Apple Building a Faster Network and Upgrading Data Centers

In an effort to better compete with major players such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft in cloud services, insiders indicate that Apple is developing a high-speed network and changing the way it builds data centers. While Apple has turned to network providers and tech suppliers in the past to support iTunes, iCloud, Siri and more, the company just announced a new streaming music service and is expected to launch an online TV service. Apple’s new initiatives will require faster, more efficient infrastructure to meet the increased demands for content delivery.

streaming“User experience is very important to Apple, but delivery of its content is the one part of that experience it doesn’t control,” said Andrew Schmitt, an analyst at IHS Infonetics Research. “If they want to control and maximize that user experience, they’re going to have to control that last piece.”

“Apple’s push to build a stronger cloud infrastructure combines two initiatives: Building out a faster network and upgrading data centers,” reports Bloomberg. “While Apple hasn’t disclosed total costs, investments will run into the billions.”

Apple, the seventh-largest cloud infrastructure spender last year, is looking to own the pipes that connect its four large data centers with Internet hubs in select cities, say people familiar with the plans. The ultimate goal is to increase capacity and efficiency for delivering content and services without relying on cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft.

“Rather than buy off-the-shelf technology, the company has been working on ways to send data via fiber lines at hundreds of gigabits per second,” explains Bloomberg. “Apple is also exploring ways to meld its data centers and networks into one highly automated system, three of the people said.”

“Facebook says it has saved $2 billion using this software-defined data-center approach, which automatically assigns servers to handle demand, and turns down their power usage if they aren’t needed.”