Apple has reportedly started buying servers from a government-backed Chinese firm, called Inspur, to use in its data centers, Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reported this morning. Apple’s never confirmed nor denied industry speculation that much of its iCloud data centers run on Amazon’s Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure platforms.
That being said, Apple’s reportedly embarked on a project to migrate iCloud services to its own data centers in order to satisfy increasing demand for iOS devices, reduce expenses and further reduce any possibility of attacks on the iCloud platform.
“Since Inspur is supported by the China government, many IT players including Microsoft, LG Electronics, Ericsson, Intel, IBM, SAP, VMware, Nvidia and RedHat have formed partnerships with the China-based server vendor, looking to quickly expand in China’s server market,” reads the article.
Neither Apple nor Inspur have confirmed this rumor.
Inspur, which has a research and development center and a production facility in California, holds a sixty percent share in China’s Internet service server market.
Baidu, Chinese leading web services company, buys more than 85 percent of its servers from Inspur, while Alibaba’s data centers are comprised of approximately 60 percent of Inspur-made machines.
It’s interesting that Apple would partner with Inspur in light of the rumor that Tim Cook & Co. are developing custom cloud infrastructure in a project code-named McQueen.
According to the rumor, Apple has reasons to believe that the third-party servers which power iCloud services may have been intercepted during shipping and that unknown third-parties may have added additional chips and firmware to them “in order to make them vulnerable to infiltration”.
It’s entirely possible that Inspur fits nicely as a vendor in Apple’s plans to create bespoke servers that would power its own cloud infrastructure, reducing reliance on Amazon and Microsoft.
For what it’s worth, Inspur is not on Apple’s 2015 suppliers list.