Cloud Storage Specialist Box Launches Accelerator Network

Box ups the ante for upload speeds with the launch of Accelerator, its worldwide content delivery network.

With market demand growing for cloud-based storage services, Web-based data storage specialist Box on Sept. 17 announced the launch of Accelerator, a global data transfer network designed to give customers up to a 10 times boost in upload speeds.

The platform is a combination of new infrastructure in nine locations throughout the world and network intelligence software. The company said it has Accelerator locations in the Northwest, Midwest and on the East Coast in the United States, as well as the new Box office in London, among other places.

Box is one of several options organizations have for uploading and storing data in the cloud, alongside Google Drive, Dropbox and SkyDrive. While security is a rising concern for many, upload speeds are a major competitive factor, which led Box to hire information and analytics specialist Neustar to conduct an analysis of the upload performance for multiple cloud storage providers for a period of three days earlier this month.

The analysis covered the performance of uploading a 25MB file to four cloud storage services: Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive. Box had the lowest average upload time of 15.7 seconds, which was approximately 2.7 times faster than the closest competitor, Google Drive.

"With Box Accelerator, we're able to give our customers the fastest way to get their content to the cloud. What can 10X faster uploads mean to a business? Look at it this way: instead of waiting one hour for a several-hundred MB file to post, 10X faster means you get it done in under 6 minutes," Grant Shirk, Box's senior enterprise product marketing manager, wrote in a company blog post. "Our mission at Box is to fundamentally change the way people work-we're constantly seeking new ways to improve the efficiency of everyday tasks. A big part of this is making sure every experience is clean, simple and fast for our users around the world."

In July, the company announced that it had landed a huge new $125 million investment, which includes $100 million from global growth investor General Atlantic. The investments will fund continued support of Box's growing enterprise customer base, global expansion, and product research and development. Box now counts more than 7 million individual and 120,000 business customers, with about 250,000 new users joining each month.

In an effort to further reach out to enterprises, Box unveiled a slew of content management tools in May, as well as an enterprise licensing agreement for new and existing customers deploying Box to their organization. In response to the growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, Box also released mobile device security settings for Google Android devices, which give IT admins the ability to apply passcode locks and enhanced permissions for offline file access for a variety of Box applications.