Apple is definitely a services company these days (just look at that profit!), but one area the company is still trailing behind others is cloud computing. But it sounds like it’s trying to change that.
According to a report from Protocol, Apple has been on what’s being described as a “cloud computing hiring spree” for the last few months, “snapping up” a variety of different well-known individuals that deal in modern technologies. The software engineers specialize in Kubernetes and containers, among others, and Apple’s hiring has apparently garnered plenty of attention in that particular community.
So much so that it appears to many that Apple is ramping up its efforts in these areas, and could be trying to gain traction on the leaders like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Netflix, and Microsoft.
The report surfaces a few of the major recent hires:
- Michael Crosby, one of a handful of ex-Docker engineers to join Apple this year. “Michael is who we can thank for containers as they exist today. He was the powerhouse engineer behind all of it,” said a former colleague who asked to remain anonymous.
- Arun Gupta, who joined Apple in February from AWS and is now leading Apple’s open-source efforts.
- Maksym Pavlenko, another former AWS employee who worked on its managed container services such as AWS Fargate.
- Francesc Campoy, an ex-Googler who will be working on Kubernetes for Apple.
Apple’s web operation is one of the company’s most popular elements due to things like the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud file storage, and more. The fact that Apple is making a concerted effort to boost its infrastructure on its own terms isn’t surprising at face value, but it’s certainly noteworthy in the fact that it has taken this long for Apple to make an moves in this direction at all.
However, this actually dates back to 2018 when Apple announced a $10 billion investment in data center construction over the course of the next five years. That move boosted data center capacity in Iowa and other areas.
Per the report, Apple’s longstanding effort to “own and control” just about every aspect of the products it creates is called out for this latest shift:
Apple has long sought to “own and control” the key technologies that have made its products so successful, going so far as to hire its own mobile chip development team shortly after launching the iPhone. As the smartphone and personal computer markets mature, Apple has turned to services for much of its revenue growth over the past few years. Now it appears to be getting serious about running more of the behind-the-scenes technology that powers those services.
The full report at Protocol is certainly worth a read.