Box unveiled a new service today called Box Zones. Box is hailing Box Zones as a “breakthrough technology” that allows customers to take advantage of cloud storage while ensuring that data is securely stored within a given region.
If you follow tech news, you know that there are plenty of data breaches, and that data privacy and protection laws vary greatly from one region to another. Situations like the recent (and ongoing) struggle between Apple and the FBI illustrate the importance of jurisdiction when it comes to securely storing data. Microsoft has been in a legal battle with the United States as well over emails stored in a datacenter in Ireland. Complying with US law could mean Microsoft simultaneously violates European data laws.
These types of situations make companies outside the United States reluctant to trust data to be stored where the United States government might have the authority to access it without permission. Regional and local laws also sometimes dictate that data must be stored within the region, which limits the options of companies in those jurisdictions when it comes to migrating to the cloud.
As Box CEO Aaron Levie explains in a blog post announcing Box Zones, “Barriers still remain for some of the largest or most regulated global enterprises. For instance, hospitals in France or financial services firms in Germany face strict regulations around where their files are stored, leaving them with a limited set of options, and keeping many of these enterprises stuck on legacy infrastructure.”
Box has been working diligently on Box Zones for the past couple years, according to Levie. It was a Herculean undertaking because it required separating the Box applications and service from how and where the data is actually stored and encrypted. The resulting architecture, however, solves that problem and provides Box the flexibility to leverage its own data centers in conjunction with select cloud partners to deliver regionalized storage for Box Zones.
Levie states, “With Box Zones, we’re partnering with two world-class global companies, IBM and Amazon, to provide our customers with storage infrastructure at unparalleled reach and scale. Over time, you will see us enter more regions throughout (and beyond) Europe and Asia, and potentially open up to other partners in the future.”
Box revealed that Box Zones is scheduled to be available next month for an additional fee and leverages Amazon S3 on AWS Regions in Germany, Ireland, Japan and Singapore. Box Zones is also scheduled to be available via IBM Cloud in Europe and Asia later this year for an additional fee.