News: File sharing and storage company now meets 90% of its own needs.
Dropbox has revealed an unwelcome surprise for Amazon Web Services just a day after the public cloud giant celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Akhil Gupta, VP of engineering, Dropbox, revealed in a blog post that it has almost entirely moved away from the AWS cloud infrastructure.
The popular file sharing and storage service effectively built its success on the back of the AWS infrastructure and was one of the earliest adopters of the S3 service to store bulk data, but now it is handling its own data.
More than 90% of its storage needs are now being met by itself after starting to build its own storage infrastructure in 2013.
The reason for doing this is because of the company’s growth, Gupta said: "As the needs of our users and customers kept growing, we decided to invest seriously in building our own in-house storage system."
The company now has around 500 million customers and is handling over 500 petabytes of data, encrypted at rest.
What is likely is that Dropbox managed to reach a large enough scale that the incremental costs will go down by moving away from a cloud provider.
This undertaking has been dubbed Project Magic Pocket and it leads to two real advantages for Dropbox. Gupta said that the company will be able to optimise its storage systems to increase performance, this means the company can remove the public cloud lag.
The second benefit is that the company will be able to save money through hardware and software optimisation of its storage needs, said Gupta.
Project Magic Pocket has been a major task for the file sharing company with it having to build an exabyte-scale storage system.
Gupta said: "We knew we’d be building one of only a handful of exabyte-scale storage systems in the world. It was clear to us from the beginning that we’d have to build everything from scratch, since there’s nothing in the open source community that’s proven to work reliably at our scale."
Despite this challenge, Gupta says that the outcome sees the company able to over data durability of over 99.9999999999% and availability of over 99.99% while data is encrypted at rest.
Although the company feels that the benefits outweigh the negatives, this is something that it is now stuck to, unless of course it decided to re-migrate back into AWS.
Spotify, a long time AWS customer recently revealed that it has moved applications from its own data centres to AWS rival Google Cloud Platform.
One company that doesn’t want to be running its own data centres and does want to be in data centres run by Amazon is Thomas Publishing.
The 118-year old business is moving all its data from its own computer servers to the data centres run by Amazon.
Thomas Publishing used the AWS Database Migration Service which AWS is expected to launch on the 15th of March. The goal of the service is to make it easier for companies to migrate their databases to the cloud, but it will also make it easier to migrate away.
Thomas Publishing is already using AWS for both its website and financial planning system but it is shifting its database from servers that run Oracle software so that it can use Amazon Aurora as its database.
AWS isn’t alone in working to make it easier to migrate databases to the cloud, Microsoft’s next version of its database program, SQL Server 2016, will include technology that will make it easier to transfer data to the Azure cloud service.
Although AWS may have lost Dropbox it has gained a new customer and taken it away from Oracle. All in all it has been a mixed birthday for the company.