With Apple Music releasing sometime in the near future – the really near future – Apple wants to improve its cloud services so it can compete with the industry’s giants – Google, Amazon and Microsoft.
Apple is planning on building a high-speed content delivery network, and upgrading their already owned data centers with more equipment in order to ensure a fast, and reliable cloud service for iTunes, iCloud and Siri.
Apple Music is planning on gaining, in the first year of its release, something on the line of 100 million subscribers – Spotify doesn’t like this one bit; so it definitely needs a reliable network system to pull it off. According to Bloomberg, other cloud service providers such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon have their positions cemented, and it’s tough even for Apple to breakthrough and gain customer loyalty.
Rumours have it that Apple’s high speed network will connect their already owned data centers from California, Nevada, North Carolina and Oregon with long-haul pipes. Apple will be trying to send their data via fiber lines at lightning speeds- something on the lines of hundreds of gigabits per second. It’s also a strategy to get rid of their need of using top off-the-shelf third party manufacturers.
Apple wants to own pipes linking its four large U.S. data centers and Internet hubs in certain cities to ensure fast, reliable delivery of content and services. By adding capacity and increasing efficiency, it seeks to handle more traffic on its own, without renting as much server space from cloud providers such as Amazon and Microsoft, said people with knowledge of the plan, who asked not to be identified because Apple isn’t discussing the moves publicly. They declined to name the cities involved.
Their cloud service, at the moment, along with a plethora of their services use Hewlett-Packard servers, and Cisco ethernet switches – products that aren’t available to the average Joe, you can bet your life on it. But, as we know, Apple wants to be independent – it won’t be shocking news when the company will announce that they are setting up to becoming a country, with a running legal government.
But I digress.
Apple really is aiming at being independent, and we’ve seen it in the past when the company decided rid themselves of Google Maps – quite some nasty years for Apple. Now, Apple is planning on constructing their very own off-the-shelf data centers that will be hosted in Arizona, Ireland, Denmark, and other promiscuous places, one might say.
Apple is going to spend about $3.9 billion on these new data centers. Another budget is being tinkered with for the completion of a product called top-of-racks switch, that will use an open source software developed by startup Cumulus Networks Inc. working on Taiwan servers made by Quanta Computer Incorporated.
Steve Garison, vice president of marketing at Pica8.inc, thinks that the new improvements to their cloud service will help Apple tremendously when the time comes to release Apple TV as the main competitor to cable companies. ” If you’re using someone else’s networks and data centers, you lose some control. It’s hard to call Amazon at 10 o’clock on a Friday night and say triple my capacity right now.”
Last year, Apple has invested more than $1 billion in their cloud infrastructure, and they are the seventh largest spender in the industry – according to research firm Analysis.
iCloud was introduced in October of 2011, and it somewhat rivals Google’s, and Amazon’s services, but for how long? Google is offering free, and unlimited storage for their Google Photos service, and Amazon is dirt cheap.
Considering the fact that Apple has got about 9.9 percent of its profits from iTunes last fiscal year, improving their data centers might increase those numbers with some big points.
Maybe Apple will announce more information regarding their plans on improving their cloud services at this year’s WWDC keynote, but don’t hold your breath. This company isn’t known for sharing their plans with the public until they have a something set in stone.
I think that Apple needs to seriously reconsider their cloud services, if it wishes to remain a major player, and if it doesn’t act fast, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft will remain to battle themselves. Competition strives innovation, and the user is the one that profits in the end.