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Serverless Syncthing vs Dropbox — You may need a server anyway

published Apr 28, 2019 11:15   by admin ( last modified Apr 28, 2019 11:18 )

Since Dropbox doesn't support my file systems anymore, I decided to take a look at Syncthing and Sparkleshare, free and open source folder synchronization alternatives. Syncthing is by far the most polished of these two offerings. It's also cool in that it is peer-to-peer and hence has no center.

Instead it goes point to point and if that doesn't work it (which due to NAT it often does not) it relies on a public cluster of relay servers, or you can run your own if you do not trust that the public servers are unable to read the encrypted traffic.

However the p2p nature of Syncthing becomes a bit of a problem if you want to sync between your own devices, because obviously the sync can only work if the machines are switched on and online at the same time. For your laptops, this is unlikely. And hence Syncthing does not work for that scenario. Unless you have an always on machine also in the mix (you can sync many machines, not just two).

But what do we call a machine that is always switched on? Yup, a server. Although the system would be robust since if you lose that machine you can just fire up another one and everything works again.

Still Syncthing feels like it is more for synchronizing files between people. And there git may be a contender. Still Syncthing looks great and I will see if I can tailor it to my needs. Worst case scenario I'll put two servers in the mix, one for relaying and one for making sure synching always works!

That would be two-server serverless architecture :) But with great resilience since the servers can be replaced at any time.