iCloud and Siri Teams at Odds as Apple Seeks to Move Cloud Services In-House

Apple's efforts to move its cloud infrastructure in-house for its web services are being slowed by "political infighting" between the company's iCloud and Siri engineering teams, according to The Information.

Siri-iCloud-icons
The paywalled report claims that the fighting is holding back Apple from fixing "technical problems that have plagued iCloud and iTunes," while at least one key engineering manager is said to have departed the company over the ongoing conflict.

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.

Multiple sources claim that Apple is working on building its own internal cloud infrastructure, known as "Project McQueen" internally, to reduce its dependence on services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Apple spends an estimated $1 billion or more on cloud services each year.

Apple reportedly inked a $400 to $600 million deal with Google last year to "significantly" cut down on its reliance on Amazon Web Services, but its reliance on third-party providers should decrease as it builds or expands new data centers in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Ireland, and Denmark.

The new infrastructure is meant to help improve the reliability of iCloud and Apple’s other apps. The infrastructure work has taken on added significance this year. Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly played up the company’s intention to generate more Internet-services revenue from existing iPhone owners, including from the App Store and things like Apple Music.

In June 2015, it was reported that Apple is building a high-speed content delivery network and planning to upgrade its data centers with more of its own equipment. The foundation of the high-speed data network was reported to be long-haul pipes connecting Apple data centers in California, Nevada, North Carolina, and Oregon.

Apple may be enlisting Chinese server vendor Inspur to help migrate its cloud services in house. Inspur already has employees and facilities close to Apple's headquarters in California, including an R&D team and production center, and it has previously agreed to partnerships with Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and other technology companies.

Top Rated Comments

indychris Avatar
62 months ago

Stories like this should ALWAYS be taken with many gigantic grains of salt.

No doubt true, but nonetheless not unlikely either. Steve may have been harsh in some ways, but his driven nature kept things moving and streamlined, and at least seemingly focused on core issues. I've feared for some time that under current leadership, Apple may become a burgeoning bureaucracy plagued by indecisiveness and conflict in lower levels.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bluespark Avatar
62 months ago
Adding to this problem, the Siri team can never understand what the other teams are saying....
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Phazer Avatar
62 months ago
There are engineering teams for iCloud and Siri???
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spiderman0616 Avatar
62 months ago
Stories like this should ALWAYS be taken with many gigantic grains of salt.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LordQ Avatar
62 months ago
But why is that iCloud icon using the same border radius as pre-iOS 7 icons? And why would the teams fight if in the end it means everything is in-house? Am I missing something? :confused:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dwaltwhit Avatar
62 months ago
but do the teams have their own rival flags?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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