You may not know this, but right now all of your iTunes content and iCloud storage needs are actually taken care of by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure. For several months, though, Apple has been working on “Project McQueen,” a plan to develop its own data center infrastructure and wean itself off of services like AWS and Azure, according to what a source familiar with the matter has advised VentureBeat.
The trouble with outsourcing your cloud
Apple has reportedly been unhappy with the inability of AWS to quickly load photos and videos onto users’ iOS devices. On top of that, VentureBeat’s source reports that a conversation between a Microsoft and Apple employee revolved around the fact that Azure won’t be able to handle the growth of Cupertino’s workloads in the future, meaning the tech giant would have to pay much more to help Redmond expand its data center infrastructure.
A cost-effective precedent
Dropbox and Facebook’s Instagram have already realized the benefits of building out their own self-sufficient cloud infrastructures.
Dropbox and Facebook’s Instagram have already realized the benefits of building out their own self-sufficient cloud infrastructures. They’ve been able to drive down the costs of their data storage and transmission, and Apple executives believe that building out the company’s own infrastructure footprint could pay for itself within three years.
Apple's buying land, but Project McQueen is still just a plan
VentureBeat’s source says that Cupertino has already purchased land in both China and Hong Kong to build out data centers. Still, Project McQueen is just a plan right now, and Cupertino could always decide to ditch it and use the land for something else. While it would definitely make sense for Apple to become self-sufficient for its cloud storage needs, it doesn’t necessarily have to build data centers to do that. Cupertino has the money in the bank to acquire a cloud infrastructure provider, and that might make more sense in the long run than starting from scratch.