So i wanted to go over some methods that can allow you to run your own cloud storage server. I have not tested every case but one. But in theory there is no reason they shouldn't work.
1. Background -
Dropbox - So lets just discuss what dropbox is. Dropbox is in its most simplest form, is a syncing service. You have a local folder that syncs to a web server, when connecting multiple computers, they all sync to the web server.
Cloud Storage Services- Amazon Cloud Drive, iCloud, Skydrive, etc. These are basically a web server that stores your data, these offen get mounted as a network share drive, and files do not have to be stored on the local computer.
Freenas - Well you should already know, but the key point is "local" network attached storage.
2. Problems -
So the main problem i will try to solve is how does one access this local NAS outside of the home (local area network). These are some of the options i seen so far.
-VPN - usually requires a vpn server or a router that supports it (ddwrt)
-FTP - well its FTP, there are some ways to mount a ftp server as a drive, but its still FTP.
-sFTP - Same as above just a little more secure.
-SSH pass though - I hear alot about this, but have yet to find a easy method to get this working.
-webdav - it a protocol used for managing and storing data over http.
Well as we all know, webdav is not supported in freenas yet, but should be soon, if not natively with plugins.
But if your like me and want to have it now, there are a few options to get this working. You can look around the web for a whole bunch of webdav servers based in all different languages, but i decided to go with a open source php app called owncloud, besides webdav it also supports a whole bunch of cool features including a really nice web UI.
Well since freenas doesnt have a web server i install it on another machine running centos, you can find how to set it up here http://owncloud.org/. I then mounted a NFS share to my freenas box and bam now i got webdav plus more.
Well now to the syncing, downloaded this software http://www.goodsync.com, and setup a webdav server and pointed it to my local folder.
All in all i got about 10TB of "cloud" storage with dropbox like syncing. And i could always mount the webdav server as a network drive.
I will post more details about setup in the near future but i wanted to get this out because everyone keeps asking for dropbox like functionality.
Once freenas 8.2 comes out, i will look into running owncloud off the web server.