ownCloud Hooks Up Global Mesh Cloud for Universities, Researchers

by Ostatic Staff - Feb. 05, 2015

ownCloud, Inc., the company behind the popular ownCloud open source file sync and share software, has announced a project that for the first time ties together researchers and universities in the Americas, Europe and Asia via a series of interconnected, secure private clouds. It's yet another example of the momentum that ownCloud has. As I covered in a post yesterday, survey results from LinuxQuestions.org showed experts at the site to be very interested in the ownCloud platform.

OpenCloudMesh, a joint international initiative under the umbrella of the GÉANT Association, is built on ownCloud’s open Federated Cloud sharing application programming interface (API). The project, focused on linking up global universities, is focused on "taking Universal File Access beyond the borders of individual Clouds and into a globally interconnected mesh of research clouds." 

According to announcement of the mesh:

"OpenCloudMesh provides a common file access layer across an organization and across globally interconnected organizations, whether the data resides on internal servers, on object storage, in applications like SharePoint or Jive, other ownClouds, or even external cloud systems such as Dropbox and Google (syncing them to desktops or mobile apps, making them available offline)."

“Research labs and universities are by nature social institutions – collaborating, communicating and testing — but at the same time these same institutions must be very protective of their students, researchers and research. This often puts them at the cutting edge of technology,” said Frank Karlitschek, CTO, and co-founder, ownCloud, in a statement. “OpenCloudMesh gives each organization private cloud file sync and share, while Federated Cloud sharing, also known as server-to-server sharing, enables safe sharing between those clouds. The possibilities are unlimited not just for researchers and universities, but for enterprises large and small as well.”

“We are at a critical juncture in cloud computing,” said Peter Szegedi Project Development Officer, Management Team, GÉANT Association. “There is no longer a need to choose between privacy and security and collaboration and ease of use. We believe OpenCloudMesh will redefine the way people use the cloud to share their important files.”

A first draft of this OpenCloudMesh API specification will be published early this year and participation in developing and refining the API is open to all. To-date, 14 organizations have signed up to participate, ranging from CERN to the University of Florida. You can find the complete list here

The folks behind ownCloud have continued to do innovative things, and this new mesh concept sounds interesting. Let's not forget that the commercial Web has its roots in an Internet that once focused on connecting universities, research organizations and government organizations. A lot can come from that kind of connectivity.