I've recently had a number of queries all around the same topics, what's our roadmap and when are we upgrading to Mastodon 4. I wanted to take the time to give you an idea on what our plans are and what has been holding us back from upgrading.
Roadmap for the rest of 2022
As we see it, there are 3 essential tasks we need to complete before the end of this year to ensure we're able to perform the 4.x upgrade of Mastodon as well as ensure we're working in a cost effective way. We've come a long way with our instance in the last few weeks (Most to come on this in a future blog post) but we've made some tactical decisions which we need to now re-visit and turn into long term sustainable actions.
Creation of our Development / Non-Production Environment
The first action we will need to take is to build out a non-production instance of our Mastodon site, using a "mini version" of our architecture where we can then start to test changes we would like to make in our current production environment. We've been careful to date on the changes we make and have ensured we're being thoughtful on what we think is appropriate risk to take.
Our non-prod environment will enable us to test bigger changes (In the immediate future that's the 4.x upgrade) and give us greater confidence to ensure your experience isn't impacted negatively.
Migration of our media & content storage away from AWS S3
Our next priority is to start moving our multimedia content away from AWS S3 and onto an alternative provider. We've got a few options in mind that we're currently exploring, but we know we need to ultimately move to a storage service which can still scale and offer the highly resilient service we currently get, but at a substantially lower price.
On December 5th we made some changes to how the media store is being served to users, this won't have impacted any of you, however will provide us with some savings if all goes to plan! Due to the size of our media storage (At the time of writing it's 1.1TB and 4.4 Million Objects) we expect to perform a slower phased transition to a new storage provider.
Upgrading MastodonApp.UK to the latest 4.x release
Our final task we hope to be able to achieve before the end of the year is to complete the upgrade to Mastodon 4.x, however with limited time left, we may see this run into the first half of January. We've had a lot of requests for the 4.x interface and we're aware of a number of enhancements across the software that will make our users experience even better, and we can't wait to bring it to you. We don't know how long the maintenance will take or what (if any) outage will be required, as soon as we do we will make sure to communicate this through our status page, my account on Mastodon (@[email protected]) and through the status account we have on the site.
Hopefully this gives you a better idea of our short term roadmap. The small team here is still working through a number of challenges, we know our e-mail support is really slow right now and we're working to move that to a proper ticketing system going forward. We also know we need to have a better way to present and update you with this roadmap, and we're looking into solutions to best serve that now.