Apple OS X Lion Launch To Test iCloud, NC Datacenter, Fall Hardware

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by *LTD*, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    Some data center related news, the case for digital downloads, and brief commentary on the influence of the MacBook Air.


    Apple OS X Lion Launch To Test iCloud, NC Datacenter, Fall Hardware

    BYTE -- With the Apple OS X Lion launch, Apple is test-driving its billion dollar data center in North Carolina and testing it hard.
    The giant 500,000 sq. foot facility -- five times the size of Apple's second-largest center -- will get a chance to show what it's made of at this week's launch of Apple's hyped-up new OS, the upgrade OS X 10.7, more widely known as Lion.

    "What better time? Right in advance of iCloud," says Rob Maxwell, lead incident handler at the University of Maryland and a BYTE senior contributor.
    Sources tell BYTE Apple will be watching the performance of the center with a lot of scrutiny. How the Maiden, NC center delivers the 4GB upgrade to a broad base of users will be telling. And it will show whether Apple is ready for a wider, even heavier data roll-out with iCloud this fall.

    "The center is underutilized. No one is too worried," says a source familiar with the effort, adding that Apple is "already seeding" Apple stores with OS X Lion-equipped hard disks, Wifi for digital download and, soon, for-sale USB keys with the upgrade.

    A USB key with the download is already available for use in stores and will likely be commercially available to customers within 45 days, adds the source, pointing out that such a sale is all upside for Apple.

    Apple will not and cannot rely on stores alone. Do the math. Apple genius bars generally have room for about 5 or 6 machines at a time. A five to 15-minute download per store customer will back things up quickly. Impatient customers crowding stores is a fail. Digital delivery must work for Apple to declare a success for Lion and continue along with the upcoming iCloud rollout.

    The Lion download doesn't have to work quickly. It need to just work, to turn a phrase Apple CEO Steve Jobs has made popular. Apple customers are used to slow download times on iOS. It isn't about speed. It's about precision and delivery of the $29 upgrade from the online store.

    At its World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco last month, Apple CEO Steve Jobs telegraphed the plan, talking up the Maiden datacenter as the way Apple would deliver on iCloud promises. He didn't mention the Mac. But the Mac after all is just a device among many for Apple.

    The Maiden, NC facility won't operate alone, sources say. For OS X Lion, it will operate in concert with Apple's second-largest facility, the 110,000 sq. foot center in Newark, CA, its Cupertino, CA facility and likely those of third-party partners such as Akamai, sources say.

    With Apple's continuing push to kill local optical storage --- its optical-free Macbook Air will soon be its entry level device -- a whole new generation of hardware that is drive-free and multi-gesture ready is gearing up for fall release. Apple needs to find out in a large scale test, and Lion is that test, if iCloud services really will work the way people will expect.

    So far, Apple execs aren't concerned the delivery will fail. Even if it does, Apple has help on the ground via the Apple Stores and its distribution partners. And it has time to rejigger ahead of fall hardware announcements and iCloud's looming arrival. I'll be watching. For BYTE, I'm Shawn Ingram.
    Gina Smith also contributed to the reporting of this story.
  2. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    That's good news for people with poor internet access if this rumour is true.
  3. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    I was quite surprised (pleasantly) to read this as well. Provided it's true, I didn't think Apple would do it.
  4. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    And those without Snow Leopard (assuming apple's installer allows the clean install route)

    Even if you had a 9.6k line you would do it quicker than 45 days :eek::D
  5. 0007776, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2011

    0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    That would be awesome if it is true. If they do have it on a USB stick I'll upgrade, if not then I'll wait until I need lion for some software and then decide what to do.

    But not if you have capped data and you can't download it at all because of that.
  6. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.4; en-gb; Nexus S Build/GRJ22) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

    I'd love some USB stick love! Would be great.
  7. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I would not mind the USB stick as a backup. Although I'd DL it and back up my copy all the same, I do like knowing we can get a USB stick. If the news is true.
  9. J@ffa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2002
    Behind you!
    I know this sounds silly, but even though I'm perfectly capable of buying Lion from the MAS, I'd almost certainly buy it on a USB stick if that option was available. The USB restore sticks that come with MacBook Airs look awesome, and presumably they'll look like that (no need to reinvent the wheel, after all).
  10. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    So if I am reading this right Apple is allowing people to go to the Apple store with their own USB drive which would allow them to download Lion.
    I am going to assume or at least hope if I understand it correctly this would mean just about anything from App store.
    If this is true that is a pretty nice thing. I would hope that it would also allow you to go to a friends/family members house and download stuff as well. For example my grandparents at a 2-3Mbit connection which in my book is very slow but they could go to their daughters place and download it on the 15 Mbit connection reducing the time from a very long time to something more reasonable.

    This to me is a good thing over all if I am understanding it correctly. Honestly I think they should start selling the software on flash drives as well. Just charge the extra 10-15 bucks for the flash drive because after the person is done they could well use the flash drive for other things.
  11. danielsutton macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    OS X in the datacenter?

    I am fascinated by Apple's use of OS X in their new North Carolina datacenter. Could this mean that they have a new rack-mountable server that that they are preparing to offer during the Fall roll out of their new products? I hope that they have a replacement for the XServe in the works!

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