Apple Buys Cloud Start-Up Union Bay Networks

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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Apple has confirmed it is opening an engineering office in Seattle, with a core team including former F5 Networks cloud experts

Apple has confirmed it is setting up an engineering office in Seattle, having as its core team former engineers from F5 Networks reportedly brought on board through the acquisition of a cloud start-up called Union Bay Networks.

The Seattle location is Apple’s first engineering office in the Northwest.

iCloud web

Stealth start-up

Union Bay, a “stealth mode start-up” with funding from venture capital groups Madrona, Greylock and Divergent, was founded by network infrastructure engineers from Seattle-based cloud and data-networking firm F5, and was based near Google’s campus in Fremont, a suburb of Seattle, according to the company’s website.

Seven of the start-up’s nine employees are now Apple employees, with five stating on their LinkedIn profiles that they began working for Apple in September at an undisclosed location in Seattle, according to a report by the Seattle Times.

Former Union Bay chief technology officer Benn Bollay became a “manager at Apple” in September, according to his LinkedIn profile. Bollay on Friday reportedly posted that he was looking to hire “multidisciplinary engineers” to work on “core infrastructure services and environments driving every online customer experience at Apple ranging from iCloud to iTunes”. The post was later removed.

Engineers

Union Bay’s contact email address no longer functions, adding to the details suggesting that the company was acquired in order to bring its engineering talent to Apple, a common practice for IT firms. However, Apple wouldn’t confirm the acquisition, stating only that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans”.

Madrona also reportedly declined to confirm or deny the acquisition.

Earlier reports had suggested that Apple is hiring in Seattle, and found there are already 30 people working for the company in the area.

The acquisition would boost Apple’s cloud efforts, in which it competes with Seattle-based IT giants including Amazon and Microsoft.

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