Nextcloud on a small company

Hello, I want to migrate from G Suite to nextcloud on our small company, currently we only use around 25GB of data. i was thinking about using the yunohost or nextcloudpi on a rpi4 with a 1TB HHD that I have here. I would like opinions about the hardware, the implementation of yunohost, nextcloudpi or something better. The idea is to also selfhost the email and eventually a xmpp server too. Also what would be best practices of back-up? Can a USB pendrive of 128GB be good for back-up?

Hi @jamiron

You could do that but you really shouldn’t. Neither SD cards nor USB pen drives are reliable enough to run a server OS and backups for business purposes on them. And also the performance on the Raspi might not be that good if you want to use things like Nextcloud Office (Collabora) on it with multiple users at the same time.

If you are serious about self-hosting Nextcloud for your business, please buy “real” hardware that offers you a certain degree of redundancy. And do not use something like YunoHost for your business. I would consider virtualizing the various services using something like Proxmox or XCP-ng, and then doing backups of the entire VMs to a separate physical NAS server, so that you are quickly up and running again, even after a complete failure of the main server. Further, all important data should also be stored off site.

Of course I can’t give you any concrete product recommendations here or work out a complete concept, for that btw we would also have to know your requirements more precisely, but your very minimalistic solution literally screams: Outage and data loss :wink:

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well… as you’re here on the (private) user community forum this might not ne the right place to ask such questions.

though there are answers to some of your questions…

this has been discussed up and down here on the forum. 25 users might be too much for a little rpi4. 2-4 would be ok, I’d say.

nextcloudpi (ncp) works really well with an rpi4. (or as a docker or vm on other systems as well)

can’t tell anything about yunohost.

selfhosting email hasn’t anything to do with NC. Afaik it’s possible to selfhost emailsolutions (iredmail, mailcow, etc) but I wouldn’t wanna do it without someone taking care about it on a daily basis
xmpp? shouldn’t be any problem. NC has an app (which even provides your own small server if you’d want that - though it again would slow down your raspi even further). Apart from that it shouldn’t be a problem setting up your own xmpp server… (i bet xmpp forum knows how to do that)
backup? nc23 has a build in backup-app… i haven’t wored with it yet so I dunno. Ncp does automated backups if you want to have that…

Hello,

Few personal opinion,

NextCloud is a CPU resource hungry application. As it is pointed out already by the experienced people above, R-Pi type solutions are good for personal usage with 4/5 users and no heavy concurrent simultaneous user load.

SelfHosted vs Cloud Hosted VPS is a choice between two factors, cost vs technical abilities.

For example, if I am to do it, in case of SelfHosted, I would select an 10th or 11th generation Intel Core i5 computer with at-least 2 HDDs (or SSDs) for RAID setup.

You can cheap out with the Processor / Board / RAM by reusing one of your already available computer from the company, but make sure to buy new discs (HDD or SSD) and make sure to select a computer having at-least Gigabit Ethernet port.

In this self hosted solution, there is upfront cost of setting up the system and then nominal cost of electricity bills.

However, if I am to go for a Cloud Hosting VPS, I may choose services like Digital Ocean or Linode or Vultr or such. Here, you may need at-least a Dual Core VPS and pay out the monthly fee. Personally I may select a VPS with cPanel. cPanel or DirectAdmin type webhost management panel makes it really easy for semi technical users like me to install and manage the services (like NextCloud, eMail Hosting, etc) really easy.

Thanks.

if single digits or low double digits per month matter, OP should stick with Google Workspace. Otherwise, he will almost certainly lose data at some point down the road.

Yes a Raspi is rather too weak for multiple users, and yes a “proper” CPU, a “proper” SSD and enough RAM will give him a better user experience. But that’s only half the battle. When he has his business running on it, reliability and data security are at least as important as performance, if not more. If he spends a whole day rebuilding his system and his last backup is 2 weeks old, he may have lost more money than he can ever recoup through the power bill or using cheap HW. If he only wants to self-host to save a few bucks, he better not do it. That will almost certainly come back to bite him in the a** :wink:

Great idea. Take this raspberry, set up Nextcloud and check out if you like it, if it handles good for you. It’s cheap hardware you already have, and enough to play around.

You will see the performance depends a lot on how you use it. If you have 20 users syncing a calendar, a RPi4 is probably ok. For 25 GB, it depends how many sync at the same time, how many changes are done, …

A working backup is good. For 25 GB of data, 128 GB is enough (you can even keep a history). Depends a bit what you want, a quick restore of the full system. Just to be sure that you have some copy? How old, how fast? If you have 25 GB of data, you could easily make a full backup every week, but would that be enough for you. Keep in mind, that every disk every piece of hardware can fail.

@tflidd Are you serious!? Nextcloud hosted with YunoHost on a Raspberry Pi with backups on a usb key every week for a BUSINESS with multiple users? I give that set up half a year until OP will be back here, beacuse he borked either YunoHost, the backup or both…

I think you can better use a mini server e.g Intel NUC or use a Managed Nextcloud from a provider.

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the latter. Unless he spends some bucks on a NAS with at least some redundancy to put the backups on. Intel NUC + NAS with daily backups is the bare minimum imho. Or at the very least put an SSD to this Raspi, but a seperate Backup device would still be needed. I would recommend at least a 2bay synology for the backups. These are reasonable priced, do not use much power and are very easy to setup including offsite backups. And even more important: They work! :wink:

If a small bussiness and aproximately 25 users going the physical hardware road:

QNAP NAS with the ability to do LXC and then install it in an Ubuntu image. Make sure to have at least 16 GB of ram, and a proper CPU.

If going to use Talk and with all 25 users, go with a TrueNAS mini 32 GB ram instead. it is exspensive as one time acquisition, but you will be very happy and it will work solid for years.
Alternatively find some powerfull used hardware with 32 GB of memory and 1TB SSD in RAID. Run TrueNAS Open Source OS and do the same as above.

Hosting? VPS with the VM image for ease of deploy of everything you needs. Then find solid hosting provider with high speed and high amount of network data.

I said for testing. You need to know if you want to go for something self-hosted and if you want to try the features, the feel and everything. If you want to go for it, you can easily roll out on a larger hardware. If you don’t like it, you didn’t waste any money.

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Ah ok, sorry. Should have read your post more carefully.

But I just don’t have a good feeling when someone mentions YunoHost, Raspi (probably with an SD-CARD), 128 GB USB Key for backups and Business in the same sentence. :wink:

Okay I follow that logic and supports that approach. Just be aware that the exsperience will be clunky because of hardware limitations and not giving the right exsperience if going with a proper solution.

I personally would go for a proper NAS, but I think for most people a VPS or Nextcloud Hosting (list of providers) is the best and most reliable option.
In my opinion: Don’t stick with Google Workspaces (as suggested by somebody above).

I mentioned that because I got the ipression that OP wants to go cheap and low effort. Which would have almost certainly backfired at him at some point. A proper Nextcloud setup will most likely get him a higher TCO, than Google Workspace, regardless of whether it is self-hosted or hosted by a reliable hosting provider.

Good Idea (we did that too, some years ago).

Don’t use a Pi. If budget is limited: Use a used desktop computer (approx up to 5-6 years old is ok). Thats a MUCH better option than an ARM server.

HDD/Backup:
I use a 4TB HDD (the type for NAS / 24/7 operation) for data and a small SSD for the system.
Backup: To an external 5TB HDD. I use “restic” for backups (deduplication, encryption etc.), which works much better than rsync, I you have many files.

I also have at least 1 client PC where ALL data from the server is synced to, and that PC also has a backup to an external HDD (so even if the server completely disappears I can set up a new server and sync back the data from the client).

I do not use RAID in the server, because uninterrupted operation is not necessary (I just want to be able to restore everything if the hardware fails).

Possible, but much more complicated than Nextcloud.

For communication in the company I can highly recommend to operate a “zulip” server. It is easy to operate, uses little ressources (in our case on the smallest virtual server for 3eur/month) and offers much better communication than just a messenger (1 thread / topic…).

That kind of stuff is fine for tinkering, but in any sort of business/production environment, you should use an actual server. You can get a used Dell PowerEdge with surprisingly good specs on Newegg for a few hundred bucks.

I wouldn’t. It will have zero fault tolerance. You could back up to it though.

Understand that Nextcloud is not an email server. It does have an IMAP client.

Yunohost does include an email server. But I would still not recommend using it in a business/production environment.