iCloud Powered By Microsoft, Amazon Servers and Irony
is reporting that Apple's iCloud service is powered by Microsoft's Azure and Amazon's AWS servers for hosting.
Apple reportedly wants to focus on building the consumer-side experience of iCloud, rather than become a full-time cloud storage service provider. After the embarrassing launch of MobileMe Apple outsourcing it's server-side duties to those more experienced and trusted in the server/cloud sphere provides a blanket of technical security as well as PR security. If someone flubs up, Apple doesn't have to take all the flack. Still, relying on two of your largest competitors to ensure your brand new and highly anticipated cloud-based service launches without a hitch wreaks of just a little irony.
Microsoft appears to be ignoring any hints of ironic comedy and is ecstatic with Apple's use of Azure, reportedly calling the deal a "validation of Azure," and "a great opportunity to get Azure under a very visible workload." Whatever Microsoft or Amazon's thoughts, securing a customer like Apple translates to a large, long-term revenue stream. Well, as long as the service lives up to Apple's freakish standards of perfection.
Apple is set to debut its iCloud service this fall and will utilize three data centers initially, as well as spreading customer information across the three companies' servers. Sources believe Apple will be running "the full Azure service – the Windows Azure compute and controller part and SQL Azure storage which hosts tables, queues and flat files." This presents its own potential problems as Apple may have to utilize custom made software to retrieve and send files across multiple platforms.
Bottom line though, Apple must avoid a MobileMe level of embarrassment at launch, and by the looks of it they've gone to great lengths to do so including swallowing a little of their pride.
Source: Apple Insider
, The Register