Earlier this month, I reported that Dropbox was adding their own point of presence (PoP) in Sydney to speed up local services. This followed similar moves in other territories. The PoP isn’t a local storage facility but a proxy that is used to speed up sync performance back to the servers in US, which is where almost all Dropbox’s storage capacity is located – there’s also storage in Germany to satisfy EU data sovereignty requirements. But, it seems Dropbox’s ambitions are much grander, as they are building their own private network to service customers.
According to a report at Fortune, Dropbox is pushing ahead and buying lots of fiber connectivity in order to create their own private network to ensure they maintain their performance edge over other services. This follows their move away from AWS to their own data centres.
This is a smart move as it means Dropbox can specifically tune the network and storage to their very particular requirements. But it also gives them a platform from which to launch new products and services.
Dropbox has been making a lot of noise about their collaboration platform, Paper, and how they are more than just relatively simple file syncing but part of an enterprise platform. By shifting to their own infrastructure and continuing to invest in improving their administration and management interface, they can build new apps and services that take advantage of their strong position.
If I was to make a prediction about what they will look like in five years, I suspect the enterprise cloud discussion, that largely focuses on AWS and Azure today, could extend to Dropbox becoming the third major player in the online enterprise services market.