Cloud storage company Box has a massive amount of data uploaded to its servers every day. In fact, Box now has 11 million users and 125,000 businesses using the service, representing 92 percent of the Fortune 500. With massive companies like Procter & Gamble using Box for cloud storage, Box needs to make sure that uploads and data connectivity is fast. Today, the company is debuting Box Accelerator, a patent-pending global data transfer network that optimizes the performance of business collaboration. Basically, Box Accelerator advances the speed, security and scale of the storage service for business and enterprise users worldwide to create a faster and more streamlined work experience.
As CEO and co-founder Aaron Levie tells me, the company has put up infrastructure in a number of sites globally, and is also leveraging Amazon Web Services to allow customers to upload large amounts of data at a much faster rate. “We are using a mix of Amazon’s EC2 and our own recently built on-premise infrastructure to allow users to upload large amounts of data dramatically faster,” he explains.
Box Accelerator uses patent-pending, intelligent routing technology and a series of new global upload endpoints to help improve upload speeds in North America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and South America. The company has rented out space in a number of data centers and has put up servers that will help with acceleration, says Levie. Box’s routing technology analyzes user traffic based on several variables, including location, operating system and browser preferences, to deliver optimal transfer speeds. And the company ensures information is secure, with all data encrypted throughout transit.
According to tests done by an independent, third-party (Neustar) on upload times, Box had the lowest average upload time across all locations tested (2.7 times faster than the closest competitor globally and 3.1 times faster than its closest competitor in the U.S.). On average, file uploads to Box were processed at 7MB per second.
Box, which just raised $125 million in new funding, says Sony, Six Flags, American Hospital Association, and Targus Group International have all deployed the new Box Accelerator for file uploads and have seen similar results to those recorded by the third-party tester. Specifically, Six Flags is seeing uploads that are two times faster from New York, and Sonya’s data transfers are 6 times faster in Japan.
Prior to Accelerator’s launch, Box had 3 primary data centers (the data centers are leased, but Box owns and manages the equipment). With the launch of the Accelerator, that number goes up to 10 data centers. For now, Box Accelerator is focused on uploads, but eventually will expand to more regions and will also work for Box Sync and the company’s mobile apps. And down the line, Levie says, Box will open an API for Accelerator, as well.
After starting as a college business project in 2005, Box was officially launched in March of 2006 with the vision of connecting people, devices and networks. Box provides more than 8 million users with secure cloud content management and collaboration. They say their platform “allows personal and commercial content to be accessible, sharable, and storable in any format from anywhere”.