Apple's New North Carolina Data Center Among Largest in the World

Steve Jobs: Architect of the iPhone

Apple is building a huge, billion dollar data center in North Carolina. However, no one outside Cupertino knows exactly what it's going to be used for (insert Skynet, Matrix, App Store review AI jokes here). That doesn't mean people aren't theorizing, however, including Rich Miller is editor of Data Center Knowledge, who calls the facility "big-a$$":

One of the leading theories about the size of the NC project is that Apple is planning future cloud computing services that will require lots of data center storage. Cloud computing is a hot trend, and I’d be surprised if Apple isn’t thinking hard – and thinking differently – about cloud computing. Many cloud enthusiasts say that cloud computing will eliminate the need for data centers. In reality, the only thing will change is the owner of the building. All the applications and data that are moving into the cloud will live on servers in brick-and-mortar data centers. The companies that are building the biggest data centers tend to also have the biggest cloud ambitions.

What's interesting to TiPb is that, while a lot was recently made of Eric Schmidt resigning from the Apple Board of Directors due to Google entering Apple's business with Android and ChromeOS, a ginormous data center could be construed as Apple taking a single step -- or leap -- towards Google's bread and butter as well...

Anyone have their own theories about Apple's new facility?

Footnote: 
[via CultofMac]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

More Posts

 

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

← Previously

Updated: iPhone 3.0 Spotlight Search Finds Deleted Messages?

Next up →

iTunes Now Sells 25% of US Music

There are 36 comments. Add yours.

freddy kruger says:

and the servers there are all running WINDOWS!!

sting7k says:

Is it Apple or Microsoft that are building the data centers by stacking shipping containers inside buildings so they can pack those with systems. And when one breaks down or gets old they can just pull the container and slide in one with new equipment?
Wonder what kind of hardware Apple is going to run in these places.

Frmaster says:

Is this the same as that server farm you guys say they've been building or something different entirely?

Roostaar says:

It's being built to archive off all the email from developers complaining about the App Store.
:p

Derek says:

Any chance apple is planning some sort of competition for Google Voice? I thought it was dumb for them to block it... unless they had something else up their sleeves.

Ben says:

When I first heard that Apple was building a ginormous server farm my first thought was "So they're finally going into Google's territory?". I wouldn't be a bit surprised if we see Apple introduce it's own free email client, search engine, and other cloud services. I wonder who will Apple buy to up it's market share in the search space lol?
As always, I'll definitely use their services and can't wait to see the integration they will have between the iPhone, Mac OS X, and iTunes.

sting7k says:

@Derek, doubt it's for that. They gotta store all that MobileMe data some where. I like the idea of it being to handle all the emails from angry app developers, lulz on that. Maybe for iPhone PNS or future services for the iPhone or even the fabled iPad. Why doesn't anyone ever mention RIM's farms or servers? Gotta be massive to support BB messenger and BES.

TC says:

Could it just be in anticipation of expanded MobileMe services? Or how about failover for iTunes?

fastlane says:

Hopefully this WILL bring full MobileMe desktop capabilities to the iPhone - like missing iDisk and Gallery functions (no Find My Phone, of course :) )

Gabriel says:

Maybe they're opening the own cell phone company for the iPhone and to make ME HAPPY!!!

Dustin Edney says:

I live in NC. Anyone know what city this is supposed to go? Raleigh? Charlotte?

ash says:

@Dustin
Catawba County. Hickory I think. But 100% on Catawba.

TX Mike says:

Original story back in late May regarding tax breaks was in the Charlotte Observer.

Redth says:

I'd be surprised if this wasn't Cloud Computing based, and more specifically, a way to allow their developers to buy hosting space for server side iPhone apps and OSX apps. There's a huge gap they left in Push Notifications for the iPhone, making developers responsible for hosting their own server architecture.

TosaDeac says:

I just hope they can use all that computing power to improve MobileMe because it is still no where near as stable or quick as it should be.

A.J. says:

@fastlane they do have iDisk for the iPhone. Lol. Why would you want gallery functions when you have all your photos synced with your phone?
I had been talking about cloud computing being a real solution to making the itablet functional and useful for everyone. Not just that niche market.
Apple is also probably thinking beyond snow leapord. Since apparently Steve thinks in ten year cycles.

icebike says:

I'm not so sure I believe the cloud computing theory.
Does Apple typically follow the crowd to the buzzword of the day? Is that how Steve Jobs rolls?
I can see them going after things that might make money like Google Voice - (hence the ban from the App Store).
Maybe somewhat cloud-ish with an expanded MobileMe to cover for the limited storage capability of the iPhone, iPod, and iTablet.
But I don't see them offering free email or search or maps unless they can tie it to a revenue stream, and there isn't enough room in the search market to allow them to monetize free services that way.
Mostly I see this as a site big enough to handle fail-over for any/all of their other server farms and to keep them from having to hire distribution companies (edgesuite) when new software versions are released.

The Reptile says:

Here's my guess. Not an cloud app (search/email) it's going to be a mobile platform as a service. They will have a cloud side platform that will developers to build and host mobile apps to increase agility and to ensure quality standards.
Think if it this way - why stop at 30% of the apps when you could get that and monthly fees from the developers too?

fastlane says:

@A.J.
Do you even have MobileMe? My comment said full MobileMe desktop capabilities on the iPhone... and missing iDisk functions.
Have you compared the iDisk app with the iDisk at me.com? And photo and video shortcomings need no explanation... LOL!

Rene Ritchie says:

@The Reptile: So, Apple's version of Microsoft's Mesh platform?

icebike says:

@Rene Ritchie:
Or Apple's "Me Too" entry to social desktops: http://wave.google.com/

frog says:

Simple. There mapping Steve Job's brain, ready for the day he leaves the company.

The Reptile says:

@Rene Ritchie - in concept, yes. Although, I don't see Apple's view of the world and Microsoft's matching up 100%. As usual, Microsoft cannot articulate what the target market for Mesh is. I'd be willing to wager that Apple doesn't make a $1 Billion bet for hardware, people, a DC and the software behind it without having a crystal clear picture of who their market is.
My sense is that mobility is the game changer and if they can write a client side development kit and produce the hardware to make it all work why not take the next step and support the developers on the cloud side. I can't see their vision for the cloud end with Mobile Me and iTunes in their current forms.

SpiceRak2 says:

Speculation aside, at least there will be more jobs in this economy...

icebike says:

Register Speculates Apple may enter Search Market with their own search engine to thumb nose at Google:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/04/applesearchengine/
(Please let them not waste this facility on tilting at windmills).

Henri (mcgill) says:

It might be for a large database of ebooks.. iTablet + large database of ebooks + app store = ebook killer/ ultimate portable device/ ultimate student tool (cheap ebooks, paperless note taking, games, 3G web browsing, and access to the app store ) =) anyways.. I hope this is the case, cause as a university student, I would loveeee to have a replacement for paper notes that I keep losing and that I can't send electronically to my friends (typing sucks cause you can't easily do Math/physics stuff like graphs and greek letters)

FuegePafaneta says:

Hello People,
I am new member here
I lately discovered this place and so far i have discovered lots of great info right here.
I'm looking forward to connecting and contributing to the forum.

effixerlola says:

Hello Everyone,
I am new member right here
I not long ago discovered this place and so far i have found lots of good information here.
I'm looking forward to connecting and contributing to the forum.

ipod boombox review says:

Outstanding post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic? I'd be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Appreciate it!

Rudy Carne says:

Welcome First time Vibram Five Fingers Review dived here on your web site, founde on ASK. Thanks. You might have shared a few incredibly powerful and useful words of advice when camping. Thank you so much when deciding to take time to listen to my own dilemma and for your own aid. May perhaps Our god bless you

Wireless In Ear Headphones says:

What i don't realize is actually how you're not actually much more well-liked than you may be now. You're very intelligent. You realize therefore significantly relating to this subject, made me personally consider it from so many varied angles. Its like women and men aren't fascinated unless it's one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always maintain it up!

reiki says:

Thanks for your publication on the vacation industry. We would also like contribute that if your senior thinking about traveling, its absolutely imperative that you buy travel insurance for elderly people. When traveling, senior citizens are at high risk being in need of a medical emergency. Obtaining the right insurance coverage package in your age group can look after your health and give you peace of mind.

Jayson Janssen says:

A great design you, I liked it!

hosting says:

[...]Here is a good Weblog You may Obtain Exciting that we Encourage You[...]

torino trans says:

I enjoy you because of each of your effort on this site. Ellie loves working on investigations and it's easy to see why. My partner and i hear all relating to the dynamic way you provide effective tricks via your blog and as well as recommend contribution from other people on the theme while our favorite simple princess is understanding a lot of things. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You have been carrying out a brilliant job.