Archive for the ‘AWS’ Category

iCloud and Siri Teams at Odds as Apple Seeks to Move Cloud Services In-House

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Apple's efforts to move its cloud infrastructure in-house for its web services are being slowed by "political infighting" between the company's iCloud and Siri engineering teams, according to The Information.

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The paywalled report claims that the fighting is holding back Apple from fixing "technical problems that have plagued iCloud and iTunes," while at least one key engineering manager is said to have departed the company over the ongoing conflict.
Steve D’Aurora, an engineering manager in a team led by Patrick Gates, resigned last week. That’s raised the possibility that Mr. D’Aurora’s superior, Darren Haas, a “head of cloud engineering,” would leave as well. Both Mr. D’Aurora and Mr. Haas joined Apple through its 2010 acquisition of Siri, the voice-activated assistant on the iPhone.
Multiple sources claim that Apple is working on building its own internal cloud infrastructure, known as "Project McQueen" internally, to reduce its dependence on services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Apple spends an estimated $1 billion or more on cloud services each year.

Apple reportedly inked a $400 to $600 million deal with Google last year to "significantly" cut down on its reliance on Amazon Web Services, but its reliance on third-party providers should decrease as it builds or expands new data centers in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Ireland, and Denmark.
The new infrastructure is meant to help improve the reliability of iCloud and Apple’s other apps. The infrastructure work has taken on added significance this year. Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly played up the company’s intention to generate more Internet-services revenue from existing iPhone owners, including from the App Store and things like Apple Music.
In June 2015, it was reported that Apple is building a high-speed content delivery network and planning to upgrade its data centers with more of its own equipment. The foundation of the high-speed data network was reported to be long-haul pipes connecting Apple data centers in California, Nevada, North Carolina, and Oregon.

Apple may be enlisting Chinese server vendor Inspur to help migrate its cloud services in house. Inspur already has employees and facilities close to Apple's headquarters in California, including an R&D team and production center, and it has previously agreed to partnerships with Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and other technology companies.


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Apple Inks Deal to Use Google Cloud Platform for Some iCloud Services

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

Apple has signed a deal with Google that will see the Google Cloud Platform providing some of the cloud infrastructure for iCloud and other cloud-based Apple services, reports CRN (via Business Insider). Apple reportedly established a $400 to $600 million deal with Google last last year and has, as a result, "significantly" cut down on its reliance on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

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According to the sources, Google executives have told partners that Apple is spending between $400 million and $600 million on Google Cloud Platform, although this couldn't be independently confirmed. Also unclear is whether this range refers to an annual spending rate or a set amount of capacity.
While the money Apple is now paying Google was previously spent on AWS, Apple has not stopped using Amazon's cloud computing services entirely. Apple has never confirmed the cloud services that power iCloud, but past rumors have pointed towards AWS and Microsoft Azure, suggesting Apple will continue using multiple services to meet its needs.

According to The Information's Amir Efrati, who has confirmed Apple's plans, it will take a year for Apple to transition to using Google Cloud Platform.
Since last year, Google has been aggressively pursuing deals for its Google Cloud Platform, led by former VMware CEO Diane Greene. Google and Amazon have been involved in ongoing pricing wars, but Google claims to be the "price/performance leader" in public cloud and says its Google Cloud Platform is between 15 and 41 percent less expensive than AWS.

In the future, Apple may scale back on the money it spends on third-party cloud computing platforms, based on its data center plans. Apple is building new data centers in Ireland, Denmark, Reno, and Arizona, plus it is expanding its existing data center in Prineville, Oregon.

In Arizona, Apple's data center will be located at the former GT Advanced sapphire plant and has been described as a "command center" for Apple's global data network. Apple says the Arizona location is "one of the largest investments" the company has made.


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