Case Study

Powering Dropbox’s Business Value

Areal density enhancements offer multiple benefits.


Real Mass-Capacity Benefits

Within months of Dropbox moving Seagate® mass-capacity shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology out of testing and into production, they had Seagate SMR drives running with live customer data and were realizing multiple benefits.

Benefit 1
TCO Savings

Mass-capacity SMR drives deliver lower cost per gigabyte, both at the drive and rack levels.

Benefit 2
Energy Efficiency

Higher storage density equals less storage infrastructure and fewer deployed racks pulling energy from the grid.

Benefit 3
Better Roadmap Positioning

By qualifying SMR, Dropbox can pass even higher-capacity Seagate SMR drives through testing and into production sooner.

Benefit 4
Applicability to Coming Innovations

The effort that qualified Seagate SMR can be applied to other breakthrough technologies to enable higher in-track areal density.

Their Story

The right partners with the right products.

Data volumes are growing even faster than predicted, and few companies have done a better job of unlocking the economic and functional benefits of cloud-based storage than Dropbox. This case study talks about why and how Dropbox implemented mass-capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) with Seagate’s SMR technology—and reviews the tangible business benefits that resulted.

Their Goal

On Track to top density.

For Dropbox, performance and reliability are important, but capacity is king. SMR technology enables higher data densities by writing new data on tracks that overlap part of the previously written magnetic track, delivering about a 20% increase in storage density. This provides more value to users and in turn helps to drive subscription conversions while reducing energy consumption and increasing TCO.

Their Solution

Cooperation pays off.

Dropbox views Seagate as a top infrastructure provider and has strong cross-company relationships at the executive and engineering levels. Bringing Seagate’s mass-capacity SMR technology into production at Dropbox was a three-year journey that required strategic alignment and a new level of qualification and validation.

Their Success

SMR’s impact on Dropbox business.

With Dropbox user content shifting towards richer media and larger video files, there is a greater need for top-capacity storage. Mass-capacity HDDs using Seagate’s SMR technology helps to fulfill this need, supporting the continued evolution of the nature and variety of Dropbox workloads.

“At Dropbox, we need to deploy the most cost-efficient storage without sacrificing reliability, security, and performance.” “That’s why we’ve continually partnered with Seagate. Their collaboration is critical in helping Dropbox define our future storage architecture.”

Ali Zafar,
Dropbox Senior Director of Platform Strategy and Operations
Products Used

Exos X Series

The most scalable drives in the datasphere, integrating the latest tech to support security and reliability.

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