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Box announces multiple data zone options pre-GDPR

Thu 24 May 2018

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Enterprise data storage firm Box has announced multizone support, allowing them to simultaneously store information in multiple different zones across the world.

The move is driven primarily by the globalisation of business, as more companies need to meet different international data compliance regulations as they become expand.

Announced one day before the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), this means that enterprise customers will now be able to store their data in different parts of the world at the same time.

The timing of the announcement seems very deliberate, though Box CEO and co-founder Aaron Levie insisted this was coincidental. “We’ve been working on more than two years, from a technology standpoint, and we knew that it was going to come in this timeframe – and that ended up being well-timed with GDPR.”

Box’s previous model allowed customers to choose which part of the world their data was stored in, but not multiple zones at the same time. The company has said that this decision was due to the ‘increasingly complex global regulatory and compliance landscape.’

Speaking in London at the Box World Tour, Levie discussed the future of work, arguing that more will change in the next five years than has already changed in the past 20 years.

However, he also discussed the challenges involved for companies looking to keep up with these changes. “At the heart of digital transformation is how we manage, secure and collaborate on information,” he said.

“But you can’t take an existing business model and just write software on top of that. It’s not as simple as throwing software at a legacy process.” And as organisations have adopted various types of technology and software, the result, Levie argued, is increasingly siloed information.

“It’s really hard to get work done, because whichever part of a business you’re in, you have to go to a different repository. Our processes are fundamentally disconnected. It’s incredibly hard to secure that data,” he continued.

What Box is trying to do in order to address this is create a platform, which interacts with other platforms, to help businesses work in the digital age. It’s important to the company, then, that the product is vendor-neutral – something executives were keen to stress.

Levie confirmed that there are plans for other zones in the future though he was unable to put a specific timeline on this. The company’s zone strategy, he said, is built in partnership with its public cloud companies, like Amazon and IBM. This means that more zones can be supported wherever those partners have infrastructure. The decision ultimately depends on customer demand, he said.

As the company expands into places like South America and more broadly in Asia, then, we could expect to see further zones there. Box zones are currently found in Canada, Ireland, Germany, Japan, the U.S., the UK, Singapore, and Australia.


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