Apple to Double Size of North Carolina Data Center?
As Apple prepares for the opening of its new 500,000 square-foot data center in North Carolina, there is talk of Apple doubling the size of the facility. Apple has yet to reveal exactly how it intends to use the site, but it is already five times the size of the facility in Newark, California. The massive server farm has not yet gone online and already there is speculation as to the site having enough capacity for Apple’s future plans.
At last week’s special event, Apple unveiled the latest incarnations of the MacBook Air. Apple is touting these new machines as the future of computing and they may well be positioning these new models as a demonstration of what is to come. Apple has eliminated the traditional hard drive in favor of flash storage with these new models.
It would seem that Apple intends to do away with bulky hard drives, in favor of slimmer flash storage that don’t require large housings. Flash drives are not yet available in capacities as large as traditional hard drives, for now at least. If Apple intends to have new Macs rely more and more on cloud-based computing, then large data centers like the one in North Carolina become something of a necessity.
Before the latest 11-inch MacBook Air came out, I would never have considered buying a computer with such little storage capacity. If Apple does continue to invest in the cloud, as it seems to be doing in North Carolina, large storage devices will no longer be necessary in modern laptop computers. If Apple hopes to get more people to rely on cloud computing, it would benefit everyone if reliable high-speed Wi-Fi were made available everywhere. Google attempted to wire San Francisco a few years ago, but was shot down before the plan could be put into effect.
Apple has stated that it will be opening a Mac Version of the App store in the next 90 days. Reliability is key to the success of this strategy and the data center in North Carolina may already be at capacity, at least theoretically. It only makes sense for a company as large as Apple with huge amounts of available cash to hedge its bets and plan for a successful future. After all, if the last few quarters are any indication, Apple will continue to bring in the profits.
At some point, however, I hope the entertainment industry will loosen up and sign licensing deals with Apple allowing them to put the iTunes store into the cloud. If this new data center is any indication, Apple is preparing something big. What would you do with that many servers if you were Apple?
Source: All Things Digital