Cloud

Box continues global cloud push, expands Box Zones to Australia and Canada

Box recently announced that its regional data storage product, Box Zones, would be expanding into Australia and Canada, and the company would speed up performance and add compliance for ISO 27018.

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Image: iStockphoto/alehnia

On Wednesday, cloud content management company Box announced that it was expanding its Box Zones regional data storage product to support Australia and Canada, along with key performance and compliance updates. The new offerings could make Box a more enticing option for enterprises dealing with data sovereignty concerns.

According to a Box press release, the company claims more than 62,000 businesses among its customers. Many of those businesses are multinational or international, and "nearly half of all activity in Box occurs outside of the US."

In a post titled Expanding the Global Cloud on the Box Blog, Box co-founder and CEO, Aaron Levie, wrote about the unstoppable globalization of business, and about how teams around the world must often collaborate in real-time to get work done. The promise of the cloud, he wrote, is to "broker this collaboration and bring together teams so they can do their very best work."

"It's almost impossible to design a new consumer product, launch a marketing campaign or develop a new drug without people coming together from disparate teams and locations," Levie wrote.

SEE: How Aaron Levie and his childhood friends built Box into a $2 billion business, without stabbing each other in the back

With Box Zones, and its recent expansion, the company is trying to overcome the technical challenges and privacy hurdles that make it difficult to work as part of a global team. Box Zones was first announced earlier this year, in April 2016, launching in specific parts of Europe and Asia.

Germany, Ireland, Singapore, and Japan were the first countries to get access to Box Zones, and the company has now expanded its reach to include support for Australia and Canada, which will be available this fall. That brings the total number of supported countries to seven, including the US. Box Zones will continue in its initial partnership with IBM and AWS.

"The variation in regional and country data privacy laws makes it critical for cloud service providers to support local data storage," said IDC research director Duncan Brown. "Customers want to know where their data is stored, and in many cases they want it stored close to them."

Box Accelerator, a tool that intelligently routes Box customer traffic, also received an update of additional network endpoints in more areas around the world. This will mean that Box Accelerator will see a 2-6x improvement in upload speed, depending on locale. Japan, for example, is seeing an average of 5x improvement. Box Accelerator will be turned on for core Box customers at no additional cost.

Additionally, Box also announced compliance with ISO 27018, a "standard for protecting personally identifiable information (PII) in the cloud, set forth by the International Standards Organization." ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization, and this specific compliance gives global privacy standards, making it easier for companies to expand their use of Box. In 2013, Box announced compliance for ISO 27001.

The expansions of Box Zones and the company's focus on performance and compliance show that Box is working hard to remain one of the cloud management tools of choice for the enterprise. The company has also recently began focusing on specific industries, like government, with other compliance and security initiatives.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Box Zones is expanding to Australia and Canada in the fall, with additional performance coming to Box Accelerator and compliance with ISO 27018.
  2. With increasing concerns around data sovereignty, the expansion of Box Zones provides the company with a way to better target international companies, and those based in countries with strict data laws.
  3. Box has also gone after specific verticals, as well as regions, adding industry-specific tools and compliance options to its core product.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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