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Apple set to select Maiden, NC as site of $1B server farm

post #1 of 30
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Apple as early as this afternoon is expected to announce that it has chosen the town of Maiden in North Carolina's Catawba County as the site where it plans to build a $1 billion data center to support its booming online media businesses.

The Charlotte Observer is passing on word from Maiden officials who say they plan to make "a major economic-related announcement" at 5:30 p.m. at the Maiden Recreation Center, on East Klutz Street.

Although officials stopped short of specifying what the announcement would entail, it's believed to be tied to Apple's stated plans to build a $1 billion server farm in a rural location of North Carolina plagued by double-digit unemployment rates.

In June, lawmakers approved changes to the state’s corporate tax laws that sealed the deal for Apple to begin work on the project. North Carolina is expected to see a significant economic boost as a result of the agreement, while Apple will receive a tax break of up to $46 million over the next 10 years for moving its business into the state.

That tax break is contingent on the company reaching its $1 billion investment target within nine years of beginning the project, provided that it also offers health insurance for its local employees, meets a wage standard, and foregoes other state grants or tax breaks.

Should Apple's server farm remain active for three decades, corporate tax breaks could exceed $300 million, according to estimates outlined by North Carolina's legislature. At least 50 full-time employees will staff the facility. Over time, the investment of $1 billion would create more than 3,000 jobs in the local area, as estimated by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Thus far, Apple has been reportedly been mulling land in both Catawba and Cleveland counties as potential sites for where it plans to build its new data center. However, the Observer notes that chatter in recent weeks has centered around a "183-acre tract off U.S. 321 in Maiden" called Catawba Data Park.

A quick check by AppleInsider reveals that site to be a greenfield located at 6027 Startown Road*that's been on the market for $35,000 per acre, requiring a minimum purchase of 25 acres. Should Apple purchase the entire lot, it would cost the Cupertino-based company approximate $6.43 million in cash before taxes, according to property listings.



An aerial photo of the site can be seen above.
post #2 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

However, the Observer notes that chatter in recent weeks has centered around a "183-acre tract off U.S. 321 in Maiden" called Catawba Data Park.


Not that far from home and that's a big piece of land.
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post #3 of 30
Whose servers is it going to use?
post #4 of 30
What are they going to do with that big green lego looking building?
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai1999 View Post

Whose servers is it going to use?

I am curious which storage solution since Apple doesn't make a disk array any longer.

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post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

An arial photo of the site can be seen above.

Instead of what... a Helvetica photo?

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post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I am curious which storage solution since Apple doesn't make a disk array any longer.

They have at at least a year to come up with one. I am sure this server farm project was not born last month and Apple probably have something going on regarding servers and storage solutions.
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

....The Charlotte Observer is passing on word from Maiden officials who say they plan to make "a major economic-related announcement" .....[/url][/c]

'economic'-related? hmmm..... glad this will be a server farm, and not a call center, in Maiden.......
post #9 of 30
I just love that they make an announcement like this on "Klutz" Street. They probably have lots of accidents there.

Quote:
....at the Maiden Recreation Center, on East Klutz Street.

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post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamIIGS View Post

What are they going to do with that big green lego looking building?

Jobs wants to raze it, but I heard the historic society is looking into the matter.....DOH!

post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I just love that they make an announcement like this on "Klutz" Street. They probably have lots of accidents there.

Well, Infinite Loop is not really such a good name either, at least not from a programming perspective.

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post #12 of 30
I thought Akamai is behind Apple storage solutions as far as online business is concerned.

It seems then that Apple is about to go it alone. Cloud computing is on the rise. Why would Apple want to invest so much when every company is consolidating? Business must be booming.

Anyway, we need this in California, not in no-man's land.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

I thought Akamai is behind Apple storage solutions as far as online business is concerned.

It seems then that Apple is about to go it alone. Cloud computing is on the rise. Why would Apple want to invest so much when every company is consolidating? Business must be booming.

Anyway, we need this in California, not in no-man's land.

There are some reports where Apple is now using more than just Akamai. I believe there was an AI article on it earlier this year.

Cloud computing is on the rise which is a why Apple needs a server farm like this. Though there is no evidence as to what, specifically, this server farm will be used for. Other companies are consolidating because many arent money right now and/or they are already in debt. Apples sales are still beating averages, they are well in the black with a lot of liquid cash and their stock has been on the rise all year. There is always an opportunity to make a wise investment, and investing in cheap land and getting discounts on taxes when states are fighting for your business is s great time to invest in such things.

No mans land is the perfect place for this. Its cheap land with low taxes near a huge power grid and internet backbone.
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post #14 of 30
arial photo --> aerial photo
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Well, Infinite Loop is not really such a good name either, at least not from a programming perspective.

Perhaps one day they'll be located on App Street.

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post #16 of 30
Apple could really take over the netbook market in one swoop. Wanna know how? Really easy... It involves THIS server farm...

Release a down loadable version of OS X mobile, completely integrated into the web and THESE servers... Do it all for $19.95 and FOR NETBOOKS based on the Intel Atom CPU.

Step by step (end user):

goto OSXmobile.apple.com
Download the Mobile OS installer (Win XP only)
Run it.
Behind the scenes:
The installer takes a snap shot of the Wifi/LAN network settings writes to RAM Disk
Formats the drive (backup optional to external USB OR MobileMe)
Installs basic OS, grabs network settings
Restarts to Apple Logo and "Downloading and Installing iMobile OS"
Goes through some setup screens.
During the proccess the user can sign up for MobileMe (in that case the OS is free) or pay $19.95 for the OS (keep in mind UPDATES are billable Unless your a MobileMe subscriber).
System restarts into OS X Mobile where they get the iTouch like OS, basic apps. iLife, iChat lite... AND THE APP STORE!

Oh wouldn't the masses be happy. MobileMe recurring would skyrocket, OS X and Safari usage would triple. Nobody would care of 7 Starter edition...

Netbooks would sell out! Economy would turn around. ATT, verizon, T-mobile would be pushing the USB CellNet sticks like crazy. Everyone would be Blogging while driving.

Pipe dream... But that's MY use for the server farm. They'll probably do something stupid like itunes or app store...
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There are some reports where Apple is now using more than just Akamai. I believe there was an AI article on it earlier this year.

Cloud computing is on the rise which is a why Apple needs a server farm like this. Though there is no evidence as to what, specifically, this server farm will be used for. Other companies are consolidating because many arent money right now and/or they are already in debt. Apples sales are still beating averages, they are well in the black with a lot of liquid cash and their stock has been on the rise all year. There is always an opportunity to make a wise investment, and investing in cheap land and getting discounts on taxes when states are fighting for your business is s great time to invest in such things.

No mans land is the perfect place for this. Its cheap land with low taxes near a huge power grid and internet backbone.

What kind of deal do you think they got for the land, property taxes? Equally important would be the cost of fiber, electrical power and water supply. I suspect that in this recession they will these resources for dirt cheap. I imagine that logistically CA would have been better, but the land costs, electricity and water got to be obscene.

I even wonder how long Apple wants to stay in CA with their fiscal problems and rising taxes.
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

I imagine that logistically CA would have been better, but the land costs, electricity and water got to be obscene.

Often companies search for redundancy that would be a backup in case of disaster. A disaster striking in CA and possibly shutting down facilities and infrastructure would almost certainly not affect North Carolina and visa versa. This farm not only increases Apple's capacity but also creates more redundancy. This is very common in banking and other record heavy industries, backups and servers are maintained at two or more sites in case of failure specific to location.
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post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I am curious which storage solution since Apple doesn't make a disk array any longer.


Probably the usuall suspects like netapp, emc or one of the rebrands like HP. I don't see apple selling a rebranded fujitsu San
post #20 of 30
just be for iTunes and the App Store as they are both growing quickly... not really expecting anything new to come out... although over the next nine years we could probably be running laptops off the internet lol
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by skate71290 View Post

just be for iTunes and the App Store as they are both growing quickly... not really expecting anything new to come out... although over the next nine years we could probably be running laptops off the internet lol

Nine years ago this was the top of the line Apple notebook...
Quote:
The PowerBook G3/500 (Firewire/Pismo) -- formally a member of the "PowerBook Firewire" series (note the lack of official "G3" designation) as dubbed by Apple, but often referred to by its codename of "Pismo" -- features a 500 MHz PowerPC 750 (G3) processor with 1 MB of "backside" level 2 cache, 128 MB of RAM, a 12.0 GB or 20.0 GB hard drive, a tray-loading 6X DVD-ROM drive, and ATI Rage Mobility 128 graphics with 8 MB of SDRAM in a sleek black portable case with a 14.1" TFT active-matrix color display.

Although each shares a case that is quite similar to the "Bronze Keyboard/Lombard" PowerBook G3 models that came before them, the "Firewire/Pismo" systems use a faster logic board design with a faster bus (100 MHz), faster hard drive standard (Ultra ATA/66), faster graphics (Rage Mobility 128), support for optional AirPort (802.11b), and dual Firewire ports (dropping SCSI).

There are two slightly different configurations of this model. It originallly shipped with a 12.0 GB hard drive (M7633LL/A), and on September 13, 2000, this was increased to a 20.0 GB hard drive (M7712LL/A). The price for each configuration was US$3499.

http://www.everymac.com/systems/appl...g3_500_fw.html (full specs)
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post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Nine years ago this was the top of the line Apple notebook...

This reminded me of my first laptop back in 1995 with 100 Mhz intel processor (I can't even remember the RAM and HDD capacity now)
My iPhone is more powerful than that machine. I wouldn't be surprised if 9 years from now we have 4 core processor cell phones with 4GB RAM and 200+GB flash drive storage.
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

This reminded me of my first laptop back in 1995 with 100 Mhz intel processor (I can't even remember the RAM and HDD capacity now)
My iPhone is more powerful than that machine

The Mac notebook in 1995 was the PowerBook 540. The PPC to x86 CPU speed wont match up but the RAM, HDD, and overall weight and size of the machine should be fairly close. For the PowerBook 540 is was a 33MHz CPU, 4MB RAM default (36MB Max) and a 240-320MB HDD. My MB has 50% more MB of L2 Cache that that system came with RAM, and my iPhone has 256MB RAM which when compared to the 240-320MB HDD that its amazing how much bulk weve added to our apps.

Do you know the model or brand you had?

Quote:
I wouldn't be surprised if 9 years from now we have 4 core processor cell phones with 4GB RAM and 200+GB flash drive storage.

If we can expect a 64GB iPhone in 2011, and then a 128GB iPhone in 2014, and then 256GB in 2017, that is a 3 years between a feasible doubling of the capacity, that is 9 years. Though, it looks like a feasible doubling is happening every two years. If that keeps up then in 10 years youll get 5 bumps, with would mean 1TB of flash in the iPhone. Im thinking that things will slow down.
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post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The Mac notebook in 1995 was the PowerBook 540. The PPC to x86 CPU speed wont match up but the RAM, HDD, and overall weight and size of the machine should be fairly close. For the PowerBook 540 is was a 33MHz CPU, 4MB RAM default (36MB Max) and a 240-320MB HDD. My MB has 50% more MB of L2 Cache that that system came with RAM, and my iPhone has 256MB RAM which when compared to the 240-320MB HDD that its amazing how much bulk weve added to our apps.

Do you know the model or brand you had?

I think it was from a company called Comtrade or something like that. I paid almost $2500 for that notebook and sold it to a friend 4 years later for $500 who also sold it to one of his friends for $500
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

I thought Akamai is behind Apple storage solutions as far as online business is concerned.

It seems then that Apple is about to go it alone. Cloud computing is on the rise. Why would Apple want to invest so much when every company is consolidating? Business must be booming.

Anyway, we need this in California, not in no-man's land.

You do realize that California isn't the only state with computers?? It is also not the only state with economic woes.
post #26 of 30
Am i the only one who thinks 1 Billion USD is a bit expensive for a server farm, and for a company that is no where remotely related to Internet Applications. ( Unless Someone tells me iTunes is half as large as Amazon )

I suppose apple will be using Xserve themself..... Apple must be building up the next big thing.. ( I hope )
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

Am i the only one who thinks 1 Billion USD is a bit expensive for a server farm, and for a company that is no where remotely related to Internet Applications. ( Unless Someone tells me iTunes is half as large as Amazon )

I suppose apple will be using Xserve themself..... Apple must be building up the next big thing.. ( I hope )

$1B over 10 years not just the initial construction cost. That's an average of $8.3 Million a month for 10 years which includes operations cost, employees salaries, maintenance... etc. We don't know anything about the size and features of the actual building but for sure they will not spend the entire $1B trying to build the world greenest building. Well, even if they did that we know they will not be asking for a bailout from the federal government
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The Mac notebook in 1995 was the PowerBook 540. The PPC to x86 CPU speed wont match up but the RAM, HDD, and overall weight and size of the machine should be fairly close. For the PowerBook 540 is was a 33MHz CPU, 4MB RAM default (36MB Max) and a 240-320MB HDD. My MB has 50% more MB of L2 Cache that that system came with RAM, and my iPhone has 256MB RAM which when compared to the 240-320MB HDD that its amazing how much bulk weve added to our apps.

Do you know the model or brand you had?

1992 Duo 210! It was *AWESOME*
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeThingInTheLand View Post

arial photo --> aerial photo

No, no, he was talking about Little Mermaid.
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

Am i the only one who thinks 1 Billion USD is a bit expensive for a server farm, and for a company that is no where remotely related to Internet Applications. ( Unless Someone tells me iTunes is half as large as Amazon )

I suppose apple will be using Xserve themself..... Apple must be building up the next big thing.. ( I hope )

Yea, server farm... Nothing said about the underground bio lab below it...
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