Also known as “500,000 terabytes” or “a pornographic amount of hard drives”
Not everyone knew, but kept Dropbox users’ files on Amazon ‘s infrastructure. She kept.On Monday (14), the storage service in the cloud announced it is ending migrating over 500 petabytes of data (ie, more than 500 thousand terabytes) for own servers in order to increase platform performance.
The amount of data in Dropbox has grown 12 times in the last four years: in 2012, only 40 petabytes of files were in the hands of the service. The rapid increase of users of Dropbox, which exceeded more than 500 million accounts last week, was one of the incentives for the company to spend to invest in its own infrastructure.
Dropbox says that by maintaining their own servers can improve performance, which is one of the “key differentiators of service” (I agree) – you can optimize each machine specifically for the operation of the product, increasing the speed. Moreover, by customizing every aspect of hardware and software, the company can reduce its operating costs.
But as Dropbox could migrate such a large amount of data? Obviously, the transition took a long time: the work began in 2013, when the first prototypes of the new data storage system were developed. The files of users began to be mirrored between servers in August 2014, when the system has to be considered stable. On February 27, 2015, for the first time, Dropbox served files that were saved only on your servers.
Not to burst the migration schedule, Dropbox set up a high-speed network capable of transferring data at up through rates terabit per second (!). The goal was to provide at least 90% of the files through the own servers by the end of October 2015 – they managed to reach the mark almost a month before, on 7 October.
Now the goal is to keep the structure in place to expand the storage to the house of exabytes and offer availability of over 99.99%. While retaining most of the data on their servers, the company will also continue using Amazon to store files in Germany: European corporate clients may request the Dropbox data to be stored on servers within the continent.
It’s hard to imagine the complexity of such a structure.