Request for Criticism: Setting up a private cl…

Hi all,

I’m in the process of setting up a private cloud for my extended family so that we can all stop using public cloud software like Google, Facebook, Dropbox, etc. I’ve done some research and I’ve come up with the following setup. Can you please tell me if I’m forgetting something or if I’m misinformed about something?

My principles and values:

  • Privacy
  • Free/Open Source Software
  • High Connectivity between members of the family
  • Content has low-risk of being shared outside of the cloud, except when explicitly desired by any member of the cloud.

My goals:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • High availability
  • High redundancy
  • Enough speed no tot make it horrible to use
  • Not spend an inordinate amount of money to keep this up (especially on a monthly basis. One-time purchases are OK)


  1. Have a server running in my home, hooked to a UPS and multiple TBs of HDDs.
  2. Run NextCloud to replace the following software:
    • File sharing to replace: Dropbox, Google Drive.
    • Audiovisual+text chat to replace: Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp.
    • Circles for a social network-like experience to replace: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram. (Possibly use diaspora* if Circles is not adequate for our needs)
    • Book Reader to replace: Google Books
  3. Run Collabora to replace Google Docs
  4. Buy a DigitalOcean droplet (or similar VPS) to set up OpenVPN to hide the traffic going out of my house (and for any member of my family who would like to have access to a VPN).
  5. [I need help for this one] Somehow set up a redudancy scheme so that my brother and my cousin can each have a server running in their house to provide backup if my electricity goes out and/or provide load-balancing so that everyone’s connection speed can go up.
  6. Set up an email server to replace: Gmail, etc.

Most of my family is not very versed technologically, except for my brother and cousin who would host some backups. I would ask for a yearly donation of about 10-20$ per user to keep the services running and to add new HDDs as time goes on.

What do you guys think? Is this a worthwhile endeavour? Am I overthinking something that has an easier implementation? Are there services that I forgot that would be useful?

Any response would be appreciated! Thank you

Found here