Dropbox Mailbox

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Dropbox Email Scam: Threat Type: Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud. Fake Claim: Scammers behind this email claim that Eden Sellings shared a document, which can be viewed through the provided link. Disguise: This email is disguised as an automated message from Dropbox. Dropbox earlier today caused a Friday boom with its acquisition of hot new mobile mail startup Mailbox.The move has two layers of significance for the company, and it points to what more we will.

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Dropbox Mailbox

Today we're really excited to welcome the Mailbox team to Dropbox. Like many of you, when we discovered Mailbox we fell in love—it was simple, delightful, and beautifully engineered. Many have promised to help us with our overflowing inboxes, but the Mailbox team actually delivered. After spending time with Gentry, Scott, and the team, it became clear that their calling was the same as ours at Dropbox—to solve life's hidden problems and reimagine the things we do every day. We all quickly realized that together we could save millions of people a lot of pain. Dropbox doesn't replace your folders or your hard drive: it makes them better. The same is true with Mailbox. It doesn't replace your email: it makes it better. Whether it's your Dropbox or your Mailbox, we want to find ways to simplify your life. We're all looking forward to making Mailbox even better and getting it into as many people's hands as possible. There's so much to do and we're excited to get started!

Mailbox has grown unbelievably quickly. During that growth, one performance issue that impacted us was MongoDB’s database-level write lock. The amount of time Mailbox’s backends were waiting for the write lock was resulting in user-perceived latency. While MongoDB allows you to add shards to a MongoDB cluster easily, we wanted to spare ourselves potential long-term pain by moving one of the most frequently updated MongoDB collections, which stores email-related data, to its own cluster. We theorized that this would, at a minimum, cut the amount of write lock contention in half.

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While we could have chosen to scale by adding more shards, we wanted to be able to independently optimize and administer the different types of data separately.

I started by poring through the MongoDB documentation. I quickly found the cloneCollection command. However, to quote the MongoDB 2.2 documentation: “ cloneCollection cannot clone a collection through a mongos: you must connect directly to the mongod instance.” In other words, you can’t use this command with a sharded collection. You can’t use renameCollection on sharded collections either, closing off other possibilities. There were other possible solutions, but they all would’ve impacted performance for Mailbox users or would have simply failed to work at Mailbox’s scale.

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So, I wrote a quick Python script to copy the data, and another to compare the original versus the copy to ensure data integrity. Along the way, I encountered many surprises. For example, a single Python process using gevent and pymongo can copy a large MongoDB collection in half the time that mongodump (written in C++) takes, even when the MongoDB client and server are on the same machine.

Dropbox Acquires Mailbox

Dropbox

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Our experiences have culminated in Hydra, our newly open-sourced set of tools we've developed for MongoDB collection migration.