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Blog: Apple Needs an Infrastructure Lesson - from Mr. Cue

Blog: Apple Needs an Infrastructure Lesson - from Mr. Cue

by , 4:20 PM EDT, August 7th, 2008

Apple's iTunes is well run and has a great performance record under heavy loads. However, the team that built MobileMe needed a better infrastructure implementation, according to Chuq Von Rospach in his blog. That's why Eddy Cue is taking over.

Chuq Von Rospach, a former Apple employee, dissected in detail the MobileMe fiasco. "The ultimate failure seemed to be more capacity planning mistakes than anything else, if I'm guessing right. but the ultimate failure was not being willing to tell Steve 'we aren't ready' and taking that heat. They thought they could release and make it work, and guessed very wrong (or thought they were in good shape, which is worse)," Mr. Von Rospach explained.

Because he still has connections at Apple, Mr. Von Rospach was able to glean some tidbits from sources that explained why MobileMe got off to a rough start. "One of my sources opined that Apple clearly wasn't too savvy about all the progress made in infrastructure over the past few years. If this insinuation is indeed true, then there is no way Apple can get over its current spate of problems," according to one of the sources."

Key was the observation that Mr. Cue runs his own IT infrastructure, outside of Apple's core IT group. He can do that because he understands the network architecture necessary to makes iTunes work.

"Eddy's real specialty is to be able to take what Steve asks for, implement it, hit the target dates, make it work, and KEEP THE DAMN THING A SECRET UNTIL STEVE ANNOUNCES IT. That's a big reason why his team is self-contained. It also means his people can do what needs to be done to implement things that never existed before and which don't fit into normal IT 'this is how we do things' standards. He and his teams spends most of his time off in uncharted territory where a need to be innovative and flexible is a must, and yet they have to do it on huge scales."

Wise words indeed from a former sysadmin at Apple -- who believes that now that Mr. Cue is in charge, MobileMe will get fixed.

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