updated 11:45 am EDT, Sun October 23, 2011
Apple nabs Yahoo server lead for iCloud push
A catch on Sunday has revealed that Apple has hired way Yahoo's Head of Global Data Center Infrastructure, Scott Noteboom. The GigaOM finding of his LinkedIn page showed him having taken on the unusual position of "distinguished gentleman" at the iPhone maker as of October. He may primarily be a replacement for Kevin Timmons, who Apple hired away from Microsoft in April but appears to have left for CyrusOne just this month.
Noteboom is likely there to help keep Apple's iCloud and iTunes servers ahead of demand. He helped both design Yahoo's efforts towards making a server system that can autonomously expand and run some of its own components. He went on to scale Yahoo's datacenter more than ten times larger than it was when he started in 2005 and has presided over a generally unblemished track record.
Apple is leaning much more heavily on cloud services this year than ever before, and not just in iCloud syncing or in iTunes services like re-downloads and iTunes Match. The Siri search system behind the iPhone 4S uses the cloud to do a significant portion of its work, such as collating results from Yelp or asking Wolfram Alpha questions.
Much of the work is intended to catch up with and at times beat Google, which has always had cloud services in Android but is now behind in media syncing and voice recognition.