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ownCloud Infinite Scale: New Architecture for Unlimited Scalability

With “ownCloud Infinite Scale”, ownCloud announces the development of a new generation of software that focuses on unlimited scalability for users, files, shares and metadata.
ownCloud Unveils New Architecture for Unlimited Scalability
With “ownCloud Infinite Scale”, ownCloud announces the development of a new generation of software that focuses on unlimited scalability for users, files, shares and metadata. The most important features of the new architecture are the switch to the Go programming language and the integration of the new “Phoenix” user interface. ownCloud Infinite Scale will dramatically reduce database requirements and enable geo-replication in the near future.

The new ownCloud architecture leverages the most modern technologies in the IT industry. In detail, it is the result of combining the new user interface “Phoenix” with the next generation storage engine “Reva” and other new technologies. A key aspect is the switch from the scripting language PHP to the compiled programming language Go, which supports concurrency and thus makes it much easier for developers to build particularly large code bases and infrastructures.

The new ownCloud Frontend Phoenix is based on the vue.js framework. The user interface is completely decoupled from the server which leads to a clearer, easier to understand and therefore more stable and secure code structure. Due to the separation of frontend and backend, computationally intensive processes (e.g. a virus scan) always run in the background, which saves resources and increases the overall performance.

Combined with EOS, S3 Object Storage, Posix File System or SMB Storage and authentication via Open ID Connect, this represents a new base architecture for storage, metadata or any kind of content collaboration add-ons.

ownCloud Infinite Scale sees the introduction of gRPC based high-performance cloud-native microservices which handle connections to storage and to the pluggable app framework. These microservices involve small, decoupled processes that enable the modular structure of the software in the first place. The cloud-native microservices, utilizing the latest proven technologies, will ensure a modular, scalable and robust foundation of the ownCloud Infinite Scale architecture while providing stability in modern and legacy APIs.

ownCloud Infinite Scale will enable operations across geographically distributed data centers in the near future. A major advantage of this geo-replication is the fact that the risk of data loss due to a failure of individual servers is reduced to an absolute minimum. The new infrastructure also allows integrating a scalable workflow engine into ownCloud.

“ownCloud Infinite Scale is the next logical step for ownCloud. A completely new architecture creates unlimited scalability for users, data, approvals and metadata. We enable open source content collaboration for every user and every company, regardless of installation size and individual requirements – and with a performance increase of 90 percent and more,” emphasizes Holger Dyroff, COO of ownCloud.

From the Community, for the Community

Important components and know-how of the new architecture were designed in tight collaboration and conjunction with members of the ownCloud Foundation, which was officially established last year and in which representatives of important organizations within the ownCloud ecosystem work together to provide mutual support.

AARNet, the Australian research and education network, is co-developing ownCloud Infinite Scale and will be the first organization using it in the field. “With the new architecture, we look forward to a stronger integration of ownCloud into our storage, as well as a very efficient handling of files and shared data. This will provide improved file-based collaboration and support the current and future needs of our research and education community. With more than 60,000 users, our ‘CloudStor’ implementation of ownCloud is a tremendously successful solution. With a data growth of more than 100% per year we demand and expect extremely high scalability and operational efficiency. We have developed the belief that this next-generation approach is the right technology choice,” commented David Wilde, CTO of AARNet.

ownCloud X, the current ownCloud generation with 10.2 as the latest version, will continue to receive new features and full support for the future. As a long-term supported release, it comes with a support guarantee until 2020 and an extended support window afterwards.

ownCloud Infinite Scale is developed using an Apache 2.0 license. It is expected to be available to selected customers by the end of 2019, followed by general availability during 2020. Interested developers find all essential information in the ownCloud “nexus” repository on GitHub in order to follow the development of the new architecture and to get actively involved:

During the ownCloud Conference in September, interested users will also have the opportunity to get a detailed picture of the technical structure and possibilities of the new architecture in lectures, workshops and discussions.

About AARNet

AARNet Pty Ltd (APL) is a not for profit company that operates Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet). AARNet’s shareholders are 38 Australian universities and the CSIRO.

AARNet provides high capacity Internet and other communications services for the nation’s research and education community, including universities, health and medical research institutions and other research organisations, schools, vocational training providers and cultural institutions. AARNet serves over one million end users who access the network for teaching, learning and research.

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July 18, 2019

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