Dropbox on Monday introduced its cold storage service, a custom-built infrastructure that allows Dropbox to store less frequently accessed data at lower costs. The service is part of Magic Pocket, Dropbox's own exabyte-scale infrastructure that it's been building since 2016 as it weans off of Amazon Web Services. According to Dropbox, Magic Pocket is designed to push the boundaries of the company's platform while still representing the its core file-storage roots.
With the new cold storage option, Dropbox said it developed a second storage tier after analyzing usage patters and modifying how it separates files into storage blocks. As a result, cold storage runs on the same hardware as its primary Magic Pocket tier, allowing end users to access and retrieve data as needed.
"The warm tier remains our standard Magic Pocket system, which has high storage density and very fast network connectivity," Dropbox wrote in a blog post. "Our cold tier runs on the same hardware and network but saves costs through innovatively reducing disk usage by 25%, without compromising durability or availability. The end experience for users is almost indistinguishable between the two tiers."
Dropbox said Magic Pocket now stores and serves more than 90% of its users' data. A year ago Dropbox expanded the capacity of Magic Pocket with the mass deployment of Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) drive technology, which Dropbox said would increase its overall storage density, reduce its physical data center footprint, and provide significant cost savings.