Later this month, Apple is expected to break ground on a massive new data center in Maiden, North Carolina.
In terms of size, Apple’s data center is as big as they come.
“Apple is planning about 500,000 square feet of data center space in a single building,” says Rich Miller, editor of Data Center Knowledge. “That would place it among the largest data centers in the world… This would qualify as a big-ass data center.”
. . . But Miller says the size of the data center hints at something else. Companies building centers this big are getting into cloud computing. Running apps in the cloud requires massive infrastructure: Google-size infrastructure.
“The companies that are building the biggest data centers tend to also have the biggest cloud ambitions,” says Miller.
. . . Miller: 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.
CoM: How big is Apple’s new North Carolina data center — big, small, medium?
Miller: The early site plans indicate Apple is planning about 500,000 square feet of data center space in a single building. That would place it among the largest data centers in the world. For comparison purposes, Apple’s existing data center in Newark, Calif. is a little more than 100,000 square feet. Most new stand-alone enterprise data centers are in the range of 100,000 to 200,000 square feet. So this would qualify as a big-ass data center.
CoM: What’s it comparable to? Do you know of any specific examples?
Miller: In the past several years we’ve seen a handful of new facilities that are redefining the scope of modern data centers. These include Microsoft’s new facility in Chicago, the SuperNAP in Las Vegas and the Phoenix ONE colocation center in Phoenix. All of these facilities house at least 400,000 square feet of space. These data centers are designed to support an enormous volume of data, and reflect the acceleration of the transition to a digital economy. All those digital assets – email, images, video and now virtual machines – drive demand for more and larger data centers.
Xplain's use of MacNews, AppleCentral and AppleExpo are not affiliated with Apple, Inc. MacTech is a registered trademark of Xplain Corporation. AppleCentral, MacNews, Xplain, "The journal of Apple technology", Apple Expo, Explain It, MacDev, MacDev-1, THINK Reference, NetProfessional, MacTech Central, MacTech Domains, MacForge, and the MacTutorMan are trademarks or service marks of Xplain Corp. Sprocket is a registered trademark of eSprocket Corp. Other trademarks and copyrights appearing in this printing or software remain the property of their respective holders.
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.