Inside Dropbox: Understanding Personal Cloud Storage Services

Idilio Drago, Marco Mellia, Maurizio M. Munafò, Anna Sperotto, R. Sadre, Aiko Pras

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    297 Citations (Scopus)
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    Personal cloud storage services are gaining popularity. With a rush of providers to enter the market and an increasing offer of cheap storage space, it is to be expected that cloud storage will soon generate a high amount of Internet traffic. Very little is known about the architecture and the performance of such systems, and the workload they have to face. This understanding is essential for designing efficient cloud storage systems and predicting their impact on the network. This paper presents a characterization of Dropbox, the leading solution in personal cloud storage in our datasets. By means of passive measurements, we analyze data from four vantage points in Europe, collected during 42 consecutive days. Our contributions are threefold: Firstly, we are the first to study Dropbox, which we show to be the most widely-used cloud storage system, already accounting for a volume equivalent to around one third of the YouTube traffic at campus networks on some days. Secondly, we characterize the workload users in different environments generate to the system, highlighting how this reflects on network traffic. Lastly, our results show possible performance bottlenecks caused by both the current system architecture and the storage protocol. This is exacerbated for users connected far from storage data-centers. All measurements used in our analyses are publicly available in anonymized form at the SimpleWeb trace repository:
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on Internet measurement, IMC 2012
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-1705-4
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
    Event2012 ACM Conference on Internet measurement, IMC 2012 - Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    Duration: 14 Nov 201216 Nov 2012

    Publication series



    Conference2012 ACM Conference on Internet measurement, IMC 2012
    Other14-16 Nov 2012


    • METIS-289701
    • Cloud Storage
    • EWI-22286
    • Internet Measurement
    • Dropbox
    • IR-81818

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