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February 22, 2021
Stuttgart, February 22, 2021 – Nextcloud GmbH, the company behind the worlds’ most deployed on-premises content collaboration platform, announces immediate availability of Nextcloud Hub 21, bringing a massive performance improvement and important new collaboration features in Text, Talk, Groupware and Files. The new High Performance Back-end for Files in particular reduces server load from desktop clients and web interface polling by 90% while delivering instant notifications and file changes to users.
With the COVID crisis continuing to force employees to work from home, Nextcloud server administrators need to keep adding capacity. Nextcloud 21 will reduce the load on servers, enabling more employees to work without requiring additional hardware. At the same time, the new collaboration features improve the day to day productivity and support team members in getting more work done in less time.
— Frank Karlitschek, CEO and founder of Nextcloud GmbH
Nextcloud Hub 21 delivers a wide range of performance optimizations aimed at increasing responsiveness and capacity at large Nextcloud installations. Optimizations to app loading and database queries as well as a range of specific scenarios like the usage of Text, Object storage, LDAP group handling and more deliver an up to twice more responsive user experience. New client preview features will also result in more responsive mobile clients and the unified search was optimized for various apps. PHP 8 compatibility can bring an additional performance boost to Nextcloud deployments.
The High Performance Back-end for Files in Nextcloud is an optional, binary component developed in Rust. It is capable of maintaining a direct connection with desktop and web clients, providing file change and notification updates to the clients. This negates the need for regular polling the server, reducing the 30 second polling period to 5 minutes and thus providing a 90% reduction in client-server connections for change notifications and associated server load. The direct connection provides instant notifications of file changes as well as events like an incoming call, comment on a file, mention in a chat message and more. The performance improvements in database use, file handling and app specific work combined with the high performance back-end are expected to result in an up to 10x increase in capacity of large Nextcloud servers.
At a scale of millions of users, milliseconds start to add up. After analyzing application and caching server, storage and database behavior, our team was able to significantly reduce the impact of common operations. The High Performance Back-end, on the other hand, provides a completely new way of reducing server load while bringing a new level of responsiveness to users.
— Roeland Douma, Server Engineering and Support Lead
To improve team coordination, Nextcloud Hub 21 introduces a collaborative Whiteboard app, allowing users to draw, take notes and upload images during a call or on their own. This release also introduces author colors in Text, making it easier to track activity during a collaborative editing session. The addition of Document Templates to Nextcloud can speed up the creation of frequently needed documents like meeting notes or reports. Nextcloud Talk debuts message status indicators, a raise hand feature, a group conversation description, improved call experience with collapsible video bar, full-screen screen sharing and reduced CPU usage, an improved conversation view with bigger image previews, animated GIF support and easier accessible settings, improved and partially rewritten Bridge integrations and more. Nextcloud Mail introduces drag’n’drop support, configurable special folders, improved threaded view, updated attachment handling and more. Administrators can now configure attachment limits in Mail, enforcing usage of Nextcloud share links instead. The Contacts app introduces the ability to automatically retrieve avatars from social media networks.
Nextcloud Hub 21 is compatible with the latest PHP 8 and drops compatibility with PHP 7.2. The release is available for immediate download on nextcloud.com/install. Existing users will receive an update notification over the coming weeks. Nextcloud does staged roll-outs, usually starting at the first minor release and gradually encompassing the entire user base unless problems are found. With an estimated over 400.000 Nextcloud servers on the internet, the total roll-out is expected to take several months.
Nextcloud Hub is the industry-leading, fully open source, on-premises team productivity platform, combining the easy user interface of consumer-grade cloud solutions with the security and compliance measures enterprises need. Nextcloud Hub brings together universal access to data through mobile, desktop and web interfaces with next-generation, on-premise secure communication and collaboration features like real-time document editing, chat and video calls, putting them under direct control of IT and integrated with existing infrastructure.
Nextcloud’s easy and quick deployment, open, modular architecture and emphasis on security and advanced federation capabilities enable modern enterprises to leverage their existing file storage assets within and across the borders of their organization. For more information, visit nextcloud.com or follow https://twitter.com/Nextclouders on Twitter.
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