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Hints of new 'Castle' codenamed iCloud service found in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Strong evidence of Apple's upcoming iCloud service has been found in the form of a feature hidden within in a developer build of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion that allows a MobileMe account to be migrated to a codenamed "Castle" service.

After Apple released a third build of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Developer Preview 2 on Friday, Consomac.fr (via Google Translate) discovered references to a service codenamed "Castle" in a new Find My Mac feature.

"Castle" most likely refers to the iCloud service that Apple has been developing. Reliable sources told AppleInsider earlier this week that the Cupertino, Calif., company has been using the service internally and plans to use it for more than just streaming music.

Last week, a report cited sources claiming that the Swedish company Xcerion had sold Apple the iCloud.com domain for $4.5 million. The iCloud moniker was later independently confirmed by John Paczkowski of Digital Daily, though he was unable to confirm the selling price.



Apple has reportedly completed work on a music streaming service that would allow users to store music on a remote server and access them from Internet-connected devices.

Apple confirmed earlier this year that a 500,000 square-foot data center set to go online this spring will support iTunes and MobileMe services. Given that the $1 billion facility is five times larger than the the company's current data center in Newark, Calif., Apple appears to be planning a big push into cloud computing.

In February, reports emerged that Apple is planning a significant revamp of its MobileMe service that would build out its cloud-based features, including a 'locker' for personal memorabilia such as photos, music and videos.

For in-depth information on new features in Mac OS X Lion, see AppleInsider's ongoing series: Inside Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Recent features include:

Inside Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: Developer Preview 3 dials down animated tabs
Inside Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: iTunes screen saver controls music playback
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion to add Office file viewing, new text and signature annotation
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: new multitouch gestures, Dock integration for Exposé, Launchpad, Mission Control
Inside Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: New dictionaries, multiple word views, multitouch lookups
post #2 of 42
So now they're buidling castles in the sky...
post #3 of 42
To Castle is a stock move in chess as well where you consolidate and protect your King's position using a Castle/Rook piece by switching the position of the two pieces relative to each other in a single move, maybe using iCloud is to consolidate and protect your stuff by switching its position.
post #4 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post

To Castle is a stock move in chess as well where you consolidate and protect your King's position, maybe using iCloud is to consolidate and protect your stuff.

If were going through the looking glass then I say its a hidden message that the King and Rook (rhymes with Cook) will be switching places on the board.
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post #5 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

So now they're buidling castles in the sky...

Those hippies are building white castles in the sky:



I seriously think they are letting their kids name these things. First Mission Control, now Castles. If an iPony comes along at any time, we'll know for sure.

Castle seems like an odd codename to pick for a cloud service but I guess they don't want to let any clues out about what it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism

If we’re going through the looking glass then I say it’s a hidden message that the King and Rook (rhymes with Cook) will be switching places on the board.

No way Tim's a Rook - he's second in command, but switching the king and queen is an illegal move in chess. He'd have to switch with Scott or Randy.
post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Those hippies are building white castles in the sky:

image: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JEDr8Ridnv...isney_logo.jpg

I seriously think they are letting their kids name these things. First Mission Control, now Castles. If an iPony comes along at any time, we'll know for sure.

Castle seems like an odd codename to pick for a cloud service but I guess they don't want to let any clues out about what it is.

We already do the iPony-up-money-when-Apple-releases-a-new product. Might as well call it iPony for short.

I think it’s an apropos codename. If the data center is in the cloud that would surely be a castle or some other awe inspiring structure from Apple’s PoV.

PS: Thanks to Dunks fore removing that 600KB image.
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post #7 of 42
So it will upgrade/replace MobileMe then.
post #8 of 42
Obviously it's your castle in the sky (the clouds).
post #9 of 42
iCloud: the princess is in another castle...
post #10 of 42
I like the code-name castle. It just sounds cool somehow.
post #11 of 42
...is that Apple don't have the infrastructure in place to support an everything/anytime/any device, kind of service.

They are in a way a victim of their own success... at the moment they simply have too many users and a growth rate that is too rapid to support the kind of cloud service users are going to expect.

I originally thought this meant they would keep the relatively high price tag on their Mobile Me service so they could reduce numbers and have a guaranteed level of service... but I'm not so sure.

I've seen a few ideas floating around... like users hosting their own content which can optionality be sync'd to the cloud (the iHub/iCenter/iHome/iCentral/iMesh idea myself and other have been kicking around for the last 6 months), or perhaps an invite system or a multiple tiered premium/free iCloud (I still don't like the name ).

I'll be interested to see what they decide on.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Obviously it's your castle in the sky (the clouds).

A man's home (dir) is his castle?
post #13 of 42
I guess there will be two services offer

Rumors have been saying that Mobileme would be free
so it could be
but the Castle will certainely have a fee
with more options

or vice-versa

Just an idea !
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

...is that Apple don't have the infrastructure in place to support an everything/anytime/any device, kind of service.

Isn't that what the $1B data center is for? Seems like they've been doing allot of work to set up an infrastructure. I'm not sure it'll be completely free either. Especially if they are migrating MM users to the new service. What they will pitch is that it's built into the OS, but you'll still have to pay for the service most likely. Maybe some services will be free, but not all. This is Apple we're talking about. Insurance and convenience is what the cloud is about. I don't see why it needs to be mandatory and free. It'll be a paid option IMO.
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post #15 of 42
Great name for something that can keep things and cast things. And very un-internetlike.

I hope that soon when you have a file on your iDisk, you can just copy a file's URL to the clipboard and paste it anywhere in order to share it, like You can from Dropbox' public folder.
post #16 of 42
I hope that Apple have started learning from their past mistakes in handling data, rather than trying to justify them. Perhaps its their long isolation from the business world, but they just don't have the attitude and approach to data processing that would stop them from mangling people's data so often. It's really poor.

So I'll be looking for signs that they are finally learning and can rebuild my trust in them and my data, as I love the hardware and the audio-visual side of what they do.

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post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doxxic View Post


I hope that soon when you have a file on your iDisk, you can just copy a file's URL to the clipboard and paste it anywhere in order to share it, like You can from Dropbox' public folder.

I just shared a file on my idisk with a copied url, so I'm going to say you can do that. What am I missing or misunderstanding?
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post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

I hope that Apple have started learning from their past mistakes in handling data, rather than trying to justify them. Perhaps its their long isolation from the business world, but they just don't have the attitude and approach to data processing that would stop them from mangling people's data so often. It's really poor.

So I'll be looking for signs that they are finally learning and can rebuild my trust in them and my data, as I love the hardware and the audio-visual side of what they do.

I understand that there have been a number of fiascos surrounding the various iterations of iDisk, but overall I've had a great experience and the few times I hadn't, I can easily attribute to a lack of bandwidth on my end and poor advice from supposed Apple support. (god those guys can be so weak). I guess I'm asking why do they need to rebuild your trust? Did you really rely on MM as your only place for your data? I always took it as an experimental convenience. Even nowadays it's sketchy. Sony has major problems with security. Amazon's cloud crashed recently etc. The cloud in general is just entering puberty. I wouldn't trust it at all yet. Part of the problem is definitely user bandwidth. At least that's been my experience, but I haven't had "tons" of files corrupted by my iDisk and when they do I don't care because it's infrequent and I'm not inclined to use it as the only place my files reside.

Did you see this article on ars by any chance?
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post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I seriously think they are letting their kids name these things. First Mission Control, now Castles. If an iPony comes along at any time, we'll know for sure.

You have to admit though, Castle is a WAY better name than iCloud.
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

Isn't that what the $1B data center is for? Seems like they've been doing allot of work to set up an infrastructure.

You have to put Apple's NC datacenter into perspective. Yes it's big, but it's not that big.

Microsoft already run at least 4 data centers of a similar size and have a major presence in 3rd party data centers around the world. It's speculated that Google run even more than that.

Plus it's only one datacenter. You don't host the precious photos, videos and data from 100+ million dedicated users in a single North American datacenter.

There is speculation that Apple are expanding the NC datacenter to double its size... which is going to get closer to handling the capacity they need but still has the problem of the entire service being run from a single datacenter.

Building a single massive datacenter is something I would expect Apple to do if they were going to create a North American cable TV competitor, not host the data for millions of users around the world.

Then again... Google, Microsoft and Amazon already do a lot of these cloud services, and Microsoft at least will be baking them directly into the next version of Windows (due before end of 2012) so for Apple to be "first" they need to rush this in. Maybe they have decided to risk the capacity and single failure point issues in order to claim the first mover advantage.
post #21 of 42
Or it could be MobileMe is the King, and switching it to free, protects it from Google's currently free services.

If Apple wants to put Google in check, it has to go after its revenue makers. Gmail is a huge data mining resource for Google. If MobileMe went free, a lot of people would switch. Mobile Me is better except for the cost part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post

To Castle is a stock move in chess as well where you consolidate and protect your King's position using a Castle/Rook piece by switching the position of the two pieces relative to each other in a single move, maybe using iCloud is to consolidate and protect your stuff by switching its position.
post #22 of 42
I always seem to like the code names better than the final brand name that the marketing guys come up with. Castle is way better than iCloud or MobileMe which are in the same league as Hello Kitty.

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post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

I hope that Apple have started learning from their past mistakes in handling data, rather than trying to justify them. Perhaps its their long isolation from the business world, but they just don't have the attitude and approach to data processing that would stop them from mangling people's data so often. It's really poor.

So I'll be looking for signs that they are finally learning and can rebuild my trust in them and my data, as I love the hardware and the audio-visual side of what they do.

This just sounds crazy paranoid to me.

Apple hasn't got the best record with online services, but mostly because the social aspects of life famously elude them. In terms of data loss and reliability they actually have a pretty good record relative to other online services. They've only had two serious outages in their entire history, (one very short indeed), and only once did they ever lose data to a tiny amount of user accounts.

I'm not saying they are perfect, but to imply as you seem to that they are not only unreliable but that they also have some sort of long history of losing people's data (at least more than any other online service), is false.
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Apple has reportedly completed work on a music streaming service that would allow users to store music on a remote server and access them from Internet-connected devices.


As assumed eventually since their purchase of lala.com even if they claimed they wanted the people and not the service (why have the people if not for the ability to make that kind of service)

Quote:

Apple confirmed earlier this year that a 500,000 square-foot data center set to go online this spring will support iTunes and MobileMe services. Given that the $1 billion facility is five times larger than the the company's current data center in Newark, Calif., Apple appears to be planning a big push into cloud computing.

More like a combo of wanting a second server for itunes to avoid time outs and crashes due to server overloads AND more cloud stuff.

Quote:

In February, reports emerged that Apple is planning a significant revamp of its MobileMe service that would build out its cloud-based features, including a 'locker' for personal memorabilia such as photos, music and videos.

It's called iDisk and it's been there since at least the start of Mobile Me if not during Mac.com. Are they improving it, I hope so. Including better support for hosting webpages like keywording, searching etc and a revamped iweb (the code the current one produces is a joke among other issues)


Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If we’re going through the looking glass then I say it’s a hidden message that the King and Rook (rhymes with Cook) will be switching places on the board.


A theory that is erroneous in many ways. First because of the simple error of thinking that they are putting hidden messages about the Executive front in their product code names.

Second to assume that the code name has anything to do with the service in terms of word meanings. They don't want to give away anything about this service so they are going to use a codename that is removed from it. So using something like Cloud would be a give away. Castle just makes folks go "WTF is that all about" and want and see for themselves when Apple is ready to tell them.

But if it does have a logical connection then it is likely due to the fact that they already use a home as the visual for your user folders. A Castle is a bigger more bad ass home. Which is perhaps how they want folks to view whatever this is. Bigger, fancier, more bad ass. And yet strong and protected with guards, gates etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Apple hasn't got the best record with online services, but mostly because the social aspects of life famously elude them.

I don't think it eludes them at all. I think they didn't jump in right off because like so many other things they like to wait and see how things shake out and how they can do X but better.

Quote:

In terms of data loss and reliability they actually have a pretty good record relative to other online services. They've only had two serious outages in their entire history, (one very short indeed), and only once did they ever lose data to a tiny amount of user accounts.

Traditionally they have looked at online as a supplement to us holding our stuff at home. They seem to be loathe to the notion of only one copy of anything being around. Look even at the iphone and their computers. They force you to tether for software updates which includes your phone being backed up to the computer. They created the Time Machine software and put it on all computers. Heck when you download from iTunes it loves to pop up and suggest you back up your purchases.

I doubt they would ever have a situation where storing on their servers was your only choice a la the Sidekick etc. You can choose to do it that way if you want but it will be your choice. Not Apple's

Quote:
I'm not saying they are perfect, but to imply as you seem to that they are not only unreliable but that they also have some sort of long history of losing people's data (at least more than any other online service), is false.

Correct. Out of all of their crashes they have lost perhaps 1% of folks data overall. And perhaps only 10% of that was non recoverable. Mostly you are just cut off from getting to it. Or the system shites out dupes of all your contacts, calenders etc which is annoying but better than losing your info in the long run.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Castle is way better than iCloud or MobileMe which are in the same league as Hello Kitty.

Apple would kill to have her numbers.

As for the names themselves, Apple (and most companies) want the public name to reflect what it is so the public has a clue. Few folks will willingly show their ignorance by saying they have no idea what Castle is. But something like MobileMe they can ike out a little logic and have a small clue.
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Apple would kill to have her numbers

I knew that would come up, but cute just makes me cringe.

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post #26 of 42
post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

I understand that there have been a number of fiascos surrounding the various iterations of iDisk, but overall I've had a great experience Did you really rely on MM as your only place for your data?

I have used iDisk extensively since about 2006, when I was overseas for 8 months writing using gen-1 intel MBP. At that time I used Backup to backup all my work 2x per day. (It was also backed up to a second local HD every hour.) Without it I would have been constantly terrified that a robbery would take all my work!

But back home on the G5 Mac Pro, the syncing was horrendous and only got worse with time. I had moved to the sync service in which you have a local copy of the iDisk resides on your local machine and is synced regularly - just like Dropbox.

Not only would it take forever to perfume a sync, but it would totally bog down the system while doing so. (Maybe I had issues with thrashing?) Additionally, it never seemed to like MS Word locked files. It would not sync these and then give repeated error messages.

On my new MBP i7 (2010) things are lots smoother. Still t chokes on locked Word files however.

Now I use Dropbox for works in progress, and then copy to iDisk for permanent storage as I have more space there. (I also do a weekly backup of both iDisk and Dropbox to an extra local drive. for added security. These are files I cannot afford to lose!) It is still very slow and sometimes I have to turn off auto-sync. It is really rather pathetic that little Dropbox can provide a more robust service than Apple!!! (imho)

I hope that Apple will fix some of these issues when they upgrade.
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think its an apropos codename. If the data center is in the cloud that would surely be a castle or some other awe inspiring structure from Apples PoV.

It is a pretty big data centre. Interestingly, there's a company called Castle Technology who sell ARM PCs:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Technology

Wonder if Apple are planning some sort of low-power ARM data centre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii

A man's home (dir) is his castle?



Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault

You have to admit though, Castle is a WAY better name than iCloud.

Both of them are a bit effeminate IMO. Castles have drapes and clouds are fluffy. Real men keep their data in a fortress with iron bars and stone floors. Superman didn't have a castle of solitude.
post #29 of 42
I suspect this move is part of a brilliant strategy to consolidate iTunes, MobileMe, App Store, and the iBook Store into a unified iCloud brand.

The name iTunes has become outmoded as it has taken on the role of purveying everything from mobile apps to movies to TV shows to magazine subscriptions to audiobooks to eLearning content, while eBooks are relegated to their own (iBooks) store for no obvious reason, desktop/notebook apps are sold via their own, separate App Store, and finally, MobileMe services of email, iDisk, Gallery, Calendar, and Contacts occupy yet another place adding further to consumer confusion and brand dilution.

With iCloud, Apple will create an amazingly powerful consumer (and possibly enterprise) brand where users have only one place to go no matter what their mobile communication, content, or computing needs are. Here's how it looks:

Apple iCloud -- the only name you need to know:

iCloud Mail -- formerly MobileMe Email
iCloud Contacts -- formerly MobileMe Contacts
iCloud Calendar -- formerly MobileMe Calendar
iCloud Disk -- formerly MobileMe iDisk
iCloud Gallery -- formerly MobileMe Gallery
iCloud Music -- formerly iTunes Music
iCloud Mobile Apps -- formerly iTunes Apps
iCloud TV Shows -- formerly iTunes TV Shows
iCloud Movies -- formerly iTunes Movies
iCloud University -- formerly iTunes University
iCloud Books -- formerly the iBookStore
iCloud Applications -- formerly the App Store
iCloud Streaming -- new service to allow users to store their content and stream it to any device

This is the true Web 3.0, a vehicle that allows individuals to use the power of the distributed network to perform a vast array of communication, commercial, entertainment, and educational activities.

And this is just the beginning. With the power of this brand, Apple can extend its reach into many new and highly profitable areas. For example, iCloud Search? Or how about iCloud Banking?
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

I just shared a file on my idisk with a copied url, so I'm going to say you can do that. What am I missing or misunderstanding?

Yes, it works in many cases - unfortunately it does not work in every constellation. I had several cases where sharing a file via iDisk did not work for corporate recipients (likely being still on IE6).

===

I can't really imagine "Castle" being the final name. Not because it is bad, but because it does not really mean anything internationally. "Cloud" is an established term, even in non-English countries, "Castle" is a third-rate crime show...

Reminds me a bit of Apple buying the "iSlate" domain in early 2010... It nicely fooled Ballmer and HP into rushing to announce a "Slate". Of course, Apple did never use this moniker ever.

While I have absolutely no idea where Apple will take MobileMe (or its successor / supplement), I really hope it is more functional than "social". Apple does get "social" even less than Google, and they don't have to. I would be happy just to see them catching up functionally to other services... Even the free Dropbox and SugarSync accounts are more useful, more reliable and better performing than the rather expensive MobileMe iDisk. They have done some nice improvements to the online calendar, but why it still can't show subscribed calendars is beyond me - and where is some group/team functionality, small businesses would love it. The "Gallery" would be quite nice for image and video sharing, if it would have better performance; just, as it is, it requires far too much patience. I would prefer to have these things improved over a new name.
post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

I just shared a file on my idisk with a copied url, so I'm going to say you can do that. What am I missing or misunderstanding?

Im unclear on your point. Are you saying that iDisk has that same base capability or are you not sure how iDisk differs from Dropbox in the way it functions?
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post #32 of 42
Quote:

Just watched this last week - Stunning animation!!
post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cws View Post

I suspect this move is part of a brilliant strategy to consolidate iTunes, MobileMe, App Store, and the iBook Store into a unified iCloud brand.

The name iTunes has become outmoded as it has taken on the role of purveying everything from mobile apps to movies to TV shows to magazine subscriptions to audiobooks to eLearning content, while eBooks are relegated to their own (iBooks) store for no obvious reason, desktop/notebook apps are sold via their own, separate App Store, and finally, MobileMe services of email, iDisk, Gallery, Calendar, and Contacts occupy yet another place adding further to consumer confusion and brand dilution.

With iCloud, Apple will create an amazingly powerful consumer (and possibly enterprise) brand where users have only one place to go no matter what their mobile communication, content, or computing needs are. Here's how it looks:

Apple iCloud -- the only name you need to know:

iCloud Mail -- formerly MobileMe Email
iCloud Contacts -- formerly MobileMe Contacts
iCloud Calendar -- formerly MobileMe Calendar
iCloud Disk -- formerly MobileMe iDisk
iCloud Gallery -- formerly MobileMe Gallery
iCloud Music -- formerly iTunes Music
iCloud Mobile Apps -- formerly iTunes Apps
iCloud TV Shows -- formerly iTunes TV Shows
iCloud Movies -- formerly iTunes Movies
iCloud University -- formerly iTunes University
iCloud Books -- formerly the iBookStore
iCloud Applications -- formerly the App Store
iCloud Streaming -- new service to allow users to store their content and stream it to any device

This is the true Web 3.0, a vehicle that allows individuals to use the power of the distributed network to perform a vast array of communication, commercial, entertainment, and educational activities.

And this is just the beginning. With the power of this brand, Apple can extend its reach into many new and highly profitable areas. For example, iCloud Search? Or how about iCloud Banking?

Great post!
post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

You have to put Apple's NC datacenter into perspective. Yes it's big, but it's not that big. Microsoft already run at least 4 data centers of a similar size and have a major presence in 3rd party data centers around the world. It's speculated that Google run even more than that....

I get your point that it's only one datacenter but I don't' think these numbers you are giving are right at all. They sound anecdotal at best.

Companies don't usually give out the information on the number of data centres they run or even where they are located and neither Microsoft nor Apple are an exception to that rule. It's also the number of servers you have, not the number of centres (given that the datacenters themselves are all of differing sizes). Even if you knew the floor space of every data centre for each company you still wouldn't know their real capacity.

In any case, the one Apple just built is either the biggest or second biggest ever built I believe and they are planning to double it soon, so even if Apple didn't already have enormous investments in datacenters, that in itself would be more than enough to suggest that Apple is aiming for tremendous capacity.
post #35 of 42
When you watch the install logs on Lion, it seems that all the packages are installable from URL.
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Those hippies are building white castles in the sky:



I seriously think they are letting their kids name these things. First Mission Control, now Castles. If an iPony comes along at any time, we'll know for sure.

Castle seems like an odd codename to pick for a cloud service but I guess they don't want to let any clues out about what it is.



No way Tim's a Rook - he's second in command, but switching the king and queen is an illegal move in chess. He'd have to switch with Scott or Randy.

If we are going to be guessing why they named it Castle, I bet dollars to donuts that it is a reference to Miyakazi's Castle in the Sky anime!
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilles99 View Post

I guess there will be two services offer

Rumors have been saying that Mobileme would be free
so it could be
but the Castle will certainely have a fee
with more options

or vice-versa

Just an idea !

I was thinking just that, but you beat me to it.
post #38 of 42
Considering how embarrassingly slow the internet is in this country, plus how few places you can even get this slow internet, how can anyone suggest we're ready for 'cloud' computing?

Abolish anti-trust laws and maybe in a few years....
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I get your point that it's only one data center but I don't' think these numbers you are giving are right at all. They sound anecdotal at best.

Companies don't usually give out the information on the number of data centers they run or even where they are located and neither Microsoft nor Apple are an exception to that rule. It's also the number of servers you have, not the number of centers (given that the data centers themselves are all of differing sizes). Even if you knew the floor space of every data center for each company you still wouldn't know their real capacity.

In any case, the one Apple just built is either the biggest or second biggest ever built I believe and they are planning to double it soon, so even if Apple didn't already have enormous investments in data centers, that in itself would be more than enough to suggest that Apple is aiming for tremendous capacity.

Anecdotal at worst. To be worse than anecdotal I would have to be intentionally trying to deceive you!

You can see the largest 11 known data centers as of April 2010 here. Apple's new NC data center will slot in at no 8.

Granted, space doesn't equal server count. You'll notice a few of those data centers have included extra capacity for future expansion.

However it's unlikely Apple have managed to find a way to drastically increase server density compared to the other sites. It's possibly (or even likely) Apple haven't managed to achieve the same efficiency in their data centers based on their interest in Kevin Timmons (Microsoft's data center guy).

In any case to support its cloud ambitions Apple will need another North American data center and probably one in Europe as well.

It's going to be interesting to see what they do in the meanwhile.

Like I said they could simply release the service and risk it until they get more data centers online.

However I still don't think Apple will have the capacity to simply give the service away for free.

Microsoft has something like 25GB of free online storage of which 5GB can be used for data sync (i.e. like Dropbox), unlimited email storage as well as email/contact/calendar sync.

Google has less free storage (7 GB Gmail limit and 1GB for docs/Picasa) however they also sell extra storage for an incredibly cheap price (25c a GB per year). They also give away email/calendar sync.

I can see Apple maybe offering a free sync cloud service for contacts, calendars and notes. They might put email in there as well (although I'm not sure how much space they can offer for free).

I can't see them giving out 25GB of free space for photos, videos and documents like Microsoft or cheap storage upgrades like Google.

Like I mentioned, Apple are a victim of their own success in this instance. The sheer weight of customers that would jump on a service like this from Apple has the potential to bring the NC data center to its knees.

Do the sums yourself on 100+ million customers wanting to sync 25 GB of data with Apple. It makes those 12 petabytes of storage they ordered look like nothing.

You can read more on Apple data centers here.
post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

In any case, the one Apple just built is either the biggest or second biggest ever built I believe and they are planning to double it soon, so even if Apple didn't already have enormous investments in datacenters, that in itself would be more than enough to suggest that Apple is aiming for tremendous capacity.

There is a lot to be said for regional data centers which is why Apple uses Akamai since they have data centers all over the world which are both load balanced as well as region specific. The North Carolina bandwidth may be fast but it doesn't make up for being diversified and geographically close to the the requesting client. You can have the biggest datacenter in the world but your overall speed, redundancy and capacity would be much more robust and fault tolerant with multiple distributed facilities.

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