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Cloud file syncing and sharing service Box today is announcing the launch of Box Zones, an option that will let companies store files in data centers that are geographically located in other countries.This will make it possible for companies to meet certain regulations.

The service will work on top of public cloud data centers from IBM and market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS). Initially, starting next month, it will run on AWS regions in Germany, Ireland, Japan, and Singapore, with additional Asian and European locations becoming available on the IBM cloud later this year. The payment model is simple: Just pay a certain number of extra dollars per month on top of existing subscription plans.

The experience of using Box with Zones enabled will also be simple for the people who actually collaborate on the documents.

“From the end users’ perspective, the only thing they’re going to see is higher performance,” Rand Wacker, vice president of enterprise product at Box, told VentureBeat in an interview. But really, this addition is designed to help meet companies’ regulatory needs. (If anything, the Box Accelerator content delivery network, based on a mix of first-party and third-party infrastructure, is more directly geared toward improving performance globally.)


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Zones might not sound like a big step forward, technologically speaking, but it could be a big deal business-wise for Box, which only operates data centers in California and Nevada. It could help further distinguish the service from Dropbox, which has been moving its storage infrastructure off of AWS. And even cloud file sharing services from Amazon and Microsoft, which have many data center regions around the world, don’t offer this granular an option.

This addition to Box could also be a stepping stone for more new services.

“Let’s just put it this way — having data in [more] geographic regions lets us do even more than Box Accelerator does,” Wacker said.

Box chief executive Aaron Levie’s blog post on the news is here.

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