Revealed: iCloud Utilizes Microsoft Azure and Amazon Cloud for Hosting

Is Apple leveraging the storage expertise of its competitors for iCloud? According to a report by InfiniteApple, evidence revealed indicates this.

Following up to their initial speculation and screenshots of Azure and Amazon being used for iMessage, they ran another test to disprove the trio of ‘cloud and networking experts’ that proved them wrong via GigaOM.

They simulated the same configuration as these experts, and ran the test themselves. Their results were conclusive: Azure services are used by iCloud for hosting purposes, but they have seen Amazon’s Cloud being used as well.

We sent an image from and to iPhones running a beta copy of iOS 5. The resulting traffic showed, quite clearly, the use of Azure services for hosting purposes. We don’t believe iCloud stores actual content. Rather, it simply manages links to uploaded content. (Caveat: iCloud is currently in beta, and details may change.)

User attaches an image and clicks Send
Device connects to and asks for ‘authorization’
Device receives CDN URL(s), keys (in this case, Azure)
Device connects to CDN and uploads image as per instruction
Device connects to again and reports completion with metric data

You can take a closer look at their walkthrough and raw dump yourself.

So what does this mean? Steve Jobs revealed at WWDC Apple has three data centres to date, including the latest $1 billion centre in North Carolina. It is wise to utilize the cloud services of Microsoft and Amazon in conjunction with their own hosting. It would be relatively cheap and ensure good latency thanks to multiple Amazon/Azure server farms around the world, compared to the few farms Apple has setup.

Who would’ve thought Apple would be using their competitors to play a role in iCloud?