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Damien Norris: A suite of curated tools that organizations can use to locally/securely replace the US owned cloud services in their lives.


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You have a lot of data! How can you keep your member and client information secure? What legal rules does you nonprofit need to follow when it comes to data hosting? What tools and apps won't get your in trouble?

We have four experts who will answer all your questions.

* Alejandra Brown: Introduction to privacy and overview of privacy and data residency rules that apply to BC nonprofits.

* Mack Hardy: Five practical things you can do to secure your online self. Policies, 2FA, password managers, and more.

* Damien Norris: A suite of curated tools that organizations can use to locally/securely replace the US owned cloud services in their lives.

* Kris Constable: IDVPN: a VPN for complying with justistional regulations.

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Damien Norris: A suite of curated tools that organizations can use to locally/securely replace the US owned cloud services in their lives.

  1. 1. Hosted Open Source Apps Replace US-owned Cloud Services with free alternatives hosted locally in Canada Damien Norris CanTrust Hosting Co-operative
  2. 2. Who we are: CanTrust Hosting Co-op • We are a local worker co-operative, formed in 2009. We provide managed Canadian hosting for Drupal and Wordpress websites. We host the websites for several hundred non-profits, co-ops, charities, educators, journalists, political parties and First Nations. • We now offer curated open source apps, for organizations that wish to get off the US-owned cloud. We install and host the apps, manage security updates and upgrades, and provide tier 2 support. • All of our hosting infrastructure is on servers we own, hosted in Canada at Canadian owned colocation facilities. We have three colo locations here in Vancouver and one in Toronto. • We guarantee that all data remains in Canada on our equipment at all times (including backups).
  3. 3. What exactly is Open Source? • Open Source is software source code developed in public, by group collaboration over the Internet. • Often hundreds of volunteers will work together on a single project and then release it for free. It’s human collaboration and democracy at its finest! • Most open source projects are run using the Linux operating system, but will also work easily on a Mac (handy for testing stuff out first). • Testing these tools is easier than ever. Linux is in Windows Store. Homebrew for Mac lets you run thousands of Open Source programs easily. Docker allows you to instantly download and test out thousands more. • For production, you need to host your tools on a Linux server which you maintain yourself (if you know how), or one that is maintained for you (a.k.a. “managed” hosting)
  4. 4. Why Open Source • Data Security: Public nature of the source code means improved Security standards. There are many eyes on the source code at all times and changes are vetted by multiple people. • Data Privacy: You can download it and host it yourself in Canada on your own equipment - meeting compliance and privacy requirements. • ROI – your cost is to run and maintain a single server is much lower than paying per-user, per-program, per-month (especially for organizations with more than a few users). • Open Source is free to use(*), making it an excellent choice for non-profits.
  5. 5. (*) That’s Free as in “Free Kitten”! (Kitty is looking at you like that because she desperately needs a security update!) It is essential that you keep your systems and software up to date to maintain security and not get hacked. If you don’t tinker with Linux for fun, you need a managed service.
  6. 6. Curated Open Source • That’s where CanTrust (or another managed provider) comes in. Many of these open source apps already have sponsor companies providing managed hosting. Unfortunately it's usually hosed on Amazon.. • CanTrust's curated open source is an alternative to those, allowing you to host in Canada and be compliant. • We have selected and tested alternatives to the major cloud apps for getting your business done. WE chose ones thatwe can maintain and keep running for many years. • These apps are installed on a customer’s Virtual Private Server (VPS). One VPS per custoemr can run all the apps shown here at once, plus host websites, all for a single low monthly price. There is no per-user pricing. • So without further ado, here is a whirlwind tour of some of our favourites that we use every day:
  7. 7. Riot + Matrix/Synapse (Slack replacement) • Slack is replaced by the “Riot” chat program, hooked up to the “Matrix/Synapse” chat server. • Riot does everything slack does, minus the threading! • No per-user cost, no limit on number of messages or number of users. • Awesome chat clients for your phone, notifications etc.
  8. 8. NextCloud (Dropbox + so much more!) • Nextcloud started as “Owncloud” and it was just a replacement for Dropbox… • It provides a cloud drive folder that syncs between your devices, just like Dropbox. • Then it forked to become NextCloud and it really started to take off! • Nextcloud App Store adds hundreds of different apps to Nextcloud in your browser, to add onto the core cloud drive functionality…
  9. 9. NextCloud Apps: OnlyOffice & Collabra • Full G-Suite replacements such as Collabra (OpenOffice based) or ONLYOffice (free up to 20 users, MS Office Based) allow NextCloud to replace even the fanciest G- Suite features! • Collaborate real-time on documents with multiple users, with the backend files stored in your Nextcloud
  10. 10. Nextcloud Apps: Doodle • Replace common cloud apps that collect personally identifiable info with Nextcloud App alternatives. • Hundreds of apps in the Nextcloud App Store. • This example is an app to replace the “Doodle” meeting planner.
  11. 11. Nextcloud App KeeWeb (replaces 1Password) • Use nextcloud-stored Keepass XC database files from the web Nextcloud interface. • Or, open them with the Keepass XC app in your local synced Nextcloud folder. • No more storing your password in a giant cloud basket in the US!
  12. 12. Open Project (replaces JIRA, Asana, etc) • Very functional and easy to use project management system. • Supports Agile or Waterfall style of project management. • Manage projects, products, or support.
  13. 13. Kanboard (kanboard like Wrike, Trello etc.) • Super simple PHP app that does one thing and does it well: Kanboard
  14. 14. Rainloop (replaces Gmail) • OK it’s not really Gmail but it’s as close are you’re going to get without sacrificing your privacy. • Email is a tough one to sel- host because Google and Microsoft will spam flag your messages more than if you host with them.
  15. 15. Matomo (replaces Google Analytics) • Matomo (formerly called “PiWiK”) provides self-hosted web stats comparable to the Google tools. • Track website visitors with Javascript tracking • Tag Manager capabilities (replace GTM)
  16. 16. GitLab (replaces GitHub) • GitLab has in fact surpassed GitHub in many ways now, after a massive spike in user adoption when Microsoft bought GitHub. • GitLab has extensive support for web-based collaboration as well as integration with CI/CD tools.
  17. 17. The list goes on……. • And on.. and on…. and on! But we only have 20 minutes! • Beyond those shown here, we are constantly adding new apps to the curated selection, as customers request them and we evaluate them. (e.g. OpenProject – thanks Kris!) • If you are interested in how these or other open source apps can work for your organization? Drop us a line at !