The future of self hosting owncloud based on architecture direction

It is with some trepidation that I read the architectural plans for the next
version or the new version.

Installing Owncloud now is reasonably simple and some hosting companies have robots that do it.

Hosting has been readily available and cheap (obviously depending on your need). Just any old web host that supports PHP required.

I see that “ownCloud Infinite Scale” is now based around microservices and written in Go and with possible dependencies to etcd or mdns

This will entirely eliminate the cheap and traditional way of self hosting ownCloud on a cheap webhoster.

If you want to host it somewhere yourself, I assume you would need to get a VPS. This is fine with me, but it puts it out of reach for hundreds of thousands of people.

Is the plan to develop both products going forward for the next 5 years or so will InfinyScale become dominant going forward with the old easy to host version becoming legacy, unsupported?

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Hey,

i got some information in the past about the future of ownCloud 10.x by (i think) some one of ownCloud:

Hi,

thanks for raising this point, I’ll share some thoughts from my POV here.

First: Yes, there will be support for the PHP based ownCloud as we move forward with ownCloud Infinite Scale (oCIS). I can not make a concrete statement now how long that will be but it will be long enough to not leave anybodies usecase behind. The plan is that there will be reasons enough to switch to oCIS, so that users will be happy to migrate at some point.

Now to your point about loosing the ability to deploy ownCloud on a ‘ordinary web hoster’ with oCIS. It is right that this has been very important in the beginning of ownCloud and helped to make ownCloud widely adopted.

But with offloading the (mainly PHP-) dependencies to the underlying platform the PHP based ownCloud also put a burden to the admins: It has always been their responsibility to set up and maintain a working and secure “base platform”. Both points are not trivial, especially with extra functionality delivered by special PHP modules. Also on the long run, when security updates have to be delivered for the entire stack. While it might have been ok ten years ago in the small “familiy use case” to trust that every PHP stack is maintained properly, I do not think it is still today, not even in the smallest use cases.

With oCIS we’re pulling most of the dependency hell into the development: Golang bundles the depending parts into the (single) binary and they are maintained by the provider of the build which is ownCloud. What can be downloaded with the coming GA version is a carefully crafted, dependency resolved, maintained and also CI’ed and QA’ed solution. All that needs to be provided to run it is a very basic containerized, virtualized or bare metal environment with very few extra deps. That is way easier than providing a full LAMP stack. I hope you agree on that.

Microservices architecture is btw nothing ownCloud is doing on its own, but an industry trend used in many so called ‘cloud ready’ apps. There are already very attractive hosted offerings for environments, and that market will evolve.

I hope this enlightens the main points of this aspect of our architectural move a bit.

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I am a developer myself.

C#, Docker, Redis, PostgreSQL, AWS, microservices, moving towards Kubernetes and some serverless now.
All the coordination and configuration for it gets complex far too soon.

The single PHP monolith can be easy to install.

You can get managed LAMP hosting cheap as I said.
Plus everything below it.

On a non-managed VPS you are responsible for everything yourself. Like OS patching.

Managed VPS tend to be very expensive

Yes this will make the product Enterprise and far easier to scale.
It is not a solution intended for regular people run an instance for a couple of friends that performs well enough on a low end web host.

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I suggest you to try it. You can read through Getting Started | ownCloud and see that the basic setup is as easy as possible.

Even if the plan is to allow scaling any service as much as the admin wants, with all the overhead around configuration and coordination as you’ve said, simpler setups are always possible. If you just want to use for a couple of friends, an “all-in-one” setup is more than enough. Of course it comes with limitations, but that’s what you get if you want it to be plug & play.

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