Cloud's next battleground: upload/download

It’s conference season in the technology industry. Or, if you prefer, it’s symposium, convention, congregation and convocation or confabulation season.

It’s true, I do end up looking for synonyms for the word “conference” when I am dashing between various different developer events and you have my permission to borrow any of those and use them at your leisure.

This season marks the first time I will be trying to leave my laptop in my room and work from an iPad with a full Bluetooth Apple keyboard.

So I am prepped up with my free five Gig of storage in Apple iCloud, Microsoft Skydrive and Ubuntu One. I’m hoping to be able to use as much virtual space and processing power as possible basically.

With this reliance on cloud storage, the question of upload and download speed starts to come to mind more urgently than it has done recently.

As such, I have my eye on companies like Box. A firm currently pushing to make upload and download speeds way faster by establishing new network endpoints around the globe and opening up its network intelligence software to developers.


Box is about to launch Box Accelerator, an enterprise-grade global data transfer network that claims to be able to produce a 10x boost in upload speeds.

How fast is 10x fast?

Neutral, third party testing provider Neustar found that Box had the lowest average upload time across all locations tested, and was 2.7 times faster than the closest competitor globally.

“The goal of Box Accelerator is to enable the fastest possible uploading of content to the cloud for enterprises. Box Accelerator takes advantages of a network of infrastructure that we manage ourselves and utilises cloud services like Amazon EC2,” said Aaron Levie, the self-styled lead magician and CEO of Box.

… and for developers?

“Next, we plan to extend this technology to our API, allowing third-party developers to build applications on Box that deal with large files and content. Without having to worry about infrastructure and building a global footprint, developers will be able to get the benefits of Box Accelerator in their application within minutes. We think this will be extremely powerful for partners developing services in healthcare, media, manufacturing, science and research fields, where one of the primary challenges is moving around large amounts of data throughout the world,” said Levie.

I won’t be using Box Accelerator just yet of course, but hopefully the cloud services which I have subscribed to (which, let’s face it, are all free) will keep me uploading and downloading quickly enough to suit my needs. This though, is a key consideration for enterprises now moving forward with usage of virtualisation particularly in mobile.