Ex-Apple networking engineers working on open source network stack for the enterprise

A group of ex-Apple networking engineers, led by Jason Forrester, who had worked on a secret internal project to free the company’s reliance on cloud services from outside vendors has left to start a new networking startup called SnapRoute (www.snaproute.com, reports recode). Apple isn’t involved.

However, unnamed “sources familiar with the startup’s origins” say its founders worked on part of a project that Apple had dubbed Project McQueen, according to recode.

SnapRoute is working on a “developer friendly and operations focused protocol stack that runs on all commoditized network hardware with any open Linux operating system. The company’s team has operated networks at web scale, working on Apple products like Siri, Maps, and iMessage, according to the “our story” page on SnapRoute’s website. 

“Project McQueen” is a rumored to be a plan that allows Apple to become more reliant on its own data center infrastructure and reduce its dependence on public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, according to VentureBeat. Why? The Cupertino, California-based company isn’t happy that AWS doesn’t load photos and videos onto users’ iOS devices quickly enough. 

Apple has bought land in both China and Hong Kong to build out data centers, according to VentureBeat. In the meantime, Apple may use Google’s public cloud in addition to Azure and AWS, according to CRN.