Box Goes Global, Expanding Footprint Across Equinix

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The colocation area inside the Equinix SY3 data center in Sydney, Australia, where Box has taken space. (Source: Equinix).

Online file storage service Box has expanded its global infrastructure beyond the US with Equinix. The colocation provider worked with Box to develop a comprehensive strategy for distributing its growing network, enabling Box to achieve a 60 percent increase in performance, and making its service easier to access for its global customer base.

Box initially moved its infrastructure into an Equinix Silicon Valley facility and recently added infrastructure in Equinix data centers around the globe including sites in Chicago, Ashburn, Va., Amsterdam, Sydney, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Headquartered in Los Altos, Calif., privately held Box provides a secure content-sharing platform for more than 14 million individuals and 140,000 businesses, including 92 percent of the Fortune 500. This is significant growth: In 2011, Box served 60,000 clients, many in the consumer sector.

Equinix Supports growth Strategy

The new customer numbers suggest not only customer growth, but increasing enterprise usage. Through Platform Equinix, Box is able to accelerate its growth by safeguarding its infrastructure, improving performance and providing direct connections to its digital supply chain.

“With Equinix, we know we’ll get consistently high performance and reliability across our data centers,” said Stefan Apitz, vice president of Operations for Box. “In addition, having our largest customers just a cross connect away helps us forge stronger business relationships. Other colocation sites give you four walls. Equinix is a partner that cares about our business and helps us connect with a global marketplace of partners and customers.”

With its service maturing and the number of customers and employees increasing, Equinix is Box’s foundation for growth. Box was able to distribute its global network of nodes, which are the mission-critical elements of Box’s infrastructure, including the Box Accelerator, which launched in August of 2012. Equinix’s ability to support rapid global expansions is helping Box deliver better results to both businesses and consumers.

“The world’s top carriers, networks and ISPs are accessible through Equinix IBX data centers throughout the globe,” said Chris Sharp, General Manager, Cloud and Content for Equinix. ”This allows Box to choose the locations and networks they require to achieve these superior performance results and deliver to their customers a better experience.”

Box is an interesting company with a growing enterprise cloud play. It additionally looks to take advantage of the consumerization of IT in the enterprise, as well as mobility and bring your own device (BYOD) trends. It makes sense that it would choose enterprise-level infrastructure if it wants to continue to court the enterprise. Platform Equinix makes a lot of sense because of the geographic diversity it can provide the company – something particularly important in light of Sandy. Sandy reinforced the need for geographic diversity, so it’s good timing for them to roll this out.

Box Pursues the Enterprise

Box has always been particularly aggressive in going after the enterprise, going after the SharePoint crowd at an early onset and continuously tailoring itself for enterprise needs. After rebranding to Box from Box.net several years ago, the cloud services provider seriously widened its portfolio of offerings. It deployed an Apps Marketplace and began establishing new partnerships. It introduced enterprise-friendly features like EMC Cloud Connect back in 2011,that feature enables companies to link on-premises ECM systems with Box’s content management.

Box also made sure that users can access its interface through a multitude of mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad, which speaks to enterprise Bring Your own Device (BYOD) trends. With 92% of the Fortune 500 as customers, Box has brought cloud to many a cloud-reluctant enterprise successfully. With enterprise-level infrastructure through Equinix, it has assured smooth global infrastructure growth going forward.

Box has also taken in a whopping $284 million in venture funding since it was founded in 2005, when it started as a college business project. That’s right, a college project – this is one of those cinderella stories. It started significantly retailoring for the enterprise way back in 2009, and it looks to have been successful. So this is a nice, big customer for Equinix. 

About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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