Apple is building out a so-called content delivery network (CDN), laying the groundwork for delivering large amounts of data. The new CDN is believed to be tied to Apple’s plans for a move deeper into television.
Possibly TV & iCloud related
Netflix already operates a CDN, and the same is true for Google (YouTube) and Facebook. Apple is next, according to several industry sources, including Analyst Dan Rayburn and the Wall Street Journal.
- "That's the starting point for a very, very big network," said Bill Norton, chief strategy officer for International Internet Exchange to WSJ.
A CDN is used to handle delivery of large amounts of data to end users, such as iTunes video, music, iCloud and apps through Apple’s App Store. If Apple chooses to move into television, as rumored, with a new Apple TV product and services or a full-fledged TV, a CDN is required. Apple is currently using CDN networks operated by Akamai and Level 3, but wants to operate its own and have full control, it seems.
Bill Norton further says that he estimates Apple has already bought enough bandwidth to deliver hundreds of gigabits of data each second.
- ”I’m hearing that part of Apple’s reasoning for building their own CDN is because of performance issues with iCloud, with Apple wanting to have more control over the QoS of content going to their devices. Apple already controls the hardware, the OS (iOS/OS X) as well as the iTunes/App store platforms. Right now they control the entire customer experience, except for the way content is delivered to their devices,” writes analyst Dan Rayburn, StreamingMediaBlog.com.
Apple has already hired several key people with knowledge of delivery networks, according to the reports. Apple’s major new data centers are believed to be part of the plan, too.
If Apple is indeed building a large-scale CDN it could signal a move into television as video requires large amounts of data. But how long would it take to get a CDN up and running? YouTube and Netflix used about 18 months before moving significant traffic away from their former partners, says Dan Rayburn.