take a virtual machine, a cheap ARM device and you can start. Domestic internet connections can be a bit slow, but they are usually sufficient at the beginning. You can always migrate your setup to a dedicated or virtual server in a datacenter. ARM devices can later pull data for backup from the large server.

That’s what I’m also leaning to in the meantime. Since I have a dedicated server and (NAS) storage at home that sounds like an interesting solution. Also I would have to think about a good backup strategy including an external location.
Is Nextcloud able to created (encrypted) backups. Or is this something I would do from the OS level?

What do you mean by that?

There are so many OS tools for that, NextcloudPi has already prepared scripts for backup. With tools like rsnapshot (based on rsync) you can as well do incremental backups.

It means that the backup server connects to the Nextcloud server and gets the backups. If your system is compromised, they can’t easily destroy your backup system.

Not all Managed Nextcloud Hoster make a Backup.

Easy explanation: Managed Nextcloud is like Dropbox. In your own installation you have a free hand and must find yourself a solution even for problems.

Perfectly clear…

My 2 cents advice:

I 've been running a own “private” ( 17 users )nextcloud server at hom. Luckily, i have ftth from the isp ( 10G/400MB).
My specs are:

  • home made server based on a A8-6500 with 8 HDD in a raid 60 (32TO/ Debian based/PHP7.2/MariaDB…

When working from home, my SFP+ 10G loop is absolutly perfect.

When working from anywhere else, it is dropbox like. The few apps i used like the social-login google APP is absolutly perfect !

There is still a few things on the dark side:

  • every update is a russian roulette game. I am going to destroy everything ??? How long is it going to take. Is it the debian update or the NC update who is about to kill my server…
  • Hardware: i had to invest is some hardware like: Icy-docks HDD-cage, UPS protection, pci sfp+ card, sfp+ 10G packages with cables and injectors,…
  • Hradware: what is that noise, what is that smell, what is the availability of spare parts if something happent …

Do i regret it ??

  • Financialy: NO ( 14 months payout compare to my previous dropboxpro plan )
  • Usability: NO
  • Easyness: Sometimes
  • 365/24/7 operations: NO
  • space and noise: yes and NO ( before moving, the rig-nas was in my living space, now it is in my basement )

Thank you for your recommendation.