Apple talking with ISPs as it prepares to launch its Content Distribution Network

By , May 20, 2014

iCloud (teaser 001)

According to a new report from CDN and Internet Services analyst Dan Rayburn, Apple is going ahead with plans to develop its own content delivery network. Rayburn says the company is working on interconnection deals with Internet Service Providers, as it prepares to take its CDN live.

Apple is said to have spent the last 5 years building its CDN, which would be responsible for carrying out iTunes and iCloud content to customers. Currently, the iPad-maker outsources this delivery to third-party companies like Akamai, which means it has no control over quality of service…

Here’s more from Rayburn’s report via ArsTechnica:

In February I blogged about a new group formed inside of Apple last year, tasked with building out their own CDN to deliver Apple software updates, apps and other Apple related content. Since my post, Apple has been very busy with their build out deploying a lot of boxes running Apache Traffic Server and buying a ton of transit, co-location, wavelengths and other infrastructure services. Their CDN is quickly growing, and it won’t be long before we start seeing a portion of their content getting delivered from their new CDN.

As part of their build out, Apple is currently negotiating paid interconnection deals with some of the largest ISPs in the U.S. I’m not going to disclose which ISPs they are talking to and what deals they have already done, but it’s interesting to note that with all the talk lately of net neutrality, peering and interconnect relationships, Apple isn’t out in the market making any complaints.

Part of Apple’s reasoning, Rayburn explains, for building their own CDN, is due to performance issues with iCloud. You see, the company wants more jurisdiction over the end-to-end experience, as it already controls the hardware, the operating system, and of course its iTunes and App Stores.

And of course, Apple wouldn’t be the first tech firm to bring its delivery in-house. Netflix, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and eBay all have their own CDNs, and pay various ISPs for interconnection. This gives them access to a large chunk of the ISPs’ resources, ensuring fast content delivery.

Again, Rayburn expects to see at least a portion of Apple’s content delivered on their new CDN in the very near future.

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  • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

    Hope it fixes the Netflix stream/buffering issue on ATV 3

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      That’s nothing to do with Apple. Either your ISP sucks or Netflix sucks (or both?)…

      • Yujin

        Most likely, your ISP is slowing you down to get money from netflix. Is like kidnapping but here the victim is not you. Just netflix. Lol

      • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

        It happened when I had time warner on east coast. Then I am in midwest with comcast and it is still the same problem with Apple TV 3. Netflix works on my laptop, ps3, and iphone and moto x well, not on the atv 3 tho.

  • Andrew von Pikrt

    This is good news. Although I hope that speculations about Apple building satellite based connectivity delivery system was based on some hard intel and this will get eventually interconnected as well.

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    If Apple wants more control why don’t they just become an ISP? Then they would own the hardware, the software, the services and the pipes that deliver all of the data to the devices…

    • Andrew von Pikrt

      They’re supposedly working on the satellite based solution of ISP. As I said in my original comment. But this is old news and nobody really knows if thats true.