Book Review of “Getting Started with ownCloud”

“Getting Started with ownCloud” is a great book for both the open source hobbiest as well the enterprise administrator. I got my hands on this book after having ownCloud up and running for my own personal use for about a year and half. I had been using all the basic features that anyone familiar with linux can get running in a couple of hours. However I never really got to the point that I really felt I had that solid install. Well, not any more.

“Getting Started with ownCloud” absolutely took my knowledge of the open source project to the next level. Most specifically I found the section on hardening my apache install really helpful, and frankly corrected a couple of mistakes I had made with my original install.

For the Enterprise Administrator, the sections on unify authentication with LDAP, Load Balancing, and High Availability really give you the confidence that an ownCloud solution is viable, secure, and scalable solution for your organization. I have had a number of conversations within my own organization about rolling this out to our end users as a secure way to collobate in a cloud environment. After reading this book, I will be able to build that environment as I’m able to articulate how this solution scales and maintains security at that enterprise level.

Armed with this book and a free download of ownCloud, you can mitigate the risks associated with going to a public shared cloud while reaping the benefits that a cloud service provides. No longer do you have to worry about shared disk, over taxed resources, and unknown outages. Instead you can run an ownCloud service on your own hardware and behind your own security all the while providing the functions and features that your users expect from the big name cloud file services. I really feel like ownCloud represents a new age in file sharing at the organization level, where the functions and features the end users expect can be delivered in a way that doesn’t compromise the priorities that a highly secure organization demands.

That being said there were a few topics that I would have loved to have seen covered in this book. None of them are deal breakers and you can find additional information online through the various forums and tutorials.

  • Extending the ownCloud solution to include an additional drive or disk resource. I think this is something that everyone comes across when you are just testing out the solution and find that it works well. If you don’t want rebuild the solution then the simple answer to just add some disk and make ownCloud aware of the new resource.
  • How to have ownCloud scan your data directory when you copy files over to the ownCloud solution from the literal file system. I often have to do this when I first build an ownCloud solution and need to migrate an existing file structure into the solution. The slower way to just drag and drop each section into the web interface (and manually create each directory) or let the ownCloud scan the directory of a client computer using the desktop client. But I don’t think either of these solutions are ideal.

If you are looking for the specific details to maintain a scalable secure environment for your organization or simply trying to make your own home server a stable stronger file sharing cloud then this is a must read and I definitely recommend this book without hesitation.

You can find the book on Amazon here.

Or you can get the book directly from Packt Publishing here.

You can download your own copy of ownCloud here.

Lastly, I would like to thank Shiva Iyer at Packt Publishing for the opportunity to review this book. They did a great job and I hope others find both my review and the book itself helpful in their own endeavors using ownCloud.