In February 2014, it was reported that Apple was building a massive CDN (content delivery network). The CDN is now online, delivering software updates. It will later take over iTunes content delivery, too, according to Dan Rayburn.
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Google and Netflix already operate large-scale CDNs to deliver the massive amount of video streaming from YouTube and Netflix’s servers. For the past 12 months, Apple has built out a similar CDN in the US and Europe.
Apple’s plans are not known, but analyst Dan Rayburn who broke the news, says that Apple is already delivering the latest OS X Yosemite beta software via the CDN. He believes that Apple will use it for iOS 8 this fall and eventually for iTunes video and music delivery. Apple's CDN already has 10x the capacity that Apple is currently using.
- “It’s too early to know how much traffic will come over and when, but Apple’s already started using their own CDN much faster than I expected. The pace of their build out and amount of money they are spending on infrastructure is incredible. Based on my calculations, Apple has already put in place multiple terabits per second of capacity and by the end of this year, will have invested well more than $100M in their CDN build out.” says Dan Rayburn.
Today, Apple is using Akamai and Level 3’s CDN networks, but by building its own Apple can have full control over the delivery of software and video. It also enables them to have more control over video encoding and iCloud services.
Apple’s CDN could also be part of the groundwork for a major push into TV.