We are thrilled to announce that today marks a significant upgrade to Infura's IPFS decentralized data storage service. This substantial overhaul ensures faster data storage and retrieval performance for the IPFS community. It also sets a more resilient and scalable foundation for Infura to build future IPFS features and functionalities. The upgrade does not require IPFS customers to make any changes to the way they use the IPFS API.

A slight modification to our garbage collection policies accompanies this update, and we have discussed it in more detail below. To ensure a seamless upgrade experience for our existing IPFS users, Infura will temporarily limit the creation of new Infura IPFS Project keys. More details are provided below.

What is IPFS?

IPFS, as thoroughly explained in our August 28th, 2023 blog post ‘The Developers Guide to File Storage & IPFS’ is a distributed protocol that facilitates a peer-to-peer network for file storage and sharing. Our support of IPFS, as a part of our web3 infrastructure portfolio, has enabled versatile storage for documents, art assets, music, videos, social network data, photos, and much more. Moreover, IPFS has been used as a distributed, secure storage for the front-end of numerous Dapps.

How do these changes upgrade IPFS?

Infura’s IPFS service currently maintains over 160 million distinct accessible objects for our users. Our scale inevitably influences user-facing operations such as content addition or retrieval performance, and system operations like indexing or new feature addition. Through years of operating this high-volume platform, our IPFS team has continuously gathered invaluable insights about scaling and optimizing IPFS.

Even though improvements are a regular part of our operating process, today’s release encompasses multiple improvements to various tiers of our IPFS stack. The aim is not just to enhance customer-facing performance but to also ease our ongoing system operations.

How does this IPFS upgrade improve the developer experience?

Today’s changes do not mandate any modifications in how our customers interact with Infura’s IPFS API. Users will automatically experience faster performance when pinning or retrieving files.

Garbage collection changes

Garbage collection is a crucial process that determines the deletion timeframe of unneeded and unpinned files from the IPFS system. With today's release, our garbage collection policy will be updated as follows:

  1. Any new files added by a user that are not pinned will be automatically deleted shortly after the addition. To make a file available on the IPFS network, users will need to re-add and then re-pin the content.
  2. The moment a user unpins a file, Infura’s IPFS will remove that file, making it unavailable on the network.
  3. Files added to IPFS prior to this update that were never pinned and are still available will be automatically removed from the system on 11/30/23. We urge Infura IPFS users to retrieve a copy of these files and/or pin them to prevent the loss of this unpinned data.

Temporary limits on new IPFS Keys

To ensure a smooth upgrade experience for our existing IPFS users, Infura will be temporarily limiting the setup of new IPFS Keys in the Infura dashboard. However, customers with existing Infura IPFS projects and keys can continue to use our IPFS service without any restrictions. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and will update our dashboard as soon as this limitation is revised.

Enhancing the IPFS experience for Infura developers

The recent changes to Infura’s IPFS will enhance the IPFS experience for our customers. These improvements will enable web3 developers to continue leveraging this decentralized storage platform for building robust applications and in offering seamless integration of off-chain and on-chain storage experiences. Please check out Infura's documentation on IPFS to explore its full capabilities and seamlessly integrate it into your projects.