Server firmware security incident in 2016 forced Apple to sever ties with vendor Super Mic...

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  • Reply 21 of 32
    I am surprised that a company like Apple with all the money they have, rely on 3rd party hardware to build their server farms. Facebook builds and develops their own hardware solutions. Well, clearly making one's own servers doesn't bring in much money as an iPhone does, doesn't it?
  • Reply 22 of 32
    Apple must have zero tolerance for anything that compromises customer security and even things that have a 1% chance of compromising customer security.  It's expensive and time consuming, but this policy will continue to differentiate Apple from all others.  It is the right thing to do.  Booyah
  • Reply 23 of 32
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    rob53 said:
    True or not it's another justification for Apple to get back into the server market so they can control everything. 
    I neither agree nor disagree that Apple should go back to selling rack servers, but I would like to see Apple develop and use their own servers and networking equipment in-house.
    Maybe after they are done being distracted by Apple Park.
    Yeah, because the same people working on designing processors are also the same ones installing the irrigation system at Apple Park¡ :rolleyes:
    I suspect that you may not have ever been involved in the construction an move of a corporate headquarters.  While not doing the labor, the meetings consume time that one can not use for one's normal job.  The quantity of decisions that must be made about the almost endless details that affect the entire organization detracts from normal workdays.  More than one company has failed or been severely impacted by such a massive project, and most not on the scale of Apple's.
  • Reply 24 of 32
    Since hearing about Super Micro I was remembering Tim Cook speaking his concerns about security breaches in servers around the time of the San Bernadino fight with the DOJ/FBI. After searching this site for information, I found this... http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/03/23/apple-moves-to-bring-icloud-infrastructure-in-house-predicated-by-backdoor-fears---report

    What the DOJ/FBI were trying to do, problems found with Super Micro firmware and Apple's concerns all were occurring around the same time. There is much more to this story and Super Micro is at the heart of it. 

    What at is the name of the second large customer that dropped Super Micro?
  • Reply 25 of 32
    Not siding, but there is simply no room for error and compromise when it come to security. It's a right decision to do for apple.
  • Reply 26 of 32
    Soli said:
    karmadave said:
    Soli said:
    rob53 said:
    True or not it's another justification for Apple to get back into the server market so they can control everything. 
    I neither agree nor disagree that Apple should go back to selling rack servers, but I would like to see Apple develop and use their own servers and networking equipment in-house.
    They more or less do by sourcing servers and network switches from the same contract manufacturers that build their own stuff. I doubt they will ever get back into the market of selling 'commodity' servers for zero or negative margin. 

    There is definitely more to this story. 
    Sure, but I mean build nearly all their own electronics. It's not unthinkable that they could leverage their ARM and other expertise into creating the most efficient, bespoke servers in the world.
    AMD and Applied Micro both have ARM-based Server CPU's in development. To date, zero vendors, have adopted it in their shipping products. Apple is unlikely to focus any resources on ARM-based server chips when they can source their servers from existing providers of proven (Intel & AMD) x86 designs. Also, their iCloud data-centers are nowhere near the scale of Amazon, Google, or Microsoft who would be more likely to adopt ARM-based servers...
  • Reply 27 of 32
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,748member
    karmadave said:
    Apple is unlikely to focus any resources on ARM-based server chips when they can source their servers from existing providers of proven (Intel & AMD) x86 designs.
    Something similar was stated when the idea of Apple designing their own ARM chips was brought up, and even after they bought PA Semi most people here deemed it stupid move that would serve no purpose but to cause Apple to fall behind companies that used "real" processors from companies that knew what they were doing. Only after Apple repeatedly proved themselves did those people stop saying Apple couldn't hack it, so I wouldn't be so quick to say that Apple wouldn't consider an optimized, secure internal design. Does not having as many servers as Amazon or Google mean that they couldn't benefit, or is having enough servers more important than having more servers than someone else?
    edited February 2017
  • Reply 28 of 32
    Apple should be concerned about using mission critical server and routers from the People Republic of China. These kinds of family run companies are closely tied to the Party or the military. What better way to compromise security within a major corporation to benefit the PRC. 
    Here's an article from 2008 on Super Micro:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/24/technology/business-computing/24micro.html


  • Reply 29 of 32

    Soli said:
    rob53 said:
    True or not it's another justification for Apple to get back into the server market so they can control everything. 
    I neither agree nor disagree that Apple should go back to selling rack servers, but I would like to see Apple develop and use their own servers and networking equipment in-house.
    Maybe after they are done being distracted by Apple Park.
    How are product teams being distracted by real estate building a new office? Other than moving day.
    Soli
  • Reply 30 of 32
    2old4fun said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    rob53 said:
    True or not it's another justification for Apple to get back into the server market so they can control everything. 
    I neither agree nor disagree that Apple should go back to selling rack servers, but I would like to see Apple develop and use their own servers and networking equipment in-house.
    Maybe after they are done being distracted by Apple Park.
    Yeah, because the same people working on designing processors are also the same ones installing the irrigation system at Apple Park¡ :rolleyes:
    I suspect that you may not have ever been involved in the construction an move of a corporate headquarters.  While not doing the labor, the meetings consume time that one can not use for one's normal job.  The quantity of decisions that must be made about the almost endless details that affect the entire organization detracts from normal workdays.  More than one company has failed or been severely impacted by such a massive project, and most not on the scale of Apple's.
    How are those facility meetings and decisions going to distract normal designers working on stuff? I've been involved in a move as a developer and they didn't. So be specific please...
  • Reply 31 of 32
    Jdmr1701Jdmr1701 Posts: 8unconfirmed, member
    sflocal said:
    Fatman said:
    I worked for a company that used SuperMicro as a supplier for rack mount devices - it was nearly half the price of other vendors. But in the end you pay - unreliable junk that kept failing, customers flipped out. Typical Chinese business model - sell cheap 'stuff' that looks like the 'real thing'.
    A shop I work at uses SuperMicro servers.  Junk.  It just boggles the mind why companies would use such cheap crap from SuperMicro when their system infrastructures are so incredibly dependent on servers.  I'd spend more money for quality hardware than go on the cheap and cross my fingers.  Damn cheapskates!
    Computers are so disposable now that Google, Amazon and many other companies will buy the cheapest hardware they can. If it gives them a year or maybe even two and fails that is fine, the servers in the cluster take over the job of that one automatically, no downtime. Then they replace the bad ones with newer denser energy efficient ones just a few years later. I was at an IT event and they talked about servers that would last FOREVER, take up lots of space and suck up energy. But they don't care if the newer ones die because its cheap to replace a thousand servers in a DC in a year, and get 10 watts lower per server, saving a ton of money in power cost.
  • Reply 32 of 32
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 211member
    sflocal said:
    Fatman said:
    I worked for a company that used SuperMicro as a supplier for rack mount devices - it was nearly half the price of other vendors. But in the end you pay - unreliable junk that kept failing, customers flipped out. Typical Chinese business model - sell cheap 'stuff' that looks like the 'real thing'.
    A shop I work at uses SuperMicro servers.  Junk.  It just boggles the mind why companies would use such cheap crap from SuperMicro when their system infrastructures are so incredibly dependent on servers.  I'd spend more money for quality hardware than go on the cheap and cross my fingers.  Damn cheapskates!
    Spending more on better quality sometimes makes sense. Other times, it makes more sense to have a ton of spare units to swap in if something goes wrong. I tend to lean towards the massive redundancy side of the argument, myself. That's how Backblaze works (I am not affiliated, I just follow their public discussions). And every major "cloud" provider. Hardware fails. When it does, do you want it to be one of your two really expensive boxes, or one of your five dirt cheap boxes?
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