I’ve been using a poor man’s kind of cloud storage for a while now. In other words, I’ve been using sshfs to mount a directory on my home NAS box from wherever I happen to be. It works to a reasonable degree, but it has two problems.

  • It uses DHCP and dynamic DNS. The dynamic DNS keeps timing out even though my access point is supposed to renew it, which is annoying.
  • It’s not compliant with Red Hat’s information-security policy, which requires at-rest encryption for anything stored off site, and I’d really like to store copies of the documents I’m working on there for when I’m at home or on the road.

I do have a cheap domain that I completely control and could point to my home NAS box. That would avoid the DNS issue, but I’d still have the DHCP and at-rest-encryption issues. I’m really not wild about installing encfs or similar on the NAS box, and that would be incompatible with my long-term plans anyway, so I’ve done something else instead. I’ve set up a low-end server in the Rackspace Cloud, installed everything I need there, and pointed my domain to it. That’s a poor man’s cloud storage with complete control over my software and data, for barely more than many of the consumer-oriented cloud-storage providers would charge to give them my data and get a more limited interface in return. I think I can say it’s real cloud storage because – unlike the home-NAS-box solution – I can go in and re-provision it to be arbitrarily bigger or faster any time I want. I could also make it even cloudier by implementing an interface to their Cloud Files service, but it would be hard work to make that much better than what I already have. More importantly, it would be work very similar to my day job, so it wouldn’t exactly be a good use of my way-too-scarce spare time as far as I’m concerned.