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Nextcloud
Nextcloud partners with Univention to deliver solution for private cloud needs
February 20, 2017


At the didacta conference, the largest global trade fair for education and training taking place in Stuttgart, Germany, Nextcloud founder and managing director Frank Karlitschek has announced the availability of a Nextcloud application for the Univention Corporate Server (UCS). Easily installable from the extensive Univention App Center, the app offers integration features and is backed by an optional enterprise support offering from Nextcloud GmbH.

Univention and UCS

Univention is a leading supplier of Open Source products for the operation and management of IT infrastructures.

The core product is Univention Corporate Server (UCS), a flexible, cost-efficient and successful alternative to server solutions from Microsoft. UCS includes comprehensive Active Directory functions and an App Center to integrate and operate enterprise applications.

UCS allows web-based IT management and is well suited for organizations of any size, either as a classic server solution, in the cloud or in hybrid IT environments. UCS is designed to operate as part of existing Microsoft infrastructures and supports the easy replacement of Microsoft Windows domains.

The Nextcloud App

If your organization would like the benefits of easy sharing and collaboration on data online as offered by various cloud vendors but needs to stay in control, ensuring no unauthorized access, Nextcloud is what you are looking for. Nextcloud offers a unique-in-the-industry fully open source solution for on-premise data handling and communication with an uncompromising focus on security and privacy.

Features

Nextcloud brings together universal access to data with next-generation secure communication and collaboration capabilities under direct control of IT and integrated with existing compliant infrastructure. Nextcloud’s open, modular architecture, emphasis on security and advanced federation capabilities enable modern enterprises to leverage their existing assets within and across the borders of their organization.

Features:

  • Easy web UI and clients for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux
  • Easy collaboration and sharing files internal and external with optionally enforcable password and expiration date
  • Audio/video chat built in, optional collaborative office document editing, Outlook integration and more
  • External storage support like Windows Network Drive, FTP, WebDAV, NFS and more
  • Many passive and active security features like two-factor authentication, brute force protection and CSP 3.0 as well as an audit log
  • Full admin control over sharing with File Access Control rules like "DOCX can only be downloaded from within local network" or execute actions if certain conditions are met (like a tag is set)

Learn more about Nextcloud features here.

Comparison

Compared to other private cloud solutions, Nextcloud offers stronger security measures, with two-factor authentication, brute force protection and many other security protections built in. It is fully open source and the most active file sync and share project being developed.

Learn about migrating from other solutions to Nextcloud here.

Nextcloud typically targets organizations from 50 to tens of millions of users in industries including education, government, legal and financial services and manufacturing.

For more information, visit nextcloud.com or follow @Nextclouders on Twitter.

Integration

Nextcloud is well integrated in UCS, offering easy installation. The automatic configuration includes:

  • Administrator is automatically Nextcloud admin
  • Users are enabled to access Nextcloud by default
  • Users and Groups can be enabled/disabled in User & Group Settings
  • User quota can be configured in User settings
  • All User and Group benefits by Nextcloud LDAP Schema
  • Web server fully configured and behind stock UCS web server acting as proxy and doing all TLS magic

You can install Nextcloud on your UCS server directly from the Univention App Center. Find more information about the app in the Univention App Catalog.

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Nextcloud
Nextcloud at SCALE15x
February 20, 2017



In a little over a week, March 2, in Pasadena (close to Los Angelos, California) the biggest open source event in North America kicks off: SCALE15x. Of course, Nextcloud is there. We have two talks scheduled, one by Frank and one by Jos and you can also find us at our booth, staffed by Frank, Jos, Matt ‘g33kdad’ McGraw and others. If you are interested in getting a full 50% discount for entree ticket to SCALE, use our code CLOUD and save!

Win a Nextcloud Box!

There is more for you. Visit our booth, tweet about our presence at SCALE and win a Nextcloud Box! This amazing device, built in a collaboration with Canonical and WDLabs, fits a 1TB hard drive and a Raspberry Pi in a beautiful enclosure, bringing your private cloud literally into your home. See the box at the booth and ask us for details!

Watch this video announcement to learn more about the Nextcloud Box.

Not at SCALE but like to meet us? We’re at many other conferences, including FOSSASIA in Singapore, FOSS-North in Denmark, OSCON in Texas and OSCAL in Albania! Find an overview of Nextcloud events here.

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Nextcloud
3000 users at ucloud4schools migrated to Nextcloud 11 by regio iT
February 16, 2017


regio iT, a German IT consulting organization recently finished the migration of 3000 users at ucloud4schools from Owncloud 7 and 8 to Nextcloud 11.0.1. The migration went smooth and delivered the expected performance, security and feature benefits.

ucloud4schools

ucloud4schools is a product from regio iT offering 122 different schools their own, private cloud sync and share solution. Formerly based on Owncloud, the solution is built on Nextcloud and offers all the benefits of its easy to use interface.

Thanks to ucloud4schools, educational institutions get an opportunity to teach, communicate and collaborate in both the pedagogic and administrative areas, regardless of time or place.

For 3 years, the over 3000 users of ucloud4schools have been using the software to sync and share data without risking any third party gaining access. For schools in Germany, student privacy and an easy to use interface where crucial factors in deciding for this technology.

regio iT

regio iT is a service provider with over 300 employees delivering solutions for communities, schools, non-profits as well as customers in the energy production and distribution space. Based in Aachen and with a branch in Gütersloh, the company offers strategic and project-related IT consulting, integration, IT infrastructure and full service in four areas:

  • IT Service & Operation
  • Administration & Finance
  • Energy & Waste Management
  • Education & Development

Migration

Moving to Nextcloud is easy with our migration support and brings significant benefits in the areas of security, performance, stability and features. The team wanted to bring the customers also a new look and feel, created together with a design company.


The migration from Owncloud to Nextcloud was performed using a scripted approach. The conversion itself went as expected. A few instances had issues caused by specific wishes like logo adaptations that had to be made manually.

One major feature of Nextcloud 11, its significant performance and scalability advantages, was another reason for the migration and it paid off very well. The access time to data was decreased, making the usage of ucloud4schools a lot smoother for the users. In the feature area, the improvements enable further development of features and capabilities by regio iT. Stefan noted that while the schools were, in general, happy with the features provided, the prospect of new enhancements to the product was exciting.

I see ucloud4schools as more than an educational cloud. It offers many apps that work together and shows possibilities that go far beyond the functions of an ordinary cloud. We will continue to extend our product and we are glad to have found a partner in Nextcloud with a healthy community and strong development and support capabilities.

Stefan Döhler, project manager at regio iT

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Nextcloud
Brexit and Trump should give you enough reason to move to your own cloud
February 15, 2017

An opinion post by Swapnil Bhartiya
thank you pexels
Privacy has always been an important topic in the tech world. There are many people who are not concerned about privacy, they are willing to hand over their home address, e-mail ID and phone number to get a 2% discount at a store.

Then there are those who are obsessed with Google ‘tracking’ your online activities for advertisements and invest quite a lot of time and effort to de-Google themselves. I have not come across a single case in the last 12 years of my journalism career where the ‘ad’ data by Google was exploited. I come across cases on a weekly basis where big retail stores get compromised and user’s sensitive information gets leaked.

Last but not least, there are people who deal with sensitive data and don’t want government agencies to have access to that data.

Where’s the problem?

There are a lot of easy ways to use plugins that stop online services from tracking you, so anonymised tracking for ads doesn’t worry me. What really worries me is state sponsored tracking that can be used to hunt people for political reasons, to stifle freedom of speech.

Many governments around the globe have been working towards mass surveillance; they tend to believe that everything that you make online belongs to them. New laws are created that give governments unprecedented control over their citizens data. Ironically, governments are becoming more and more secretive and citizen’s lives are being forced to become transparent. Wasn’t it supposed to be the other way around?

Things got even more complicated with Brexit and victory of Donald J Trump in the US. Trump is not a huge fan of privacy or open internet. The new UK government is also heading in the same direction.

Some news reports that are worth reading, putting this in context.

This means it has never been more important ever before to protect your privacy and protect your data from the prying hands of your own governments.

When it comes to personal, private and sensitive files, you can’t trust any ‘public cloud’, including but not limited to Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox or iCloud. Not only these are proprietary solutions but also since they ‘host’ your data, they become the co-owners.

This is what happens to ‘your own files’ when you choose any of these services:

    1) They get the right (through EULA) to scan your files, which means going through them, it doesn’t matter if it’s done via machine or a human goes through them.
    2) They get the right to delete, or block you from accessing your own files for any reason.
    3) They are free to hand over your files to the government without your consent or authorization.
    4) The biggest of all, they become the ‘co-owner’ of YOUR files.
    5) Access to your own files is at the mercy of these providers.
    6) If you don’t have a local backup, you will lose access to your files as soon as you stop using their services.
    7) The US government has started asking for traveler’s passes; sooner or later they might demand access to your cloud services. Who knows?

The answer

There is only one answer to all of the questions: ‘own your data’. I heavily recommend that you must only use file sync and storage services that are not only open source, but also run on your server so that your files are not at the mercy of a company or subject to a plethora of laws, which expose them to mass surveillance by government agencies.

There are many open source solutions out there, and Nextcloud is one of them. However, as someone who has used almost all of those services, I settled down with Nextcloud due to some of the reasons that I listed in this article. In addition to the privacy and security advantages of Nextcloud, it’s also the most active project around. It’s more than just a file sync solution; Nextcloud is a platform that allows users to plug many services to it; including running a full fledged LibreOffice Online service on your Nextcloud server.

Since it’s a fully open source solution without any proprietary code like Seafile or ‘paid exclusive’ features, you can participate in the development and add features that ‘you’ need in this product.

If you already don’t run Nextcloud on your server, in my next article I will help you get started with Nextcloud.

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Bjoern Schiessle
Rolle Rückwärts in München: Diese Fragen sollte man sich stellen
February 14, 2017

Bereits diesen Mittwoch soll die Entscheidung fallen: München will bis 2021 die Nutzung des GNU/Linux-Desktop-Clients “LiMux” beenden und damit ein erfolgreiches Leuchtturmprojekt beenden. Ich habe dazu einen ausführlichen Artikel auf Netzpolitik.org veröffentlicht. Bürger haben ein Recht darauf, dass der Stadtrat verantwortungsvoll und professionell arbeitet. Angesichts der Tragweite der Entscheidung sollte auf jede der folgenden Fragen den beteiligten Stadträten die Antwort daher bereits vorliegen. Gerne dürfen diese Fragen auch als Grundlage verwendendet werden um die Entscheidungsträger zu kontaktieren.

Die drängendsten Fragen zur Entscheidung über die zukünftige IT Startegie in München

  • Warum ignoriert der Stadtrat mit seiner Entscheidung die von ihm selbst beauftragten Studien (MitKonkret, it@M Plus, Accenture) welche alle übereinstimmend mit der it@M die Organisationsstrukturen als Ursprung aller Probleme erkannt haben?
  • Existiert ein Zusammenhang zwischen dem Umzug von Microsoft nach München und der Rückkehr zu Microsoft?
  • Wieso werden immer wieder kostenintensive Gutachten und externe Firmen beansprucht, wenn der Stadtrat letztendlich diesen Empfehlungen nicht folgt? Siehe u.a. auch bereits Mitkonkret, die damals eine volle GmbH oder ein IT-Referat empfohlen haben aber von einer Mischform abrieten.
  • Auf wessen Kompetenz fundiert der Stadtratsbeschluss und die darin enthaltene Einschätzung dass Accenture, it@M und alle beteiligten IT-Experten falsch liegen und die Ursachen sich mit einer technologischen Entscheidung lösen ließen?
  • Diese Entscheidung des Stadtrates hat tiefgreifende technische Konsequenzen. Welcher IT-Architekt hat den Stadtrat diesbezüglich beraten und entschieden, dass die kostenintensive Umstellung auf Microsoft Windows eine notwendige Maßnahme ist?
  • Wie glaubt der Stadtrat in zwei Jahren eine komplett neue Infrastruktur zu schaffen angesichts der Tatsache dass auch die bestehende Infrastruktur mit der geplanten Grösse ihre Schwierigkeiten hat. Wie sollen in diesem Zeitraum 30.000 Mitarbeiter geschult, über 9.000 Vorlagen umgebaut, Wollmux und hunderte von komplexen Makros ersetzt werden?
  • Ist dem Stadtrat bewusst, wie er durch den Antrag die Leistung der IT-Mitarbeiter der Stadt herabwürdigt und dass dieses Verhalten die Attraktivität der Landeshauptstadt München als Arbeitgeber für kompetente IT-Spezialisten nachhaltig schädigt?
  • Was passiert mit den Mitarbeitern, die zur Zeit für den Basisclient und LibreOffice entwickeln? Werden diese entlassen oder wird ihnen eine angemessene Zeit zur Umschulung gegeben?
  • Welche Auswirkung hat diese Entscheidung auf den Betrieb der GNU/Linux-Server und das erst kürzlich neu aufgebaute Rechenzentrum der Stadt?

Weiter Fragen die man sich zu dem Thema stellen sollte

  • Wieso glaubt der Stadtrat an, Fachentscheidungen besser treffen zu können als die mit dem Thema beauftragten Fachleute?
  • Haben die Stadträte des Antrags geschäftliche Verbindungen zu Microsoft oder Microsoft-nahen Firmen?
  • Auf welcher Basis wurde entschieden, dass Windows das geeignete System sei?
  • Die Entscheidung ist nicht produktneutral und benachteiligt u.a. deutsche Anbieter und den Wirtschaftsstandort München. Ist das legal oder drohen der Stadt und den für die Entscheidung Verantwortlichen rechtliche Konsequenzen und Regressforderungen?
  • Erratische und unabgestimmte Entscheidungen können auch dazu führen dass viele Firmen bei Ausschreibungen der Landeshauptstadt München in Zukunft nicht mehr teilnehmen. Wie will der Stadtrat dies verhindern wenn Ausschreibungen, Projekte und betriebsfähige Software durch diese Entscheidung einfach weggeworfen werden?
  • Soll die technische Umstellung die notwendige administrative Umstellung ersetzen?
  • Wie verhält sich die geplante Entscheidung zum Teil der Entscheidungsvorlage in der die Notwendigkeit einer heterogenen, von Windows unabhängigen, Infrastrukturstrategie hervorgehoben wird?
  • Wie verhält sich diese Entscheidung insbesondere zu der “Web First”-Strategie, welche ebenfalls in der Entscheidung angesprochen wird?
  • Es gab schon in der Vergangenheit Gerüchte, dass der Stadtrat sich nicht an die Vorgaben der Stadt gehalten hat und unbetreute Windowsclients im Backbone der Stadt oder für Stadtratsaufgaben eingesetzt hat. Dies wäre u.A. eine grob fahrlässige Gefährdung der IT-Sicherheit. Entsprechen diese Gerüchte den Tatsachen?
  • Worauf begründet der Stadtrat seinen Optimismus, dass es keine Reibungsverluste zwischen den DiKas, der GmbH und dem Eigenbetrieb geben wird?
  • Soll der Stadtratsbeschluss zu einer Abschaffung der städtischen Infrastruktur führen bei der alle Daten der Bürger in der Accenture/Microsoft-Cloud gespeichert werden?
  • Wie sieht der Stadtrat die Gewährleistung des Datenschutzes, insbesondere angesichts der Executive Order von Präsident Trump welche den Datenschutz für nicht-US-Bürger abgeschafft hat.
  • Der Stadtrat zwingt mit dieser Entscheidung die Bürger der Landeshauptstadt München zum Einsatz von Microsoft Office für die Kommunikation mit der Verwaltung. Übernimmt der Stadtrat auch die Kostenfolgen dieser Entscheidung für die Bürger die aktuell nicht über Microsoft Office verfügen?
  • Der Stadtrat hat verlauten lassen, dass der Dokumentenaustausch wegen mangelnder Kompatibilität problematisch sei. Auf welche Art und Weise hat der Stadtrat vor, den Austausch von Dokumenten per E-Mail auszubauen? Angesichts von Viren, Erpressungs-Crypto-Trojanern und staatlichen Angreifern mit dem Ziel der Wirtschaftsspionage und
    Manipulation scheint dieses Ziel in die falsche Richtung zu gehen. Stellt dies nicht eine Gefährdung der Sicherheit der städtischen IT durch die Entscheidung des Stadtrats dar?
  • Wie beeinflusst die Entscheidung des Stadtrats die Kosteneffizenz des Gutachtens?

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