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  • Apple's Ginormous Data Center Nears Completion


    A local real estate agent [posted a video to YouTube this week showing the massive data center that Apple has been building in the woods outside Malden, North Carolina in the southeastern US. At 500,000 square feet, the facility is the size of a shopping mall, nearly five times the size of the company's existing data center in the San Francisco Bay Area. All Apple has said is that the facility will serve as its East Coast hub, but hasn't explained why it needs such a large data center, which will cost the company $1 billion US over the next nine years.

    Most observers have concluded that the facility is being build to support a serious move by Apple into the cloud computing space. While Apple's online presence is quite modest now, some moves that it's made in recent years indicate possible directions the company may be headed in. The acquisition of Lala.com last year suggested that Apple was bringing their engineering talent in-house to move iTunes to a cloud-based model. And Apple's "Grab & Go" patent, dated in 2008 and revealed last November, described an ambitious scheme to allow seamless sync of different devices - iPhones, iPads and Macs - over the network.

    Lala's technology would allow users to store their iTunes music libraries on Apple's cloud servers, which would provide on the go access to more music than can fit on an iPhone or iPod. Presumably the same system would allow iBookstore content to be saved on the cloud as well, so that iPad owners could carry their entire collections with them. Since the Lala app saves the last few hundred songs in a cache, users will still have access to some of their media even when they're not connected to the internet.

    Apple's Grab&Go system would provide much the same functionality for a user's documents. In addition to saving data, Grab&Go can also store program states, so that - for example - a game could be started on your desktop Mac, synced with Grab&Go, and continued on an iPhone or iPad right where you left off. Essentially MobileMe on steroids, Grab&Go would also provide security methods and hard encryption to protect data transferred over public networks in places like hotspots.

    Obviously, these types of applications would require huge amounts of storage, fat pipes and a lot of power. Apple is keeping the purpose of the facility secret, but it's right down US 321 from Google's Lenoir data center, and both facilities will benefit from cheap electricity: cost per kilowatt/hour is about half what it costs in California.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple's Ginormous Data Center Nears Completion started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      it's official. apple is planning to take over the world
    1. battlecrushr's Avatar
      battlecrushr -
      w0w
    1. j3rman's Avatar
      j3rman -
      wow, I'm right down the road from that. I may go check it out.
    1. iTitoThemes's Avatar
      iTitoThemes -
      Maybe they are planning something big? o wait they already did something big the iPod Touch.
    1. playboii's Avatar
      playboii -
      Quote Originally Posted by lolcats1 View Post
      it's official. apple is planning to take over the world
      this is the first thing that popped into my head! lol!
    1. Conas's Avatar
      Conas -
      Wow that is massive. What's 1 terabyte x 1000? 1 Steve Jobs.
    1. fygy5's Avatar
      fygy5 -
      There cloning Steve. This facility is used to store his blanks.
    1. davejonesokc's Avatar
      davejonesokc -
      Quote Originally Posted by fygy5 View Post
      There cloning Steve. This facility is used to store his blanks.
      I agree
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Looks like a fanboy-producing factory to me. I bet they'll still use cheap chinese labor though
    1. Nehal3m's Avatar
      Nehal3m -
      Apple is trying to take over the world just as how my tennis teacher is controlling high school tennis teams. Wow...

      But, the cloud thingie is actually really useful! For those who cannot afford the more pricey yet more space iPods and iPhones, that is really useful.
    1. The Maestro's Avatar
      The Maestro -
      I wonder how much data that plays holds, I call 3 gigabytes
    1. hitman10's Avatar
      hitman10 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Conas View Post
      Wow that is massive. What's 1 terabyte x 1000? 1 Steve Jobs.

      I think you are referring to 1 Petabyte = 1000 Terabytes.
    1. brandonmarback's Avatar
      brandonmarback -
      Google called... They want their business model back.
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      East coast is a good location... not too far from the fiber cables under the Atlantic to Europe. This cloud venture could hit their two largest markets simultaneously, North America and Europe.
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      Quote Originally Posted by fygy5 View Post
      There cloning Steve. This facility is used to store his blanks.
      haha i wouldn't be surprised :P
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      BIG The storage cloud would be very useful!
    1. reaves205's Avatar
      reaves205 -
      What does Chuck Norris say when he makes amistake? I Chucked Up...lol
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by reaves205 View Post
      What does Chuck Norris say when he makes amistake? I Chucked Up...lol
      Chuck Norris does not have a ‘backspace’ key on his keyboard. Chuck Norris does not make mistakes.
    1. convlkt's Avatar
      convlkt -
      Chuck Norris one day decided to put his urine in a can and sell it as a beverage, we now have Red Bull.
    1. pyromcr's Avatar
      pyromcr -
      that is so huge! wonder how much data it can hold?