Apple acquires big data company to help improve iCloud.

What is happening with iCloud within Apple? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Rightly or wrongly, iCloud is one of Apple’s most regularly criticized products (speaking personally, I’ve never had any major problems with it, but I use Google’s rival service far more.) It seems that Apple is more than aware of the negative feedback, however, because it’s in the process of improving the back-end infrastructure needed to support its cloud-based services.

Firstly, the company bought FoundationDB, a Virginia-based startup, which specializes in handling large chunks of data very quickly. Now a separate report claims that Apple acquired U.K.-based big data analytics firm Acunu sometime in late 2013, with the likely effort of using its database technology for providing analytics related to iCloud services.

From looking at LinkedIn, it seems that this was an “acqui-hire” situation, where Apple wanted the talent involved with the company. Fifteen people who previously worked for Acunu now list their employer as Apple, with positions including iCloud engineer and software engineer, mainly for Apple’s distributed systems team.

Given that Apple recently suffered the worst outage in its history — with a variety of its cloud-based services going down for an extended period of time, and with a forthcoming TV service and refreshed streaming music service on the books, Apple’s not yet dispelled all negative associations with iCloud. But hopefully these acquisitions help drive the company forward.

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