Australia to get Dropbox proxy server to boost performance

Company cites growth in ANZ market

Dropbox is to install a point-of-presence, a proxy server, in Australia, at Equinix’s Sydney data centre — a move that it says will improve upload and download speeds to and from its US data centres for Australian and New Zealand customers.

Daniel Iverson, Dropbox’s head of solutions architecture APAC, told Computerworld that the move was a direct result of the growth in Dropbox’s business in the region. He said such facilities were already installed to serve large markets.

“We have one in Japan, some in Europe and one in Singapore to support the rest of Asia. It is really cool that we have reached the scale to have one down here.”

He added that the facility was expected to go live within a month and would be completely transparent to users, other than that they would see faster performance.

“It will support all our users in the region: free, business and enterprise,” Iverson said.

“It will proxy all your file-related information, block data and metadata. It will optimise the network connectivity between Dropbox clients and the Dropbox cloud. There is no caching; all your data is still stored in the Dropbox cloud in the US.”

In addition, he said Dropbox’s scale in Australia was now such that it had established an Internet peering point — meaning it is able to accept traffic directly from ISPs. “The speed increase will be quite amazing,” Iverson said.

Dropbox said the decision to install the Australian PoP had come off the back of unprecedented growth across the ANZ region, with 44 percent of the ASX200 having a Dropbox Business account, up from 34 per cent last year), and 99 per cent of ASX200 companies having a Dropbox footprint of some kind.

The company said also that Australian businesses led the world in the use of Dropbox for file collaboration.

“Adoption of Dropbox’s collaborative workspace Paper, is amongst the highest in ANZ. … Further, international file sharing has doubled in three years with 40.8 percent of local businesses now sharing files globally via Dropbox compared to 21.1 percent in 2014.”

Collaboration “the secret sauce”

Iverson said global collaboration was becoming “the secret sauce in driving innovation and competitive differentiation” in ANZ.

“Our data shows that Dropbox is being used by ANZ companies to increase their innovation capacity. In almost every new deal we close these days, the need to drive internal and external collaboration is front of mind. More businesses are seeking better ways to break down silos and get teams working better together.”

He added: “Workplace communication and collaboration is still extremely fragmented, with people on average using four to five communication channels a day. This represents a huge opportunity to make collaboration simple and effective through a single platform.”

Computerworld spoke to Iverson on the eve of the company’s Connect event being held at Sydney’s CarriageWorks on 6 June. It will feature use presentations from Atlassian, Airtasker, Built, Kogan, NearMap, Deputy and Blackbird Ventures.

Iverson said Dropbox was working with Built to rollout Dropbox across the company and replace all its file servers. He described Built as “a very cool company with six or seven hundred people that has doubled in size over the past few years and reckons it will double in size again in the next few years,” and that used technology as one of its main competitive differentiators.

“They were working on a lot of drawings that can be several gigabytes and they were having to wait overnight for files,” he said. “Now they can work in real time. It has transformed the speed and the cost at which they can respond to new proposals.”

He added: “We are now working with Built to roll out Dropbox across the company and replace all their file servers. On a construction site they used to have to bring in massive expensive file servers. Dropbox has transformed how the business works.”