Box goes international with AWS and IBM-powered Zones feature

Companies will be able to store their Box data outside the U.S. for a price

Box is trying to make it easier for companies outside the U.S. to comply with regulatory requirements on where their data is stored with a new feature that lets them pick a variety of new countries in which they can house their data.

Starting next month, companies will be able to pay for a new Box Zones feature that will let them store data in Germany, Ireland, Japan and Singapore, while using Box's content and management services as though they had kept that information in the company's U.S. datacenters.

That's important for companies that have to meet data sovereignty requirements in order to comply with their country's laws. Depending on the specific requirement, they may be prevented from storing some or all of their data in another country, which would until now have precluded them from working with Box.

Later this year, companies will also be able to purchase Box Zones for the IBM Cloud in Europe and Asia. While the company has only announced its integrations with AWS and IBM at the moment, it's not opposed to working with other cloud providers like Microsoft, Box Vice President Rand Wacker said in an interview.

Adding the feature has required Box to build its service to work with files stored outside its datacenters. That's going to help the firm expand internationally, since it doesn’t have to physically build out datacenters in other countries in order to comply with regulations.

The new functionality integrates with Box's KeySafe feature, which allows customers to control the encryption keys that are used to secure their data for an additional fee.

This move is similar to Dropbox's push for European adoption by choosing to store its customers' data in an AWS datacenter in Germany, despite moving much of its data over to private datacenters and away from AWS in the U.S.

It's a sign of these cloud service providers' maturity in the market, along with the continually evolving conditions they're facing. As companies like Box and Dropbox look to make more money from customers outside the U.S., they're going to have to spend more time catering to what makes those locales unique.

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Blair Hanley Frank

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