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Apple's North Carolina data center to open "any day now" - Page 2

post #41 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by mex4eric View Post

Love that red clay of NC.

Yeah, Apple has plenty of room out back to plant an orchard and grow ... Apples !!
post #42 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedxdesign View Post

they seriously need a big apple logo on top.

LOL that's exactly what I was going to post but you beat me to it! :-)

Alos the parking space might look a little small in context to the size of the building as a whole......

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post #43 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

The power lines are probably buried.

Hmmm. Come to think of it, it would be really cool if they covered the entire roof with solar panels. Granted, solar technology currently doesn't have the energy density necessary to power a server farm on its own, but it would be a nice supplement to grid power.

Okay. But now I'm just thinking of some basic calculations: let's say, just for the fun of it, we could get 75 watts out of a 4.5 (1.5' x 3') sq ft panel. The roof of the building would be able to hold about 100,000 panels, yielding about 7.5 MW of power. Maybe that's enough??

That would be cool if the entire facility was "green".


well, at least they would have pleased a few people with that - Al Gore
post #44 of 94
I would not doubt Apple starting up construction on phase two of the Data Center.

You have to keep in mind what Jobs said about the new Mac Airs. "We believe all notebooks will start being like this". Maybe everything mobile from Apple will follow this blueprint. We have to believe that it will reach a point where the storage capacity for everything Mobile will be reached.
Or at least, the needs and wants of us will become to hugh. Of course, I would like to carry all the Star Wars Sixology 3D, (when Lucas puts them out) plus both Avatars Movies, (when Cameron decides) in a Touch. But there will always be some kind of limits. Syorage will never handle all of our Vanities.

So it makes sense for them to expand on it know. I am sure Jobs and Apple have got VERY definite plans, at least for us here in the U.S. Or will this Data Farm handle all the Streaming Needs for the whole entire World? (I don't know, I pick tomatoes for a living)

But if that is the case. You think Apple would have learned a lesson from Pearl Harbor, (the movie
not the event). Don't park all those planes together to close. You have enemies, believe it or not.
One little incendiery device will wipe you out.

We live in days where the threat of Terrorism is in full mode. But I am referring to all those other jealous PC makers out there.

I don't think they should keep all their eggs in one Basket. (Plus, I am sure the State of N.C.
is the only state that needs a little bit of Commerce come their way).
post #45 of 94
If you look at the old "under construction" video in the story, you will see that while the existing building was under construction, lots of trucks and trailers were parked in the now-vacant space. The new story would indicate that the now vacant space was cleared AFTER the data-center was completed and that isn't born out when you play the old video.
post #46 of 94
Steve said there will be a couple of surprises this year. (Another Apple Special Event?) This must be the last one.

Don't forget about the talks about iTunes Streaming, where all your content is stored in the cloud and stream anywhere, on any idevices.
post #47 of 94
Admittedly not knowing much about it, but could this building and the expansion have anything do with the possibility of Verizon and other carriers coming on board?

If cloud means I won't have to have any software and such, and that it will all be handled and done at places like this I'll pass.

This is starting to get a bit scary. I mean, is Big Brother's name "Steve Jobs / Apple"?

Is Apple trying to control the universe?

I have a server and it controls my office, if Apple is going to have 1,000's of servers, who are they controlling, keeping under their thumb, watching out for, looking at? This can't be to help control pirated software? Damn that seems like a lot of money for a few folks who are cheating?

YES I know pirated software is more then a small problem, FOR EVERYONE, but were talking about Apple here, not everyone, or are we taking about everyone?

Skip
post #48 of 94
500,000 square feet (the size of this data center) is just under 9 football fields (including end zones). That's a LOT of space.
post #49 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by juandl View Post

But if that is the case. You think Apple would have learned a lesson from Pearl Harbor, (the movie
not the event). Don't park all those planes together to close. You have enemies, believe it or not.
One little incendiery device will wipe you out.

We live in days where the threat of Terrorism is in full mode. But I am referring to all those other jealous PC makers out there.



Good points. I hear that Dell will stop at nothing.
post #50 of 94
So how far away is this data center from the power plant and internet backbone? I recall reading that it was pretty darn close to each, thus making it an ideal location.
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post #51 of 94
This is a huge step, and I feel, something much more than an app. store. The number of apps. in the current store require nothing close to this. I believe with 10.7 and the future of iOS, this building may be the foundation of another Apple revolution. Like the ipod, iphone, imac, etc. it's probably well be beyond what any of us can guess, but I would look in the direction of much of the current computing programs/functions/storage being remote. This could potentially increase the functionality of not only the new Mac Air, but the ipod/phone/pad to near desktop capabilities. That would be revolutionary!
post #52 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Actually these kinds of data centers prefer to remain as anonymous as possible for security reasons.

Which is why Apple isn't blabbing about what this facility is for.
post #53 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff K-C View Post

This is a huge step, and I feel, something much more than an app. store. The number of apps. in the current store require nothing close to this. I believe with 10.7 and the future of iOS, this building may be the foundation of another Apple revolution. Like the ipod, iphone, imac, etc. it's probably well be beyond what any of us can guess, but I would look in the direction of much of the current computing programs/functions/storage being remote. This could potentially increase the functionality of not only the new Mac Air, but the ipod/phone/pad to near desktop capabilities. That would be revolutionary!

I'm speculating that Apple has specific goals for the direction of iOS and Mac OS X, and the data center is an integral part of that. I think OS X will become the "pro" OSpro users will run their pro apps on their MacBook Pros and Mac Pros. iOS, on the other hand, will be a consumer OS, powered by the data center, which will provide storage, application and other services.

I'm also guessing that, as demand increases in coming years, Apple will build additional data centers.
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post #54 of 94
Perhaps an Apple logo on the roof will reduce the heat deflection, someone mentiond that as the reason for the white roof.

For an industrial unit it's quite pretty isn't it, or it might just be the RDF making me think that.
post #55 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The video looks like crap on my iPhone but I'd have to say they are laying out a parking lot. They certainly could use one.

In any event I'd hate to have to write the check for the electric bill every month for that place. I probably could retire on a couple of those.

Actually the dirt area on the video was already there *during* construction of the centre and is not a new expansion. It was filled with the many cars of the people that were building the centre and was also a staging area for the equipment etc. It's clearly visible in earlier pictures.



Apple *may* in fact be doubling the centre, but the video of the dirt area is not actually evidence of anything like that.
post #56 of 94
Everyone is making the assumption that all 500,000 square feet presently under roof are currently filled. That may not necessarily be the case. As data throughput ramps up, there already may be sufficient existing vacant floorspace to increase capacity by inserting additional container-sized modular server units.

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post #57 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

Actually, the dirt area towards the top of the screen/opposite side of building was used for parking during construction and for all the equipment. Likely some of it will get regrown with grass and some for parking or perhaps some ancillary buildings.

Finally, someone gets it right.
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post #58 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ppietra View Post

Does anyone have a clue where are the power lines!?
Such a remote building, that needs so much power and no power lines visible!!?

Underground, like the majority of power lines in most modern cities.

Thompson
post #59 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by thompr View Post

Underground, like the majority of power lines in most modern cities.

Thompson

post #60 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Actually these kinds of data centers prefer to remain as anonymous as possible for security reasons.

Time will tell.

As if that's remotely possible under the circumstances.

Thompson
post #61 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncee View Post

Admittedly not knowing much about it, but could this building and the expansion have anything do with the possibility of Verizon and other carriers coming on board?

If cloud means I won't have to have any software and such, and that it will all be handled and done at places like this … I'll pass.

This is starting to get a bit scary. I mean, is Big Brother's name "Steve Jobs / Apple"?

Is Apple trying to control the universe?

I have a server and it controls my office, if Apple is going to have 1,000's of servers, who are they controlling, keeping under their thumb, watching out for, looking at? This can't be to help control pirated software? Damn that seems like a lot of money for a few folks who are cheating?

YES I know pirated software is more then a small problem, FOR EVERYONE, but were talking about Apple here, not everyone, or are we taking about everyone?

Skip

That's a heck of a lot of rhetorical questions based on nothing but rumor and speculation.

All we know right now is Apple has built a huge data center. Let's not get ahead of ourselves with guessing the purpose and then lighting the conspiracy theories.

Update: guessing the purpose is fine... it's kind of what we do here. The part that is "getting ahead of ourselves" is extending our own guesses into conspiracies.

Thompson
post #62 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

That has to be the whitest building I've ever seen.

It's likely painted white to reflect sunlight so the sun doesn't heat the building so much. Something tells me that they won't need additional heating.
post #63 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ppietra View Post

Does anyone have a clue where are the power lines!?
Such a remote building, that needs so much power and no power lines visible!!?

The fusion reactors in the secret sub-basement of course.
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post #64 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

The power lines are probably buried.

For the power that place needs they need small transmission lines - not services. These larger power lines are never buried underground for safety reasons. Now I might believe a tunnel from a local switching station but the cost would be prohibitive.

In areas like mine they have mixed underground and overhead. The underground is for service lines and the transmission/distribution system is always overhead. It is funny to see but sometimes a brand new subdivision will be built advertising underground electric etc but you still see overhead at the perimeter to distribute the power.

It would be nice if possible but I have yet to see a solution that is prevalent (or generally cost effective - which has little to do with this since we are talking aesthetics at any cost here.)
post #65 of 94
My thoughts...

SIZE. 500,000 square feet is huge for a data center. Most data centers have standardized on ultra-high-density blade servers; even though Apple doesn't build their own blade product, they can fit 42 of their 1U Xserves in a single data center rack that takes up less than a square meter. Huge multi-national corporations can run all their data center operations out of facilities as small as 2,000 square feet. Even with "modules" for SAN storage, robotic backup silos, power backup units, staging labs and workspaces for people it's really unlikely Apple would run out of space in a 500,000 sf facility anytime soon, especially considering that server footprints are shrinking.

PARKING LOT/EXPANSION AREA. I believe this is simply the construction parking and staging area, which is now likely being lightly terraformed with plantings, etc. to lessen the environmental impact. This is not a long-term parking lot; data centers like this typically would be staffed with fewer than 30 employees per shift. Even adding some "burst" parking capacity for emergencies, special projects, etc. it's unlikely they would ever need more parking than what currently surrounds the facility. This isn't a Wal-Mart, it's a data center.

TANKS. I believe those silos out back are the diesel tanks for the backup generators. They are large, but realize that high computing density requires high power density. Apple's Xserves, if I recall correctly, could theoretically eat up 168 amps per rack @240V at 100% density. It would take some monstrous generator capacity to power a 500,000 sf data center of these machines. Data centers typically have enough diesel on-hand to power the entire facility for 3-5 days (I worked in one that had two weeks of capacity), with contracts to provide continuous refueling to keep it running indefinitely. Why two? Redundancy-- everything in a DC is redundant. Power typically comes from two different substations into two different locations on the building, Internet connectivity normally comes from two different carriers (at least) into two ingress points on the building, etc. AC units, power backup units, etc. all include hot spares to take over and maintain capacity in the event of a multi-unit failure. Serious enterprise-class data centers are built to withstand terrorist attacks.

POWER LINES. They're underground; you wouldn't want to give a guy with a stick of dynamite the ability to take down an above-ground power line and blackout your data center. It's not for aesthetics, it's for reliability.

ROOF: This is a cool roof. It's all-white to minimize thermal load on a data center that probably needs to be cooled to 60 degrees despite tens of thousands of running servers. Yes, adding solar would have been cool but it's not practical. Remember that the sun probably puts out about 600 watts per square meter on a clear day (that's a guess for this latitude). The best solar cells are only about 20% efficient now, so (rough estimate) you'd need about 3 square meters to offset the average wattage of just one of the 42 x-serves in a single rack. And that's assuming 100% sun load (no clouds). Also, data centers try to be as anonymous as possible so you'll likely not see any logos or signs. Most people work next to data centers for years without even realizing what they are.

Seriously, all someone needs to do is check the permits with the municipality to find out what's really going on. As a rumor, this is interesting to debate but as a news story, it lacks any reasonable investigation.

UPDATE: MacRumors has a photo from the county that shows two buildings. An assumption is made that since the size was always pegged at 500,000 sf, it may be that the first building we see now is 250,000 sf and that the construction parking/staging area I referenced above could actually be for the second half of the 500,000 sf building.
post #66 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by thompr View Post

Underground, like the majority of power lines in most modern cities.

Thompson

Those are in tunnels though - not simply buried cable and you would be able to see some evidence of them - especially while being built. It would have attracted a large amount of attention - especially where they junction vaults were built at each end.
post #67 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

...These larger power lines are never buried underground for safety reasons....
...It is funny to see but sometimes a brand new subdivision will be built advertising underground electric etc but you still see overhead at the perimeter to distribute the power...

I'm not believing your assertions of "never" here. I see numerous counterexamples in the greater metropolitan Phoenix area.

Thompson
post #68 of 94
I'm curious what hardware a brand new state of the art data center from Apple would use.
My long shot bet would be bunches of A4's on blades with Flash storage.
post #69 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Those are in tunnels though - not simply buried cable and you would be able to see some evidence of them - especially while being built. It would have attracted a large amount of attention - especially where they junction vaults were built at each end.

Do I understand you correctly? Is the following your argument?

(1) If there were underground power lines at the facility, then there would have to be tunnels.
(2) If there were tunnels, then there would have been a large amount of attention, or at least obvious evidence.
(3) There was no such attention or evidence.
(4) Therefore, there are no underground power lines at the facility.


If that is indeed your argument, then I think it fails somewhere around step number two. Step three is also flawed. Perhaps if we were to have better pictures or (better yet) if we could visit the site, we might see evidence galore.

Thompson
post #70 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger_one View Post

Also, data centers try to be as anonymous as possible so you'll likely not see any logos or signs. Most people work next to data centers for years without even realizing what they are.

Well, this particular data center has been all over the news because of the sweetheart deal made in order for Apple to choose the site. Any notion of anonymity is completely out the window from the get-go.

The lack of a logo on top of the building is probably more a function of the fact that there is no reason to put one there, and it could actually harm the function of the roof (which you pointed out).

Thompson
post #71 of 94
I was assuming the data center would be machined out of a solid block of aluminum.
post #72 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom J View Post

I was assuming the data center would be machined out of a solid block of aluminum.

post #73 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger_one View Post

My thoughts...

SIZE. 500,000 square feet is huge for a data center. Most data centers have standardized on ultra-high-density blade servers; even though Apple doesn't build their own blade product, they can fit 42 of their 1U Xserves in a single data center rack that takes up less than a square meter. Huge multi-national corporations can run all their data center operations out of facilities as small as 2,000 square feet. Even with "modules" for SAN storage, robotic backup silos, power backup units, staging labs and workspaces for people it's really unlikely Apple would run out of space in a 500,000 sf facility anytime soon, especially considering that server footprints are shrinking.

PARKING LOT/EXPANSION AREA. I believe this is simply the construction parking and staging area, which is now likely being lightly terraformed with plantings, etc. to lessen the environmental impact. This is not a long-term parking lot; data centers like this typically would be staffed with fewer than 30 employees per shift. Even adding some "burst" parking capacity for emergencies, special projects, etc. it's unlikely they would ever need more parking than what currently surrounds the facility. This isn't a Wal-Mart, it's a data center.

TANKS. I believe those silos out back are the diesel tanks for the backup generators. They are large, but realize that high computing density requires high power density. Apple's Xserves, if I recall correctly, could theoretically eat up 168 amps per rack @240V at 100% density. It would take some monstrous generator capacity to power a 500,000 sf data center of these machines. Data centers typically have enough diesel on-hand to power the entire facility for 3-5 days (I worked in one that had two weeks of capacity), with contracts to provide continuous refueling to keep it running indefinitely. Why two? Redundancy-- everything in a DC is redundant. Power typically comes from two different substations into two different locations on the building, Internet connectivity normally comes from two different carriers (at least) into two ingress points on the building, etc. AC units, power backup units, etc. all include hot spares to take over and maintain capacity in the event of a multi-unit failure. Serious enterprise-class data centers are built to withstand terrorist attacks.

POWER LINES. They're underground; you wouldn't want to give a guy with a stick of dynamite the ability to take down an above-ground power line and blackout your data center. It's not for aesthetics, it's for reliability.

ROOF: This is a cool roof. It's all-white to minimize thermal load on a data center that probably needs to be cooled to 60 degrees despite tens of thousands of running servers. Yes, adding solar would have been cool but it's not practical. Remember that the sun probably puts out about 600 watts per square meter on a clear day (that's a guess for this latitude). The best solar cells are only about 20% efficient now, so (rough estimate) you'd need about 3 square meters to offset the average wattage of just one of the 42 x-serves in a single rack. And that's assuming 100% sun load (no clouds). Also, data centers try to be as anonymous as possible so you'll likely not see any logos or signs. Most people work next to data centers for years without even realizing what they are.

Seriously, all someone needs to do is check the permits with the municipality to find out what's really going on. As a rumor, this is interesting to debate but as a news story, it lacks any reasonable investigation.

UPDATE: MacRumors has a photo from the county that shows two buildings. An assumption is made that since the size was always pegged at 500,000 sf, it may be that the first building we see now is 250,000 sf and that the construction parking/staging area I referenced above could actually be for the second half of the 500,000 sf building.

I just posted this over there. The first build is actually 646,802 according to the assessment information for the parcel.

So they will have over 1,000,000 square feet when they build that second building. I'm sure that was just the master plan as fully developed. They generally figure out what they are doing with the site before they start building on it.
post #74 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

New home of the App Store? With the Mac App Store coming within 90 days, this new data centre is approaching ready.

It makes sense for Apple to have their app stores in a data center they control. They know what their future plans are and can add/upgrade the hardware before they add/update any services.
post #75 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom J View Post

I was assuming the data center would be machined out of a solid block of aluminum.

I just laughed outloud in a quiet room had a dozen starring at me, probably wondetmring if I had a jovial form of Tourette Syndrome.
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post #76 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterO View Post

Wouldn't checking local county building permits lay the expansion speculation to rest?

Lord knows building anything, including an outhouse, requires signatures and paperwork. For a data centre expansion? Umm, I'm guessing, yes.

It would. With all the wild guessing going on, I'm surprised that nobody has bothered to check with the local permitting authorities. It's cheaper and more accurate than flying a helicopter over the site and guessing, though not as much fun.

Also FWIW, parking requirements are generally figured on a per square foot basis. Typical industrial parking requirements are in the range one space to 500-1000 square feet, so Apple may have to reserve area for 500-1000 parking spaces, even if the number of employees is much less.
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post #77 of 94
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Originally Posted by powderdust View Post

Ladies and gentlemen I give you ED209

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post #78 of 94
gee why not go ask the construction workers on the site do you really think Apple has control over what they say and do, hell go to the local bar they all hang out after work and you will find out exactly what they are prepping the land for whether it a parking lot or another building.

Do you really this is as much of a secret as a new product....
post #79 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

It would. With all the wild guessing going on, I'm surprised that nobody has bothered to check with the local permitting authorities. It's cheaper and more accurate than flying a helicopter over the site and guessing, though not as much fun.

Also FWIW, parking requirements are generally figured on a per square foot basis. Typical industrial parking requirements are in the range one space to 500-1000 square feet, so Apple may have to reserve area for 500-1000 parking spaces, even if the number of employees is much less.

Ack! That would be pretty disgusting if the zoning ordinance required Apple to build 500-1000 parking spaces for a facility that's going to employ only 300 people. It would make sense if it was a shopping mall or sports arenathey have to have enough parking spaces to accommodate employees and customers. The data center presumably is not going to be hosting hundreds of customers on a daily basis, so I really hope they're not forced to waste space for that sort of thing.
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post #80 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_a_guy View Post

I think that this data center is for all the mac apps that will be coming out in the next few months. They need a place to store all the crap and this could be the place. They must be expecting a ton of apps so that's why they are doing this. This is my guess.

Why don't they just store in the "cloud" like everyone else? Why to they have to have a big, white building?

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