A report today indicates Apple’s efforts to being its cloud infrastructure in-house is being delayed by political infighting between the Cupertino firm’s iCloud and Siri engineering teams.
The report indicates that the infighting is holding back the company from fixing “technical problems that have plagued iCloud and iTunes,” while at least one key engineering manager is said to have departed the company due to the ongoing hubbub.
Steve D’Aurora, an engineering manager in a team led by Patrick Gates, resigned last week. That’s raised the possibility that Mr. D’Aurora’s superior, Darren Haas, a “head of cloud engineering,” would leave as well. Both Mr. D’Aurora and Mr. Haas joined Apple through its 2010 acquisition of Siri, the voice-activated assistant on the iPhone.
It has long been reported that Apple is working on building its own homegrown cloud infrastructure, to reduce its dependence on other cloud services providers, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google’s Cloud Platform. Apple is estimated to spend over $1 billion per year on cloud services alone.
Apple continues to build out its own data centers, such as those in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and more. The company is also said to have signed a deal worth $400 to $600 million with Google, in order to cut down its reliance on Amazon Web Services.
The new infrastructure should help improve the reliability of Apple’s iCloud-based services, which will be an important part of the company’s plans to generate more revenue from iPhone owners, from such services as the App Store, Apple Music, and more.
Apple is said to be working with Chinese server vendor Inspur to aid it in transferring its iCloud data services in-house. Inspur has facilities close to Apple’s California headquarters, where a production center and an R&D term are located. It currently holds over 60% of China’s Internet server market. The company is also in partnerships with Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and other technology companies that have a need to expand their server capacity.