The official release of iOS 8 yesterday marked the first time that Apple used its own content delivery network (CDN) for distributing data of such large scale, according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal.
Previously, Apple relied on third-party operators like Akamai Technologies to distribute data such as iTunes purchases and other software to its customers. But while it still entrusted those operators with a portion of its iOS 8 rollout, Apple relied mostly on its own CDN to take care of the demanding job, at least in North America:
And it was a massive challenge at that. At one point, iOS 8 downloads chewed up more than 3 terabits of bandwidth each second, according to data from Internet researcher DeepField. A terabit is a massive amount of data to carry in a second—enough to hold more than 25 high-definition movies.
Proprietary CDNs, which are also being run by Amazon and Google, are usually expensive to set up but likely to bring about long-term cost benefits.
In the case of Apple, its apparent use of its own CDN for the launch of iOS 8 is said to cement its position as an Internet company with “an Internet backbone and an international Internet presence.”
Apple’s CDN, however, seems to have handled less load than expected. As reported earlier today, iOS 8 is being adopted at a significantly slower rate than iOS 7 last year and iOS 6 in 2012.
See also: Third-party keyboards in iOS 8 are officially a hit as SwiftKey racks up 1 million downloads, Where are all of your Camera Roll photos in iOS 8?, and How to setup new Notification Center widgets in iOS 8.