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Apple Spending $30 Million Per Month on Amazon Cloud Services

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Apr 12, 2001
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While Apple has built out a significant network of data centers to support iCloud and other services, it still relies on other companies to help support those services. According to CNBC, Apple has a multiyear agreement with Amazon Web Services that sees Apple paying Amazon $30 million per month.

In a February job posting, Apple said it was looking for someone who could "lead and architect our growing AWS footprint."

Indeed, that expenditure is on track to expand.

At the end of March, Apple's spending was on track to average more than $30 million per month in the first quarter of 2019. That would be more than 10 percent higher than a year earlier, according to two people familiar with the spending.
The report's sources indicate that Apple's current agreement with Amazon involves a commitment to spend at least $1.5 billion on AWS over five years, making Apple one of the top customers for Amazon's rapidly growing AWS business.

Apple is of course continuing to invest heavily in its own cloud infrastructure, revealing last December as part of its new Austin campus announcement that it planned to spend $10 billion over five years on U.S. data centers, including $4.5 billion by the end of 2019.

Article Link: Apple Spending $30 Million Per Month on Amazon Cloud Services
 

Gasu E.

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2004
4,634
2,661
Not far from Boston, MA.
This is likely for Storage, which Apple likely considered as commodity. Apple also uses Google GCP, Microsoft Azure for their Storage system.

That's right. Apple is spending a huge amount on their own infrastructure. But supplementing this with third-party infrastructure allows them to expand or contract as business requirements dictate.

Many people not in the IT business may not be aware that corporate IT has moved to a more "market driven" decision-making approach, thanks to private and public clouds. In the old days, individual corporate departments did not pay for their use of IT infrastructure; IT was costed centrally, and each department would have to apply to the IT department to gain additional infrastructure, such as storage space. Highly inefficient. Now, internal IT departments provide cloud services, and "charge" each department per usage; its common to have a self-service portal where each department can "buy" some amount of private cloud storage, etc. And, in order to keep the IT departments efficient, corporations may allow each department to choose to alternatively buy such services from third parties, such as AWS, effectively providing competition to inside IT.
 
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ksec

macrumors 65816
Dec 23, 2015
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So many assumptions with so few words. Good on you.

1. We already knew Apple were using AWS, Azure and GCP for iCloud Storage.
2. Storage has always been a commodity. The real cost for Cloud Storage are in Transfer and Bandwidth, which in Apple's scale could easily do peering and cost them next to nothing.
3. Apple has always had an Asset Light mentality, building many more Datacenter to cater just for Storage system are considered as liability rather than asset.
4. We know Apple runs some of the largest Data Processing in house using Mesos and K8s. Such as Siri.

Those assumption are based on the above what could be considered as fact.

Or you could read the reply two post above you.
 
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kylelerner

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2013
81
388
I believe, that one day, all of our workstations will be cheap thin-clients that access our VDIs in the AWS, or comparable, cloud. MacOS included.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,580
14,371
In between a rock and a hard place
now you know why it’s not easy for apple to suddenly give everyone 64gb of free storage
If Apple can't afford to allocate 64gb of storage, they are truly DOOMED! :D:p Also this isn't true because storage allocation doesn't work the way that would make your statement valid. The paltry storage that Apple currently provides isn't doled out in 5GB blocks. It's allocated on an as used basis up to 5GB. No one is advocating 64GB of free storage either. So if Apple moved to 5GB per device or 10, 15, or 20GB total, it wouldn't necessarily increase their aggregate storage totals that much. People would actually have to use it. Even if storage was tallied to fit your statement, it still not a justifiable customer facing decision imo. The entire $1.5B 5 year commitment can be paid up front. As many around here like to point out, Apple could just buy it.;) The only justification for 5GB of storage per customer is profit maximization. From a business standpoint, cool. From a customer standpoint, cheap as hell considering the relative price of their offerings.
 
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Tivoli_

macrumors member
Dec 14, 2017
92
347
I think Apple's use of other platforms is for redundancy. Like having multiple copies of your services saved in different physical places. Unless if there is a catastrophic Internet failure, not all services will go down all at the same time.
 
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coolfactor

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2002
4,773
4,991
Vancouver, BC
AWS = the smartest, most insightful move Amazon ever made

Yup! It was brilliant of them to turn their own needs into a sellable, monetizable product offering. Build once, and exploit millions of times.

I still can't figure out their Virtual Hosting setup... I think that's way too complicated compared to competing options from Digital Ocean, Vultr, RAMnode, and countless others.

I'm glad that Apple is distributing across multiple platforms/partners. It's a dangerous road to keep all eggs in one basket. Too many companies make this mistake when it's not necessary. Just a bit more effort and minor cost to build out a distributed infrastructure.

Managing access to these 3rd-party resources still must be done properly. One compromised staff login and all bets could be off. I've seen entire companies disappear in days after they've had a compromised login because their data was held hostage.
[doublepost=1555964314][/doublepost]
Amazon is in bed with US intelligence agencies.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technol...tails-about-the-cias-deal-with-amazon/374632/

Personally would rather have Apple ditch AWS for an in house solution

We all know that Apple is very aware of this, and very against the idea of sharing data with outside entities. They very well could be using Amazon only for hosting non-sensitive data and static assets. It doesn't necessarily need to be customer data. There's a lot more to iCloud than just that.
 
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JetTester

macrumors 6502
Feb 12, 2014
461
885
I believe, that one day, all of our workstations will be cheap thin-clients that access our VDIs in the AWS, or comparable, cloud. MacOS included.
What goes around, comes around. One day, all we had was a big IBM mainframe, with dumb terminals on our desks. Then came the PC, and everything was distributed. But wait, enter network cards, and now we can work in a distributed way, but all the data goes back to a server. Then here comes mobile, and everything goes back into the wild west of individual users controlling their own apps and data. Here comes the cloud to rain on that parade! Now data and apps can reside in the cloud, and everything from a phone or tablet to a desktop can be dumb again, and all the smarts (and control) lies with whoever owns the keys to the cloud. The real question is, what will the NEXT cycle bring?
 
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Sedulous

Contributor
Dec 10, 2002
2,483
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This is likely for Storage, which Apple likely considered as commodity. Apple also uses Google GCP, Microsoft Azure for their Storage system.
Apple probably can't afford their own storage. Apple's BTO price points for storage are 3x more than anyone else!
 
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nwcs

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2009
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Tennessee
What goes around, comes around. One day, all we had was a big IBM mainframe, with dumb terminals on our desks. Then came the PC, and everything was distributed. But wait, enter network cards, and now we can work in a distributed way, but all the data goes back to a server. Then here comes mobile, and everything goes back into the wild west of individual users controlling their own apps and data. Here comes the cloud to rain on that parade! Now data and apps can reside in the cloud, and everything from a phone or tablet to a desktop can be dumb again, and all the smarts (and control) lies with whoever owns the keys to the cloud. The real question is, what will the NEXT cycle bring?
So very true. I was about to say the same but you said it all. I’ve seen it too many times over the years.
 
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farewelwilliams

macrumors 68040
Jun 18, 2014
3,657
14,793
If Apple can't afford to allocate 64gb of storage, they are truly DOOMED! :D:p Also this isn't true because storage allocation doesn't work the way that would make your statement valid.

no, it's essentially valid. going to 64GB means user can finally backup their entry level devices. combine that with users turning on iCloud photos for their average use (~200photos + 7minutes of video per month), users will reach 64gb pretty close in the first few months. i'm not saying they start paying for 64GB for each user when they turn on the switch. but the use case suggests it gets pretty close to it pretty fast if they did offer free 64GB for everyone.

The paltry storage that Apple currently provides isn't doled out in 5GB blocks. It's allocated on an as used basis up to 5GB.
of course they don't pay by the block. i'm a developer and use AWS all the time. the S3 pricing is based on amount stored and amount transferred (also depending on which data center used. oregon is usually the cheapest).


No one is advocating 64GB of free storage either. So if Apple moved to 5GB per device or 10, 15, or 20GB total, it wouldn't necessarily increase their aggregate storage totals that much. People would actually have to use it. Even if storage was tallied to fit your statement, it still not a justifiable customer facing decision imo. The entire $1.5B 5 year commitment can be paid up front. As many around here like to point out, Apple could just buy it.;) The only justification for 5GB of storage per customer is profit maximization. From a business standpoint, cool. From a customer standpoint, cheap as hell considering the relative price of their offerings.

your experience doesn't change much going from 5GB to 20GB. lots of people still can't backup + turn on icloud photos. apple usually doesn't take small jumps but rather take meaningful jumps in improvement (which is why Apple is always late for things that customers ask for). so we're stuck with 5GB until Apple can figure out what to do next for the free tier.
 
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Brownie77

macrumors newbie
Apr 1, 2015
15
4
1. We already knew Apple were using AWS, Azure and GCP for iCloud Storage.
2. Storage has always been a commodity. The real cost for Cloud Storage are in Transfer and Bandwidth, which in Apple's scale could easily do peering and cost them next to nothing.
3. Apple has always had an Asset Light mentality, building many more Datacenter to cater just for Storage system are considered as liability rather than asset.
4. We know Apple runs some of the largest Data Processing in house using Mesos and K8s. Such as Siri.

Those assumption are based on the above what could be considered as fact.

Or you could read the reply two post above you.

You sound like someone that knows a lot of buzzwords and not a lot else.
 
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ksec

macrumors 65816
Dec 23, 2015
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You sound like someone that knows a lot of buzzwords and not a lot else.

So what do you have to add? Or even, *correct* ?

And really none of them are "buzzwords".
 
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Brownie77

macrumors newbie
Apr 1, 2015
15
4
So what do you have to add? Or even, *correct* ?

And really none of them are "buzzwords".

It's incoherent babble for a post - I don't feel the need to add or correct, I think that's down to you. @garoto had it spot on with his comment.

People that weren't part of putting together the 1.5billion dollar deal between two of the worlds largest companies shouldn't just guess.
 
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ksec

macrumors 65816
Dec 23, 2015
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People that weren't part of putting together the 1.5billion dollar deal between two of the worlds largest companies shouldn't just guess.

It is called educated guess. Given the information and knowledge we do know.

I guess we shouldn't even be posting on MacRumors or Internet Forum discussing it base on your last sentence.

And nothing to do with $1.5B number, over 5 years. which is a relatively small number in the grand scheme of things. Out of the ~800M iCloud users even if only just 10% of them were paying the lowest $0.99 tiers it would be $80M per month.
 
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Brownie77

macrumors newbie
Apr 1, 2015
15
4
It is called educated guess. Given the information and knowledge we do know.

I guess we shouldn't even be posting on MacRumors or Internet Forum discussing it base on your last sentence.

And nothing to do with $1.5B number, over 5 years. which is a relatively small number in the grand scheme of things. Out of the ~800M iCloud users even if only just 10% of them were paying the lowest $0.99 tiers it would be $80M per month.

A guess it is, educated it's certainly not.

You can post, just would be good if you labelled it as your "guess". The way you wrote the original post sounded like you had some insight. Which was where it all went wrong.

I'm done with this thread now - I didn't really want to be rude, just saw one too many unqualified statements for a Tuesday morning. And this one being in my realm of expertise decided to call it out.
 
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ksec

macrumors 65816
Dec 23, 2015
1,468
1,511
You can post, just would be good if you labelled it as your "guess". The way you wrote the original post sounded like you had some insight. Which was where it all went wrong.

Arh Yes. Sorry I missed that part. Somehow my brain read to me as I assumed that is storage but it wasn't written in the post. Personally I dislike people doing this either, so purely my fault.
My Apology.
 
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