Reports detail Apple’s extensive cloud infrastructure projects


Apple has been migrating more of its cloud computing to Google, but a new report from The Information claims the company is aiming to create its own extensive set of data centers and servers to bring all of its cloud services in-house. Last week CRN reported Apple has quietly been moving much of its cloud computing to the Google Cloud Platform and away from Amazon Web Services, whose infrastructure it uses to run online services like iCloud. Anonymous sources said Apple is now spending between $400 million and $600 million on Google’s services after becoming dissatisfied with AWS being unable to quickly load photos and videos on users’ iOS devices.
Venture Beat cites other sources who said Apple’s latest move to bolster its cloud capacity through Google is likely a stopgap measure until the company’s rumored “Project McQueen” can bring its own vastly improved data center infrastructure online. Apple reportedly bought land in China and Hong Kong to build out its own data centers after learning Microsoft’s Azure — currently used to service nearly all of iTunes — won’t be able to handle Apple’s growing workloads in the future. Rather than pay Microsoft to cover the costs of expanding Azure’s data centers, Apple is going its own way, with the company’s executives confident that building out the company’s own infrastructure will pay for itself within three years.

The Information claims “Project McQueen” is just one of six initiatives Apple is currently undertaking to expand its network of data centers, servers and networking equipment. U.S. Justice Department demands for user information and Apple’s assistance in breaking its own encryption have increased the urgency for Apple bringing more of its operations in-house, and sources claim Apple is suspicious some of the servers it receives from third parties have been “intercepted during shipping, with additional chips and firmware added to them by unknown third parties in order to make them vulnerable to infiltration.” The company is even said to have gone so far as to assign employees to photograph motherboards and annotate the function of each chip to assuage its concerns. With Apple endeavoring to strengthen iCloud security, building its own equipment and running its own data centers is the most reliable way to ensure user information is secure from prying eyes, but sources with knowledge of the on-going operations say a fully in-house solution is still “years away.” [via 9to5Mac]

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Dan Pye

Dan Pye was a news editor at iLounge. He's been involved with technology his whole life, and started writing about it in 2009. He's written about everything from iPhone and iPad cases to Apple TV accessories.