I’ve always been a fan of self-hosted solutions. It’s a bit ironic, since I’m working on ArrivalApp, a fully hosted SAAS app for tracking event attendance, but that’s another story. Until recently, I’ve never really considered the concept of “owning” my own data. Sure, I’ve always preferred a self-hosted product over a hosted product, but I attribute that to being a tinkerer.
I’ve had a Mac mini hosted at MacMiniColo for almost three years, and servers on my home network for much longer, so it’s been extremely easy for me to run as many self-hosted products as I want without having a huge hosting bill. Side note: If you’re looking for a great colocation experience, I highly recommend MacMiniColo. Mention my name when signing up and I’ll get a free month of service!
Of course, one obvious benefit to self-hosting anything is that you retain complete control of the service, availability, and uptime, but more than that, you own your data. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but in light of the recent outrage over the NSA’s supposed snooping, I want to be in control of as much of my own data as possible. I don’t have a thing in the world to hide, but the thought of companies willingly turning over my data to the US government without my knowledge just because they asked for it is a bit unsettling. I think this is more of a government problem than a service provider problem, but at the end of the day, if the government wants my information, they can ask me directly if I own my data.
I’m currently using or in the process of migrating to the self-hosted solutions below, in lieu of common third-party products such as:
- Dropbox -> ownCloud
- Google Analytics -> Piwik
- Gmail / Google Apps -> Microsoft Exchange
- Ronin -> Pancake Payments
- Amazon AWS -> VMware vSphere / Colocated Mac mini
- Google Reader (RIP) -> Fever
At some point, I’d like to write in more detail about the hardware and software I’m using, as well as the process of actually migrating to self-hosted solutions. Until then, decentralizer.com is a great resource for anyone looking for more in-depth information on getting away from cloud services in favor of on-premise solutions.