Dropbox’s Exodus From (and to) the Cloud

Interesting piece from Wired about Dropbox’s shift away from Amazon’s cloud and onto one of their own devising.

I remember a time when everyone thought it would be Google providing all this distributed infrastructure. But in the intervening years it’s become a lot clearer Google is fundamentally an advertising company, and Amazon is a services and logistics company—and becoming the de facto retailer of distributed storage and processing power becomes a lot more important if you’re the latter.

Amazon’s resulting cloud dominance has been fundamentally unchallenged for close to half a decade now. It’s hard to think of a project I’ve worked on during that time that didn’t involve their infrastructure in some way. It’s only recently that the very biggest consumer companies, like Dropbox and Apple, have undertaken the herculean task of spooling up distributed infrastructure of their own at a similar scale.

If you’re interested in a look at the actual bricks and mortar that make up the “the cloud,” Ingrid Burrington’s post “Why Amazon’s Data Centers Are Hidden in Spy Country” is recommended reading, along with all the other entries in the Atlantic’s “Beneath the Cloud” series.