I recently wrote about how Apple is busy developing their own content delivery network (CDN) to help deal with the huge amount of data it delivers to its customers. Currently relying on Akamai and Level3 for their data delivery needs, they are seeking more control and greater performance through the Apple CDN when it comes to delivering iTunes content and offering a high quality iCloud experience.
New information now indicates that Apple are making good progress, with several Apache-based servers being developed along with the purchasing of plenty of transit, co-location, wavelengths and other infrastructure services. This indicates that development is coming along well, and data deliveries across the Apple CDN will inevitably start soon.
Furthermore, online video expert Dan Rayburn has recently reported that Apple is in discussions with high profile US-based internet service providers (ISPs) to negotiate paid interconnection deals. This is important in the current climate, with so much debate raging around the topic of net neutrality. Net neutrality is the principle that ISPs should treat all data equally without prioritising certain content over others when it comes to bandwidth, delivery and what it charges users to access the network. One of the prime examples of the net neutrality date is Netflix. The notoriously high bandwidth service argues that all should be equal when it comes to bandwidth allocation, especially CDNs (of which it makes great use of).
Apple’s potential interconnection deals are important, as it would spell the end for net neutrality. If ISPs allow them to pay for prioritisation, they will ensure a greater level of performance for their end users. For example, when Apple released iOS 7 for their mobile devices, at times an estimated 40% of all traffic to major ISPs was coming form customers downloading the update. If Apple is to serve this type of data across their Apple CDN, deals like this could prove highly useful.
Whatever your opinions on net neutrality, this is evidence that the Apple CDN is nearing completion. We’re excited about seeing it roll out in the future and assessing the quality of its performance.
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