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The state of ownCloud Infinite Scale

One year after the initial tech preview release for ownCloud Infinite Scale, it's time to talk about how far we've come - and what's ahead

By Dirk Stascheit

ownCloud Infinite Scale is advancing in great strides

ownCloud Infinite Scale has come a long way since its first official tech preview release in December 2020. Up until now, there have been 14 tech preview releases with lots of new features and improvements. In this post, we want to give you a roundup as well as an outlook on the shape of things to come. As a cloud-native platform, ownCloud Infinite Scale embraces open standards and relies on the microservice architecture. And of course, ownCloud Infinite Scale is fully Open Source, released under the Apache 2.0 license while ownCloud Web is released under the AGPL license.

The timeline

We plan to release a beta for ownCloud Infinite Scale in Q1 2022, probably in February. We look forward to reach general availability in Q2 2022. At that stage, ownCloud Infinite Scale will be a solid, mature Content Collaboration Platform that’s easy to deploy, performant, efficient, scalable and extensible, with a future-proof architecture. There is a transition strategy from ownCloud Classic towards ownCloud Infinite Scale, as outlined by our Product Manager Patrick Maier at the ownCloud Conference 2021. You can re-watch the segment here and learn more about migration in the docs. In the months since the initial tech preview release, the first production deployment has gone online to great success, for example at our partner CERN (see https://owncloud.com/news/owncloud-infinite-scale-live-at-cern/). The documentation at owncloud.dev/ocis already contains the most important information for admins.

Roadmap to general availability

Improvements since the initial release

ownCloud Infinite Scale handles authentication through any Identity Provider compatible with OpenID Connect. For authentication functionality out of the box, it comes with Kopano Konnect. For storage, ownCloud Infinite Scale already offers storage drivers for POSIX (local storage / NFS) and S3. A lot of smaller features are also already available, such as file integrity checking using checksums, downloading multiple files at once as archives, sharing with groups and quota support.

Features and integrations for smooth productivity

To simplify longer-term collaboration in teams and projects, will be soon introducing the Spaces feature. Spaces are dedicated storage areas uncoupled from individual users to enable productive teamwork and lighten the workload for admins. We recently added support for external viewers and editors through the open-standard WOPI interface to ownCloud Infinite Scale, supporting a wide range of popular browser-based productivity suites like Collabora Online, OnlyOffice, CodiMD and Microsoft Office Online Server.

New view

For ownCloud Infinite Scale, we have developed a new browser frontend called ownCloud Web. Since the initial release, we have also made this single-view web app available as an extension for the php-based ownCloud, which we now call ownCloud Classic. See the documentation on how to setup up ownCloud Web with ownCloud Classic. ownCloud Web brings comprehensive branding/theming support and is fully translatable through Transifex. It also pushes the envelope on accessibility; ownCloud Web can be fully navigated by keyboard, pack screenreader support and focus management. It is currently being certified for WCAG and BITV compliance. With improved dependency handling, ownCloud Web is very efficient and loads really fast. It fetches elements like thumbnails and avatars asynchronously, using pagination to limit the number of elements. It caches images and avoids loading resources more than once.

More performance

As mentioned above, despite all of these new features, we managed to reduce the memory consumption in ownCloud Infinite Scale by a factor of 24 in this past year. The dynamic service registry makes sure that services find each other and work with one another automatically to make distributed, scale-out environments are a lot easier to handle. ownCloud Infinite Scale now has API parity with ownCloud Classic. Continuous performance tests based on real-world examples have led us to find a number of bottlenecks that we were able to solve – we employ OpenTelemetry to trace requests through the whole stack.

What’s ahead

In the coming months, we will focus on what ownCloud Infinite Scale now still needs to be ready for the big stage. In particular, we are working on the event system, notifications, auditing, search and integrated user management. For ownCloud Web, we will focus on usability, the URLs, the new Spaces feature, the user management interface and the grid view. Watch the video from the ownCloud Conference here! „Infinite Scale – A new era for ownCloud“

Dirk Stascheit

November 17, 2021

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