back to article This move by Dropbox will reduce users' files to tiers: Rarely, regularly accessed data now kept separate

Cloudy storage provider Dropbox has enhanced its bit barns with a tiered storage architecture that divides the contents of the platform into frequently accessed "warm" data and "cold" data, with the latter less likely to be disturbed. The storage shop has changed the way it does replication for older data, cutting the amount …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so, they licensed/re-implemented S3

    > To get a block, the system issues a get request to all three regions, waits for the fastest two responses, and cancels the remaining request.

    This is just run of the mill erasure-coding. Amazon S3 is (was) 9/18 (any 9 fragments out of total of 18) to reassemble data. 6 fragments are stored in a single 'datacenter'. The web tier issues 18 requests and the first 9 that respond are run thru the reconstruction algorithm. The others are discarded.

    I very much doubt Dropbox did 2/3, but something like 10/15 (or 8/12, 12/18, etc) where 5 fragments go to a single 'datacenter'. So actually they aren't grabbing fragments from 2 sites, but just "2 sites' worth". When marketing writes slides and journos who don't know any better just parrot them, this is the kind of inaccurate technical representations that happen.

  2. djstardust

    They probably

    have a shitload more space because of all the people who have left in the past month.

    Another company with a suicidal policy change.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just Drop[ped]Box. new three device syncing limit is unworkable/pathetic, 5 minimum needed.

      Plenty of people probably don't even realise the new 3 device limit change.

      The new three device limit is pathetic and no longer unusable as a free account, it really should be described as a free demo Dropbox account now.

      Free Dropbox was handy for saving small files on virtual/muti-boot machines, so they get automatically sync'd so you know where you've saved them, and have them in one place.

      From the sound of it, it sounds like most users are leaving their data to rot, having moved elsewhere.

      Facebook had this type of policy from the beginning, regards warm / cold users/data, it's not exactly new. I've always thought the most impressive thing about Facebook is how it managed to scale itself, in engineering terms, everything else, the platform itself- meh.

      1. PeterM42
        Facepalm

        Re: Just Drop[ped]Box. new three device syncing limit is unworkable/pathetic, 5 minimum needed.

        Hear! Hear! - anyone know a GOOD replacement that works in a similar fashion? Most of the competition seems "messy".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just Drop[ped]Box. new three device syncing limit is unworkable/pathetic, 5 minimum needed.

          Sync.com is what I use. Encrypted during transfer, encrypted at rest..

        2. DasWezel
          Thumb Up

          Re: Just Drop[ped]Box. new three device syncing limit is unworkable/pathetic, 5 minimum needed.

          A vote for Nextcloud here. o/

          Obviously self-hosting won't be suited to everyone's requirements, but it works grand for me.

          1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

            Re: Just Drop[ped]Box. new three device syncing limit is unworkable/pathetic, 5 minimum needed.

            I've been using Resilio Sync ever since Dropbox lost three days of my data. Fortunately it was a simple task to recover, but it put me off Dropbox forever.

            Resilio Sync is strictly peer-to-peer and not perfect, but even the free option is quite useful. It also has options for eschewing their relay servers and so on if you want to keep everything off their systems. Your Paranoia May Vary. :)

            I use something called Gadwin for the handy screenshot capture feature that Dropbox had. Also has a useful free version.

            I consider both worth the cost of buying the pro versions and I like to support products that work for me so I have done so. YMMV.

        3. Paw Bokenfohr

          Re: Just Drop[ped]Box. new three device syncing limit is unworkable/pathetic, 5 minimum needed.

          Jottacloud is one option.

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Just Drop[ped]Box. new three device syncing limit is unworkable/pathetic, 5 minimum needed.

        "Plenty of people probably don't even realise the new 3 device limit change."

        I didn't realise. Mind you, we pay for the enterprise version at work, and that doesn't have those limitations. Personally I don't have much of a problem with them limiting the free version, you get what you pay for after all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just Drop[ped]Box. new three device syncing limit is unworkable/pathetic, 5 minimum needed.

          "Personally I don't have much of a problem with them limiting the free version, you get what you pay for after all."

          They already had storage limitations though. The three-device limit just seems like a strong-arm tactic to me. I was considering actually paying for a premium account, but incentives get my money, not coercion. I've since begun subscribing to a competitor for about $5 a month and removed the majority of my content from my Dropbox account. If that competitor changes policies unsatisfactorily, then I'll pack up my content and take it elsewhere again.

      3. Just Enough

        Re: Just Drop[ped]Box. new three device syncing limit is unworkable/pathetic, 5 minimum needed.

        "Plenty of people probably don't even realise the new 3 device limit change."

        If people didn't realise then it clearly didn't affect them, in which case the limit is enough for those people. I didn't notice. I have three devices with dropbox, and have no need for five. I find this perfectly usable and far from "pathetic".

        As I'm getting it for free, I don't see any room for complaint. And I can't imagine what other free users have anything to complain about.

    2. SuccessCase

      Re: They probably

      When they started trying to manage my photo’s for me with a checkbox that has to be unticked, I knew they were heading in the wrong direction. Then on the Mac client, they started inexplicably reading all files in the filing system, even those outside of the folders you chose to sync. As soon as they did that I deleted the client from my system and my files from their server.

    3. nanchatte

      I had two Dropbox accounts.

      One I use personally with nearly 1TB which I access almost daily... I'm really considering moving it to iCloud or OneDrive since I have both already as part of my iDevice backup policy and Microsoft Office 365 respectively... Both lying largely empty.

      The second, account I had managed to max out by making multiple referrals to the students of a school I run, since I used it as the primary means of disseminating course material and receiving submissions.

      I have now had to say good bye to that account since they limited it to three devices and when I upgraded to Mojave, dropbox asked me to reconnect, which I couldn't. If they assumed I would upgrade to a paid account, they assumed wrong. My school and about 50 or so students moved to an in-house server solution as of May this year and many of them will no longer be renewing their subscriptions to Dropbox.

      Sometimes nickel and diming can come back to bite you in the arse.

  3. cschneid

    DFSMShsm

    Nice to see another handy z/OS feature has been discovered by the cloud. Properly configured, hierarchical storage management can save quite a bit of money.

  4. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Going to look at nextcloud/owncloud for company use. First iteration was meh, but now that we got a proper server in the DMZ, second iteration should be better.

    Derpbox was good, but with a 3 device limitation it's starting to get teh_sux.

  5. steelpillow Silver badge
    Facepalm

    What they really need is to do is

    implement an intermediate-level service which is adequate for most individual/small users but is not priced so only profitable businesses can afford it.

    Currently I pay nothing for a crap service because I am priced out of the decent one. But I still have some cash burning that hole. Millions like me adds up to a lot of cash.

    Dropbox, did you hear that? Oh, still deaf from the last time, sigh...

  6. Mistajase
    Facepalm

    Youve blown it - so long dropbox!

    I've just been hit with the 3 device limit after I got my new phone setup.

    I really needed 5 (phone,tab,laptop,home pc and work Mac), but I don't use much space... Currently at 600mb.

    Thing is... I'm don't mind spending a few quid on a service i'd use, but I'm not paying their extortionate fees!

    So I've just finished transferring everything to Google drive, now I've got folder sync setup, it does everything I need and seems much faster and give loads more space!

    Not forgetting it's only a couple of quid to upgrade my plan!

    Well done Dropbox - you've shot yourselves in the foot this time.... anyone remember Evernote?

    1. OldSoCalCoder

      Re: Youve blown it - so long dropbox!

      For the price (free), I can't complain about dropbox. I don't use dropbox as the final resting place for any file because I've learned over the years any company can go down the tubes (AOL, Yahoo), be sold or change stripes (LastPass > LogMeIn > ??). Ya don't get something for free, forever. Wasn't there some concern re Google being able to scan photos, files according to Terms of Service on Google Drive? Wouldn't Microsoft, Apple have similar TOS?

      1. nanchatte

        Re: Youve blown it - so long dropbox!

        Yes, google use AI image recognition and character recognition on any photos you upload to google photo and apparently they have implicit permission to scan any document for textual information and can obviously skim information as they see fit.

        Even so, I use google drive... However, I sync using a sparse bundle comprising an AES 256 bit encrypted Volume.... Good luck trying to scan that, Google.

        I have no idea if that's against the T&Cs, I never read them.

    2. Hyper72

      Re: Youve blown it - so long dropbox!

      I'm lucky so far, I just need for phone, tablet and PC. In any case I can also recommend Cryptomator, to keep your data yours exclusively.

      1. nanchatte

        Re: Youve blown it - so long dropbox!

        Mac sparsebundles work very well. No problem in over a decade of using those.

    3. Twilight

      Re: Youve blown it - so long dropbox!

      $100/year is extortionate? I guess we have very different ideas of unreasonable pricing. I only have about 4 GB of data on DropBox but I have no issue paying $100/year for the service. No issues with data retention on DropBox but I do backup all my DropBox data.

  7. redwine

    Automatic tiering

    Any half decent storage system already employs tiering where it will automatically move infrequently used data to slow storage like disk and frequently used data to fast storage like SSD.

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