I've been running my UniFi controller off of a Raspberry Pi for a couple of years. It's been running stable, and at no time did i feel it was underpowered for the task.
Upgrading was a bit more cumbersome that i would have liked, but in the end it normally didn't take longer than 10-15 minutes to perform an upgrade.

When Ubiquiti announced the Cloud Key, which is essentially a Raspberry Pi 2 in an enclosure, with a POE option, i immediately knew i wanted one.


The hardware is shipped in a "iPhoneish" package, and contains the Cloud Key, a short ethernet cable, and a micro SD card.

Web Interface

After powering it up, and checking my DHCP server for the assigned IP address, i was greeted with the following window

UniFi Cloud Key Main Window

After logging in, i was greeted with the following
UniFi Cloud Key Main Screen
Cloud Key Config Screen
Cloud Key Maintenance Screen

Nice and concise as i've come to know Ubiquiti.
It provides the basic functionality, and while i could have wanted a lot more options, it gets the job done.

Shell access

Now, under the hood the Cloud Key runs a regular Linux, and it wouldn't be a Ubiquiti product if it didn't allow complete root access.

Cloud Key root login

A little bit of poking around shows it runs Debian Jessie, and the UniFi Controller is just the regular UniFi Debian package, although served from a special Cloud Key repository.

Checking diskspace:

root@UniFi-CloudKey:/etc# df -h
Filesystem                     Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
aufs-root                      1.1G  456M  598M  44% /
udev                            10M     0   10M   0% /dev
tmpfs                          202M  336K  201M   1% /run
/dev/disk/by-label/userdata    1.1G  456M  598M  44% /mnt/.rwfs
/dev/disk/by-partlabel/rootfs  397M  397M     0 100% /mnt/.rofs
tmpfs                          504M     0  504M   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs                          5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
tmpfs                          504M     0  504M   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs                          504M   88K  504M   1% /tmp
/dev/mmcblk0p7                 1.5G  808M  642M  56% /srv
/dev/mmcblk1p1                 7.2G   17M  7.2G   1% /data

Memory usage:

root@UniFi-CloudKey:/etc# free -h
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:          1.0G       610M       396M       5.8M        84M       330M
-/+ buffers/cache:       195M       811M
Swap:           0B         0B         0B

It even comes with htop installed
Cloud Key htop

Closing Thoughts

I've only had the Cloud Key running for a few days, and so far it does exactly what i expected it to do - provide a UniFi controller in a small, power consumption friendly package.

It does run a little hotter than i'd like, but not too hot to touch or hold in your hand.

I've yet to find an area where it lacks power. A full backup with full data retention takes a little while, but no longer than a minute or so.

All in all it's a very nice product. Personally i don't gain much from using it over my Raspberry Pi, but it allows me to run the controller on a dedicated appliance as a more or less "fire & forget" solution, and hopefully takes away some of the maintenance tasks.

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