In 2016, the founder of ownCloud Frank Karlitschek, launched Nextcloud as an offshoot of the former. Although similar, Nextcloud comes with certain features that make it more attractive to private customers. That’s because it offers open-source based private cloud storage. It’s way more private and secure than services like Dropbox.
You’re probably wondering what other Nextcloud advantages made it so special and unique from ownCloud. We’ll cover all of that and more below.
It all started in 2016 when ownCloud founder Frank Karlitschek noticed that his creation experienced a stark departure from its initial intention. Frank wanted to create a sustainable enterprise with Open Source Code as the main focus. He didn’t want a quick exit at all, but that’s what his venture capitalist investors wanted to do in order to recoup their investment.
To do so, they saw a need to offer closed-source features that were limited to paying customers. Additionally, community developers who voluntarily contributed their code lines had to sign side-by-side agreements. They had to sign over copyrights of their intellectual property.
This obviously didn’t go over well with the community, and Frank Karlitschek and his team weren’t happy either. As a result, Frank left the company along with several employees in 2016, taking some of their open source code with them to create Nextcloud in Stuttgart. The following day, the American branch of ownCloud closed down.
Nextcloud Business Model
According to Frank, one of the notable Nextcloud advantages is the fact that it offers open-source code in order to attract and serve a larger consumer base. This means all of Nextcloud’s source code is freely available to users including the software’s enterprise features. Of course, the AGPL license partially makes this possible.
This is what makes Nextcloud different from ownCloud but it doesn’t come with any exclusive features that keep certain users out. This begs another question; how does Nextcloud generate an income if they offer their service for free?
Well, other impressive Nextcloud advantages include the fact that the service is able to sustain itself through consulting work, training and maintenance which it does for other, larger enterprises. Otherwise, private at-home users may continue to use the software without paying for it.
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Nextcloud Benefits Over External Cloud Storage
The US arguably offers the largest cloud storage services. This can pose data protection issues for a lot of companies.
For instance, let’s say you’re a Dropbox user, which means most of your data is stored in the software’s US data centers. Dropbox isn’t transparent about their cooperation partners data centers so you never know where exactly your data gets stored. Plus, if you want to make sure your data is stored in a certain place, you will have to pay extra for that knowledge.
Also, there will be no guarantee that your data will be safe because it’s in an unencrypted state which makes it accessible to Dropbox employees. Plus, Dropbox uses a PRISM monitoring program which is easily accessible to US intelligence agencies. Meanwhile, Nextcloud offers much better security and privacy in contrast thanks to its open-source functionality.
Another Nextcloud advantage is that there’s not just one single provider. They can always switch to another if they feel their current provider doesn’t serve their purpose. This gives the user more flexibility to make contract changes at the drop of a hat. Plus, the open-source cope is available for use and further development regardless of whether or not Nextcloud decides to close shop.
Another one of Nextcloud advantages worth mentioning is that they offer superior performance. They store data in local centers that are easier to access than distant centers. This enables users to quickly access data without restrictions.
Is Nextcloud’s Strategy Succeeding?
Only time will tell if Nextcloud’s strategy is paying off. What we can say is that a lot of businesses from Asia and Europe have shown interest in the software.
If Frank’s assumptions are anything to go by, Nextcloud will continue to improve its already impressive suite of features. It will offer faster and safer data storage with each new version.
Of course, it’s worth noting that Nextcloud’s strategy is in line with the UE General Data Protection regulations.
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