Dropbox moves away from home, builds its own storage system

Look at Dropbox, all grown up and moving away from home. The company is now using, almost entirely, its own custom-built infrastructure to hold data, it was announced on Monday.

It says it is an important milestone as it moves away from Amazon Web Services it used before. Still, it will continue to partner with Amazon, when ‘it makes sense for our users’, Dropbox says.

Writing a blog post on the milestone on Monday, Dropbox’s Akhil Gupta said the company now hosts 90 per cent of all data.

“We’re excited to announce that we’re now storing and serving over 90 per cent of our users’ data on our custom-built infrastructure.”

Cloud hosting service company Dropbox keeps two kinds of files: file content and metadata about files and users. While metadata about files and users was always kept on Dropbox’s custom servers, files themselves were stored on Amazon.

But as the company grew, and more users flocked to its service, it became clear that a custom-built infrastructure was the way to go.

“As the needs of our users and customers kept growing, we decided to invest seriously in building our own in-house storage system. There were a couple reasons behind this decision. First, one of our key product differentiators is performance. Bringing storage in-house allows us to customize the entire stack end-to-end and improve performance for our particular use case. Second, as one of the world’s leading providers of cloud services, our use case for block storage is unique. We can leverage our scale and particular use case to customize both the hardware and software, resulting in better unit economics.”