[Freedombox-discuss] distributed encrypted highly-available storage for the FreedomBox

Rohit Kumar Mehta rohitm at engr.uconn.edu
Thu Aug 26 13:48:53 UTC 2010

Hi guys, I've been lurking for a little while, but thinking about 
storage issues related to freedombox (or whatever the name will 
eventually be) and want to join the brainstorming.

I have been running my own Linux servers since the 90's and was thinking 
during Ebens talk, "a $40 box that will do all this? no way!"

People have already mentioned bandwidth issues, but there are also 
storage issues that are worth considering.  No $40 box is going to be 
able to make available all the content that users want to have online.  
Modern computer users are used to ever growing amounts of easily 
accessible cloud storage via Gmail and dropbox.  So we will have to 
connect these Guruplugs (or whatever device) to USB storage or plan for 
a more expensive device which includes storage which will raise the 
price, but I don't think that will make it unacceptable.

But also a lot of the functionality of the private cloud comes from high 
availability.  If I leave something on my personal FreedomBox/server and 
want to download it when I'm travelling, an extended power outage or a 
hardware failure might be a real drag.  But there's no reason all of 
these freedom boxes cannot work together and do some kind of p2p 
clustered filesystem.  I don't mind storing my data on your freedom 
box's storage, as long as each file is encrypted the proper way.  There 
might be some files I want to be decrypted only by me, some decryptable 
to friends et cetera.   A model could be devised where every user who 
wants say 1 GB on the freedombox cloud, needs to contribute 2-3 GB of 
personal storage and some file indexing services. 

If others agree with me that a distributed, encrypted, highly available 
storage system is worth implementing, I'm happy to research existing 
protocols or help with designing and implementing a new protocol if 
necessary.  Also, if others are interested in working on this feature, 
I'd love to work with you.


Rohit Mehta
Computer Engineer
University of Connecticut
Engineering Computing Services
371 Fairfield Road Unit 2031
Storrs, CT 06269-2031

Office: (860) 486 - 2331
Fax: (860) 486 - 1273

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