Global CIO: Steve Jobs Creating New-Age Broadcasting Network? - InformationWeek
Government // Mobile & Wireless
10:06 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans

Global CIO: Steve Jobs Creating New-Age Broadcasting Network?

Apple's massive new $1 billion data center could become the hub for an all-streaming broadcast network, says big-thinker Nick Carr.

The move to streaming will certainly expand Apple's ability to continue to charm and dazzle its customers with the latest and greatest media, applications, and services, and it also positions Apple as perhaps the most-sophisticated and powerful media company on the planet.

In that context, Apple's billion-dollar North Carolina data center becomes the ultimate streaming-machine facility for iTunes, seamlessly marrying that rich repository of music and video with Apple's burgeoning roster of devices through which its customers view their worlds.

In the article, Carr describes Apple's multipronged approach:

"The success of the App Store demonstrates the continuing importance of the local hard drive (or flash drive), with the cloud serving as an extension of that drive rather than a replacement of it. And I think Apple is more than happy to remain in that world for the time being; indeed, one of its great competitive strengths is melding diverse components—hardware, OS, applications, and now cloud—into a unified and seamless user experience.

"Unlike Google, which has a strong economic and ideological desire to move everything into the cloud as quickly as possible, Apple understands that a hybrid environment plays to its strengths, so I don’t think it has much interest in pushing people into a pure cloud model."

If Carr's idea about the Apple data center are on the mark, I think we'll certainly see that hybrid model continue, but we'll also see a marked acceleration in the use of broadcast system or network that he describes because it eliminates a bit of friction in the transactional system and it plays to the real-time, zero-latency mindset that more and more consumers and even some businesses are beginning to demand.

We won't have to wait long before finding out if this assessment is close to Apple's actual intentions—the company hopes to have the North Carolina facility online within the next couple of months (and be sure to check out the great aerial photo of the massive building within the article).

Whatever Jobs' vision turns out to be for this facility formerly known as the data center, one thing is certain: that vision will radically redefine data-center strategy for some time to come.


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GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO,
or write to Bob at

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