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Apple starts using own content delivery network

Apple has reportedly set up its own content delivery network, which should boost the download speed and reliability of its forthcoming software updates.

While Apple supplies the vast majority of its software updates, including new versions of iOS and OS X, over the web, it relies on third party content delivery networks (CDNs) to handle the network requirements.

But all that’s set to change. According to analyst Dan Rayburn over on StreamingMediaBlog, the company has commenced running its own CDN operation. This involves cutting out the middle-man and dealing directly with ISPs for the running of its online operations.

The result is that the forthcoming iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite software rollouts should, in theory, be the quickest and smoothest yet.

“Apple’s putting in place a lot of capacity to support upcoming software releases,” reveals Rayburn. “Apple is still using Akamai and Level 3′s CDN services for iTunes (Akamai), Radio (Level 3) and app downloads, but over time, much of that traffic will be brought over to Apple’s CDN.”

It’s claimed that Apple has struck interconnect deals with a number of internet service providers – including Comcast – to buy up space on their networks. It’s estimated that Apple will have invested more than $100 million in the process by the end of 2014.

It should be worth it, as Apple’s own CDN is said to have more than 10 times the capacity of most standard service providers.

Apple is only the latest of several major tech companies to have taken such an approach, with Microsoft, YouTube, and most vocally Netflix all taking it upon themselves to exert a measure of control over the networks they rely on.

It also shouldn’t come as a surprise because we know that Apple is obsessed with controlling the entire customer experience. That’s always included software, hardware, and even retail. Now this holistic approach will include the networks Apple’s devices connect through too.

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