Following Open Standards: New Open Source S3 storage implementation

ownCloud 10.0.9 brings a completely redesigned S3 Object Storage implementation for ownCloud. Making it open source, ownCloud follows the Open Standard S3 protocol.

Content Collaboration Platforms are all about file storage. With increasing volumes of data you might want to think about scalability and performance. With the S3 Object Storage protocol Amazon AWS introduced 2006 a new way for high performance data storages.

Jörn Friedrich Dreyer and Thomas Müller, core developers at ownCloud redesigned the implementation for ownCloud and published it as Open Source App, free to use for everybody.

This is not the only app which got open sourced: just recently, the Password Policy app was published under GPLv2 with the 10.0.9 summer release.


S3 Object Storage – What is it Good for?

The S3 API is an open standard for object storage: e.g. self-hosted solutions like Ceph/S3 or cloud object storage like the Amazon S3 service. In contrast to “traditional” file storage (i.e. mounted hard drives with file systems), object storage does not store files on a file system, but it stores data as objects.

This sounds complicated, but for developers and admins, the difference is easy – with file storage, you read and write files with your operating system. With S3 Object Storage, you open and store files with HTTP requests.


ownCloud S3 Object Storage explained

How S3 Object Storage works with ownCloud


S3 has some other features which are neatly integrated into ownCloud. As you know, ownCloud offers file versioning – if you change or delete a file, you can revert it for a while. File storage is not very effective at handling file versions – but object storage has versioning as a built-in feature.

S3 storages offers scalability and flexibility. As a cloud service it’s always on and available from anywhere, making your users less dependent on the hardware in their offices.

So to consider whether you want to use this app to make object storage the primary storage of your ownCloud, you should do some research. This article at DigitalOcean is a good start, it is a very good comparison between block/file storage and cloud object storage.


Improvements to the App

With the new app there are several improvements to object storage in ownCloud. The integration of the S3 open standard moves forward both in the S3 solutions and in the ownCloud app.

One of the new features is a better implementation of versioning. ownCloud has file versions implemented since ages, and it is also part of the S3 standard. With the new app, the different version schemes became compatible – ownCloud stores file versions in S3 buckets now.

Another improvement is that you can now upload files bigger than 5 GB to your S3 Object Storage. The previous limitations have been cleaned up.

Apart from that, support for the OpenStack Swift protocol is deprecated now. And Minio does not work currently, as Minio has not yet implemented versioning. For now, we recommend to use Ceph/S3 as open source solution.


Thanks that you are with us on this ride!

So now, as more eyes are looking on the code, we can better guarantee good quality for everyone. Thanks that you use ownCloud, contribute to it, and spread the word!

As OpenSource project, only together we can give millions of users their privacy back. This is only possible, because we all throw our knowledge and experience together, to make the best and highest quality solution for everyone.

Try it out! We hope that object storage is useful for your ownCloud setup. This is for you:



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July 26, 2018

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