A fact that went all but confirmed by both Microsoft and Apple is that Apple has been using Microsoft Azure cloud services to host their iCloud product since 2011. Apple wasn’t just using Microsoft Azure, but was also hosting iCloud with a Polynimbus (or multi-cloud) architecture utilizing Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.

Over the years, neither Apple or Microsoft have definitively confirmed this, but Microsoft Azure was listed to be in use within the Apple iOS Security Guide dated back in 2014. It listed information that “some encrypted portions of some iOS files were stored both in Amazon’s S3 and Microsoft’s Azure clouds”, as reported by CRN.

However, the latest updated version of the Apple iOS Security Guide, from January 2018, no longer lists Microsoft Azure as one of the cloud providers being used for the iCloud service. This was first reported by CNBC. The only 2 cloud providers listed on the report now are Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud. It’s been reported / rumored that Apple has been increasing their utilization of Google Cloud over the years too.

It was an interesting thing that Apple was using Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS to host their iCloud product in a Polynimbus (or multi-cloud) fashion. As Apple hasn’t been known to scale their hosting infrastructure the greatest over the years, this makes sense for them to offer a better product than they had resources to do themselves. Although it is interesting that a company the size of Apple doesn’t create their own Cloud infrastructure that rivals that of Amazon, Microsoft, and Google anyway.

Posted by Chris Pietschmann

Chris is a 6-time Microsoft MVP and has nearly 20 years of experience building enterprise systems both in the cloud and on-premises. He is also a Certified Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect (both MCSD and MCSE), a Microsoft Certified Trainer, and self proclaimed Cloud Advocate. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.

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