Apple rumored to lean on Google Cloud Platform for certain iCloud services [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2016
Apple could soon ditch Amazon Web Services in favor of Google Cloud Platform to serve a portion of iCloud's data needs, a shift that would be a major notch in Google's belt as the company builds out its cloud product.




The potential shift was reported to Twitter on Wednesday by The Information's Amir Efrati, who said Apple's move to Google Cloud could take a year and, like the current Apple tie up with Amazon Web Services, is unlikely to be a money maker for the Internet search giant. Alongside its own iCloud data centers, Apple relies on key third-party providers in servicing a worldwide customer base of more than 782 million users.

A report from CRN earlier in the day cited sources as saying Apple recently signed on with Google ahead of its departure from AWS in a deal worth $400 million to $600 million.

Lending credence to Efrati's report are backend changes to the way OS X Messages handles attachments. AppleInsider discovered Mac's IMTransferAgent routing certain outbound data requests through Google's servers in Asia, as seen in the screenshot above.

"It's kind of a puzzler to us because vendors who understand doing business with enterprises respect NDAs with their customers and don't imply competitive defection where it doesn't exist," an AWS spokesperson told AppleInsider.

Earlier this year, industry watchers predicted Apple to draw down its reliance on AWS in favor of an in-house solution, speculating the move would take about two years to complete. During a recent investor conference call, Apple CFO Luca Maestri stressed the importance of fiscally responsible data center operations in light of a quickly expanding iCloud user base.

"Then we've got data centers," Maestri said. "And data centers is a growing expenditure for us, because as we mentioned in our prepared remarks, our install base of customers and devices is growing, and it's growing very significantly. And the data center capacity that we put in place is to provide the services that are tied to the install base."

While mere speculation, Apple could be looking for temporary solution as it weens off AWS. The company currently has plans to build three data centers scheduled to open over the next two years, including a $2 billion "global command center" located at the failed sapphire production plant in Mesa, Ariz. Two more facilities are slated to open in Ireland and Denmark for European customers.

Update: A report from CRN claims Apple has already inked a deal with Google worth $400 million to $600 million.

Update 2: Article updated with response from Amazon.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    Please no. 

    Once that hat is done, all the encryption and security I trust Apple with is defeated by virtue of Google hosting my data. 

    Once Google has it, it's already stolen. 

    Maybe be this is Apples way of giving Obama what he wants without having to admit it. 
    edited March 2016 lkrupp
  • Reply 2 of 23
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,791member
    Please no. 

    Once that hat is done, all the encryption and security I trust Apple with is defeated by virtue of Google hosting my data. 

    Once Google has it, it's already stolen. 

    Maybe be this is Apples way of giving Obama what he wants without having to admit it. 
    This sounds like a bit of paranoia. Apple is encrypting everything on iCloud and as you can see by the screenshot, the data is being transferred by https. I sometimes wonder about people claiming to be so concerned about their personal privacy but have no qualms logging into their bank or email over a public wifi at the airport or restaurant and sending passwords in the clear with no encryption whatsoever. Anywhere you find wifi that does not need authentication, you'll find someone packet sniffing.
    londorjony0
  • Reply 3 of 23
    I think they are just using Google for compute and storage.   Its still up the Apple to secure the data via encryption.  As I understand this is for iMessages temporal attachments which use device key encryption. Am I mistaken? 
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 4 of 23
    volcan said:
    Please no. 

    Once that hat is done, all the encryption and security I trust Apple with is defeated by virtue of Google hosting my data. 

    Once Google has it, it's already stolen. 

    Maybe be this is Apples way of giving Obama what he wants without having to admit it. 
    This sounds like a bit of paranoia. Apple is encrypting everything on iCloud and as you can see by the screenshot, the data is being transferred by https. I sometimes wonder about people claiming to be so concerned about their personal privacy but have no qualms logging into their bank or email over a public wifi at the airport or restaurant and sending passwords in the clear with no encryption whatsoever. Anywhere you find wifi that does not need authentication, you'll find someone packet sniffing.
    which bank lets you login sending password in the clear vs  encrypted via SSL layer over https?
    afrodrijony0cnocbui
  • Reply 5 of 23
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,155member
    Please no. 

    Once that hat is done, all the encryption and security I trust Apple with is defeated by virtue of Google hosting my data. 

    Once Google has it, it's already stolen. 

    Maybe be this is Apples way of giving Obama what he wants without having to admit it. 
    You could not be more wrong.  You have no idea what you are talking about. 
    gatorguybsimpsenlondorjony0nolamacguy
  • Reply 6 of 23
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,791member
    jeff_cook said:

    which bank lets you login sending password in the clear vs  encrypted via SSL layer over https?
    Yeah you are right about banks, my mistake, but many, many sites do have log ins without SSL.
  • Reply 7 of 23
    Why does a company of Apple's repute, size and dara wharehousing have to depend on any other external IT source or company?
  • Reply 8 of 23
    Please no. 

    Once that hat is done, all the encryption and security I trust Apple with is defeated by virtue of Google hosting my data. 

    Once Google has it, it's already stolen. 

    Maybe be this is Apples way of giving Obama what he wants without having to admit it. 
    You could not be more wrong.  You have no idea what you are talking about. 

    Agreed 9secondkox2. iMessage for one employs end to end encryption. 

    All your iOS data is encrypted to an extremely high standard* and there's no reason not to store well encrypted data on cheap, high availability storage from people who specialise in it, as Google do. 

    *nothing is uncrackable, nothing. Just an FYI to all the paranoid people out there. Enough computers with enough time can crack anything. 
  • Reply 9 of 23
    Why does a company of Apple's repute, size and dara wharehousing have to depend on any other external IT source or company?
    It's a question of availability and scalability. Why wait months, even years to build a DC when you can utilise something that's already there? They probably already employ multiple storage providers for HA reasons, the data is encrypted so why not use it?

    It also is be easier to enable access
    to iCloud in locations where Google already have agreements for data to pass through their servers. 

    I think your question is like asking why Apple contracts out their manufacturing to Foxconn et al... They are the best at what they do at the best price and the best scalability. 
    londor
  • Reply 10 of 23
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,142member
    Why don't they lean on customers for iCloud capacity?
    "iCloud for business" let companies host their own data in house and provide much of the processing power their own users need.
  • Reply 11 of 23
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 672member
    volcan said:
    Please no. 

    Once that hat is done, all the encryption and security I trust Apple with is defeated by virtue of Google hosting my data. 

    Once Google has it, it's already stolen. 

    Maybe be this is Apples way of giving Obama what he wants without having to admit it. 
    This sounds like a bit of paranoia. Apple is encrypting everything on iCloud and as you can see by the screenshot, the data is being transferred by https. I sometimes wonder about people claiming to be so concerned about their personal privacy but have no qualms logging into their bank or email over a public wifi at the airport or restaurant and sending passwords in the clear with no encryption whatsoever. Anywhere you find wifi that does not need authentication, you'll find someone packet sniffing.
    I agree with your general premise. However the fact that the data in the screenshot is transferred by https proves nothing because it pertains only to the data in transit.  The data at rest is encrypted by a different mechanism.  
  • Reply 12 of 23
    red oakred oak Posts: 679member
    Anything please to improve the incredible slow performance and unreliability of iCloud doc synching. It is awful 

    Are Apple employees even using their own products?  The basic problems are now measured in years 
  • Reply 13 of 23
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,985member
    Why does a company of Apple's repute, size and dara wharehousing have to depend on any other external IT source or company?
    Because it's cheaper. 
  • Reply 14 of 23
    koopkoop Posts: 337member
    Apple continues making Google tons of money.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    This seems like a normal level of diversification as I anticipate apple-only hosted services are a long way off. (It's likely Apple will continue to roll out servers US and abroad to handle the ever growing iCloud userbase.)

    As an aside, moving to Google provides Apple with excellent migration skills for when they eventually serve all of their own data.

    There wouldn't be any specific concerns about data privacy as google would not have access to the keys, in the same way that China doesn't. Apple will likely continue to provide the data to law enforcement under a warrant, however after this duel with the FBI, Apple might prioritise closing off that avenue too.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 16 of 23
    roakeroake Posts: 663member
    red oak said:
    Anything please to improve the incredible slow performance and unreliability of iCloud doc synching. It is awful 

    Are Apple employees even using their own products?  The basic problems are now measured in years 
    I use these features routinely.  They work well for me.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    red oakred oak Posts: 679member
    roake said:
    red oak said:
    Anything please to improve the incredible slow performance and unreliability of iCloud doc synching. It is awful 

    Are Apple employees even using their own products?  The basic problems are now measured in years 
    I use these features routinely.  They work well for me.
    I can't explain it. I keep my OS updated to very latest on all devices

    One particular annoying bug is it tells me it can't open a file (Numbers) in Safari on iCloud.com.  And, to make a duplicate so it can.  Bizarre 



  • Reply 18 of 23
    They are going to be using Google Cloud Platform and not Google Services, where you would have to be worried about privacy, security issues. 
  • Reply 19 of 23
    ksecksec Posts: 1,567member
    Apple has always has it Cloud Services Layer so it could easily switch between Cloud Vendors. Amazon and Microsoft Azure are two prime examples. The API between the two are similar, which makes the additional of Microsoft Azure a lot easier. Being Google and their NIH DNA, their Google Compute Services is a little bit different.

    This by no means Apple could not adopt. It is only a small obstacles. But being Apple they will less likely to use their main competitors infrastructure.

    I bet google is giving Apple some major discount. Since Apple are building their own DC and running their own infrastructure, network and CDN. They know full well the cost of running it, if it is MUCH cheaper then doing it themselves, why not? ( i.e Google are not earning money with the deal )

    I am sure Apple will continue to do business with Samsung and Google as long as they dont earn a dime from it.

    But in the end Apple still needs to build their own DC as fast as possible.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,180member
    Please no. 

    Once that hat is done, all the encryption and security I trust Apple with is defeated by virtue of Google hosting my data. 

    Once Google has it, it's already stolen. 

    Maybe be this is Apples way of giving Obama what he wants without having to admit it. 
    Pretty much every word of your post is laughably inaccurate BS.
    singularity
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