Dropbox traffic infrastructure: Edge network

In this post we will describe the Edge network part of Dropbox traffic infrastructure. This is an extended transcript of our NginxConf 2018 presentation. Around the same time last year we described low-level aspects of our infra in the Optimizing web servers for high throughput and low latency post. This time we’ll cover higher-level things like our points of presence around the world, GSLB, RUM DNS, L4 loadbalancers, nginx setup and its dynamic configuration, and a bit of gRPC proxying.
Dropbox scale
Dropbox has more than half a billion registered users who trust us with exabytes of data and petabytes of corresponding metadata. For the Traffic team this means millions of HTTP requests and terabits of traffic. To support all of that we’ve built an extensive network of points of presence (PoPs) around the world that we call Edge.
Why do we need Edge?
Many of the readers know the basic idea of CDNs:

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