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Dropbox Is Rolling Out a Private Network to Speed Up File Access (fortune.com) 40

Dropbox, the file storage company that last year moved 90 percent of its data out of Amazon Web Services cloud and into its own data centers, is at it again. From a report on Fortune: The San Francisco company is building its own international private network to make sure users abroad can access their files -- most of which reside in those aforementioned Dropbox U.S. data centers -- faster. "What people don't realize about the internet is that it is very 'bursty' and can hit bottlenecks," Akhil Gupta, vice president of engineering at Dropbox tells Fortune. That is why the company is ripping out third-party load balancers and replacing them with its own software running on standard Linux hardware. Insulating itself from the balky internet is also the reason Dropbox is contracting to use its own dedicated fiber cable to carry that traffic. "We want to make user experience as real time as possible since 70 percent of our users are outside the U.S. and most of the data lives in North America," says Dan Williams, Dropbox's head of production engineering. Dropbox still partners with Amazon for customers in some countries, like Germany, which require user data to stay in the country of origin.
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Dropbox Is Rolling Out a Private Network to Speed Up File Access

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  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday June 19, 2017 @04:44PM (#54650117)

    It seems kind of amazing that so many people outside the U.S. use DropBox. I mean I really like it, but you'd think most companies would want to keep data outside the U.S. if possible (which as noted they do do for German clients).

    I guess it's just that there's nothing that works nearly so well anywhere else, which I could see being compelling even if your data was more likely to be snooped on.

    • I was surprised about that too. But maybe their is some geo-political reason for it? Or is the basic US computer user not want/need that sort of service?

    • by w1zz4 ( 2943911 )

      It seems kind of amazing that so many people outside the U.S. use DropBox. I mean I really like it, but you'd think most companies would want to keep data outside the U.S. if possible

      I'm quite sure Dropbox is more a personnal than a business thing outside US. I never dealt with a business that was sending stuff over Dropbox that wasn't US.

      • If I was to rank the data sharing tools the various people I work with, it would be:
        - Dropbox
        - GDrive
        - WeTransfer

        For code:
        - GitHub (80%+)
        - Dropbox (Remainder)

        It's a good tool, not particularly fast but reliable and easy for neos to use.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by w1zz4 ( 2943911 )
          Mmmm, I am canadian, working for a canadian company and sending file on dropbox is strictly prohibited. Using any US cloud service to share file is in fact prohibited. We always use a service hosted in Canada, probably even hosted in one of our datacenter, I'm quite surprise by your number, that may not include in house tools.
          • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

            Mmmm, I am canadian, working for a canadian company and sending file on dropbox is strictly prohibited. Using any US cloud service to share file is in fact prohibited. We always use a service hosted in Canada, probably even hosted in one of our datacenter, I'm quite surprise by your number, that may not include in house tools.

            It depends on the application. We have dropbox internally, but it's used by sales to hold all the sales collateral. If that gets out, well, free marketing for us.

            Customers often use GD

          • Well that is dumb. What is the difference between a Canadian cloud service and a US one? You still don't own the data. Why would you put corporate data on a public cloud service? Sounds unlikely.
            • by w1zz4 ( 2943911 )
              hint... Canadian laws are really different regarding what a spying agency can and cannot do.
        • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

          When dropbox fixes its "large file dropped at 90%" problem, I might consider using it again.

          3 operating systems, 3 browsers, 2 locations.

    • I use dropbox outside the US. It's an easy decision.

      Our internet connections suck, and Dropbox is the only service to support LAN sync.

  • Seems that, once you have the infrastructure and clients, you might as well try to compete with the big ISPs. Of course this would have huge net neutrality implications (clearly Dropbox would like to prioritize their service over everyone else).
  • Every time I start Windows, the Dropbox client spends MINUTES indexing all the files in the folder during which time the computer is close to unresponsive. The more files in the folder, the worse the problem is. This is not a new problem, it's been this way for years.

    I realise that it has to reconcile changes locally to remote changes but however they're doing it right now is totally fucked up. At the very least it shouldn't kill the performance of the rest of the system while it's working.

    • I've never had that problem. It does take awhile for DB to index and download the stuff from my other machine, but everything else works okay while I'm waiting.

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