Since writing this article I have learned about Akamai - the company Apple uses as a CDN provider to serve its content globally. Live and learn.
As a MobileMe customer I recently found the need to ping Apple’s servers. To my surprise, pinging www.me.com, the domain Apple owns for the MobileMe service, suggested really low latency that could only come from a local server. I ran the ping over my ADSL connection from my home in Johannesburg.
The server is also resolving to a host in the 165.165.* . * range, which is allocated to South Africa. The only logical explanation I can think of is that Apple must be making MobileMe available to South African customers on local bandwidth – possibly from the same datacentre used to host the local App Store for iPhone.
Is Apple a Telkom Business customer?
inetnum: 188.8.131.52 - 184.108.40.206 netname: IPNET-SAIX-HOSTING-1 descr: Telkom SA Limited
If Apple does have local servers it would be ahead of competing international cloud providers, such as Google, which is yet to go live with its local servers.
That said, Google is making a big announcement in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 1 September 2009. Will we finally see the local Google data-centre go live?