According to a recent report from StorageNewsletter.com, Apple has ordered 12,000 terabytes (12 petabyes) of storage from Isilon Systems for hosting video content on the iTunes Store. The deal was said to “probably” make Apple Isulon’s largest customer, and could indicate that plans for a digital locker service to store media and content in the cloud is coming together nicely, as rumors have suggested.
The information in the report is said to come from an “inside source” at EMC – a company which intended to buy Isilon in late 2010 for $2.25 billion – and planned to use the storage infrastructure technology to support cloud computing services.
Although the report made no mention of cloud services, the 12 petabytes of storage could well be just what Apple needs to launch a cloud-based streaming service, allowing users to access their movies, music, and photos on their iOS device from a digital storage locker. Reports have been speculating for some time that the Cupertino company would launch a service to compete with music streaming services like Spotify, Rhapsody, and the new Amazon Cloud Player.
In 2009 Apple acquired a company called Lala which previously provided a similar service. Lala subscribers could buy music downloads, listen to online content, and upload their own music library to the cloud for remote playback on various devices. However, Apple closed the company soon after its purchase sparking rumors that it would build the Lala model into iTunes and relaunch the service, but we’re yet to see that happen.