That doesn’t mean the cloud doesn’t have disadvantages. Public cloud providers have what Fichera calls “tolls” on using and moving data. There are not usually fees for uploading data into the cloud, but there are networking bandwidth costs for getting it out.
Other companies have dropped the cloud with mixed degrees of success. Zynga is perhaps the most notable example. The mobile app company built its games atop AWS, which allowed them to scale as they went viral. Then, they decided to build their Z-Cloud, which provided the base-level of compute resources the company needed. It was still going to use AWS for the “peak” capacity beyond what Z-cloud could handle. Eventually as Zynga fell out of favor in the app world, the company went back in with AWS.
Dropbox is confident that it will be around for the long haul and therefore these investments are worth it. Could Dropbox be ushering in a new wave of mega-cloud customers who are realizing they can more efficiently run infrastructure themselves? Or will Dropbox be a Zynga case study all over again?
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