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As Carolina data center debut looms, Apple expanding in Silicon Valley too

post #1 of 25
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Apple is said to be quickly building another new data center in Silicon Valley in addition to the massive North Carolina facility set to open any day now, ahead of the anticipated "iCloud" service.

Apple's new California server space will be housed in a third-party facility, and will be smaller than the massive Maiden, N.C., facility, Data Center Knowledge reported Wednesday. Instead, Apple's new expansion, expected to go online later this year, will be just 11,000 square feet devoted to data center space, compared to the 184,000 square feet in North Carolina.

The seven-year lease will get Apple 2.28 megawatts of critical power load in the facility being built in Santa Clara, Calif., by DuPont Fabros Technology. The building is scheduled to open sometime between July and September of this year.

DuPont Fabros has not officially confirmed that Apple is the tenant of the new facility, only referring to its partnership with a Fortune 50 company. However, industry sources have reportedly confirmed that Apple is indeed set to control the 11,000 square feet.

The new lease is noteworthy because Data Center Knowledge believes it to be Apple's first investment in a "wholesale data center," where tenants lease a dedicated, fully-built data center space.

"This approach is attractive for companies that need to deploy additional data center space quickly, as wholesale space can be delivered more rapidly than building a new data center," the report said.

Apple's rush to add more capacity could be tied to a potential imminent launch of its new cloud-based music streaming service. While most of the attention on the so-called "iCloud" product has focused on music, AppleInsider has been told that the product will also offer wireless syncing of bookmarks, e-mail, contacts, and calendar events, much like the company's existing MobileMe service.

Apple's other $1 billion server farm in North Carolina has been in the works for some time now, as Apple first selected the site in mid 2009. Apple originally expected to open the facility by the end of 2010, but said at its annual investors meeting this year that the facility will go online this spring.

Apple executives also confirmed that the Maiden, N.C., facility, with 500,000 total square feet of space, will support iTunes and MobileMe. The anticipated "iCloud" product is expected to be a successor to MobileMe and could be largely driven by Apple's data centers set to begin operation in the coming months.
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... While most of the attention o the so-called "iCloud" product has focused on music, AppleInsider has been told that the product will also offer wireless syncing of bookmarks, e-mail, contacts, and calendar events, much like the company's existing MobileMe service....

I think it's pretty clear what iCloud will focus on when you look at the image they've been using for the site this week.



It'a a cloud spreading animated pixie dust (magical!), surrounded by outlines of all the iOS devices.
post #3 of 25
While it is much easier to house everything under one roof from a technical perspective, for sake of of redundancy, fault tolerance and geographically distributed data delivery it is far more robust to have multiple smaller facilities around the world. This type of regional data center build out is exactly what Apple should be doing more of, in my opinion.

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post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I think it's pretty clear what iCloud will focus on when you look at the image they've been using for the site this week.



It'a a cloud spreading animated pixie dust (magical!), surrounded by outlines of all the iOS devices.

Its been like that for quite a while.
post #5 of 25
I think Apple is planning on Lion being the first cloud OS done right. Here are my predictions:

1. Apps sync across all devices. Special mobile+mac bundle apps will be introduced. They will share data in the cloud. For instance, a financial app would share data across the desktop and mobile version.

2. Your home folder will be synced up to the cloud. All of your media and documents will be synced across all devices. Potentially an overhaul of how we manage our files. Backup problems disappear.

3. All this content will be available from the Apple TV.

4. Apple will likely ditch MobileMe as a failure, although they will probably keep the @me.com domain.

5. Connecting a new Mac will download all of your content. Apple is working on advanced streaming protocols to assist with viewing the media.

6. We've seen the UI tweaks and new features of Lion, but none of this cloud stuff. It would explain why the Lion update so far seems boring.
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post #6 of 25
Yes and no...

Quote:
Originally Posted by astrubhar View Post

I think Apple is planning on Lion being the first cloud OS done right. Here are my predictions:

1. Apps sync across all devices. Special mobile+mac bundle apps will be introduced. They will share data in the cloud. For instance, a financial app would share data across the desktop and mobile version.

That would be nice
Quote:
2. Your home folder will be synced up to the cloud. All of your media and documents will be synced across all devices. Potentially an overhaul of how we manage our files. Backup problems disappear.

Back-up problems disappear? I think that would be rather too optimistic. All you media synced across all devices would be a nightmare. Selected media, perhaps. What I have on my Macs wont fit on a IOS device.
Quote:
3. All this content will be available from the Apple TV.

Your media, yes. Not the rest, please.
Quote:
4. Apple will likely ditch MobileMe as a failure, although they will probably keep the @me.com domain.

Sure, though I don't regard it as a failure. What did it fail to do?
Quote:
5. Connecting a new Mac will download all of your content. Apple is working on advanced streaming protocols to assist with viewing the media.

I think you need to make a distinction between Macs and IOS devices. For me that would mean - connect a new Mac and wait a week...
Quote:
6. We've seen the UI tweaks and new features of Lion, but none of this cloud stuff. It would explain why the Lion update so far seems boring.

Lion update seem boring to you? I disagree. I know a lot of people hate the gray but functionality wise it looks amazing imo
post #7 of 25
Whatever it is, this whole data center thing is a huge investment, and very intriguing. This will either be huge, or a huge failure. Apple has, of course, failed in this 'cloud' space before.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I think it's pretty clear what iCloud will focus on when you look at the image they've been using for the site this week.



It'a a cloud spreading animated pixie dust (magical!), surrounded by outlines of all the iOS devices.

Mine looks nothing like that. Looks like the 'old' version
post #9 of 25
isn't 11,000 sqft really small for a datacenter? that's like 4 mid-size houses. If you include space for administration, cooling and power systems, etc it seems very small.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrubhar View Post

I think Apple is planning on Lion being the first cloud OS done right. Here are my predictions:

1. Apps sync across all devices. Special mobile+mac bundle apps will be introduced. They will share data in the cloud. For instance, a financial app would share data across the desktop and mobile version.

You picked the very last thing I would want sync'd in the cloud. FFS, your financial data isn't something to trust to 3rd parties any more than you absolutely have to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astrubhar View Post

2. Your home folder will be synced up to the cloud. All of your media and documents will be synced across all devices. Potentially an overhaul of how we manage our files. Backup problems disappear.

Zero interest to me. I have only one thought about OS-cloud integration:

IT HAD BETTER DAMN WELL BE OPTIONAL!! And not made critical for "normal" use, or cumbersome to disable 100% from a single setting.
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post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Mine looks nothing like that. Looks like the 'old' version

Its like that if you are either signing in with a non MobileMe email address, or havent signed in before. Its been like that since the last update several months ago.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewisdorigo View Post

Its like that if you are either signing in with a non MobileMe email address, or havent signed in before. Its been like that since the last update several months ago.

Signing in with a non mm email? I must be missing something. I often sign in but have never seen the 'new' look.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

isn't 11,000 sqft really small for a datacenter? that's like 4 mid-size houses. If you include space for administration, cooling and power systems, etc it seems very small.

50 PETA BYTE server's could fit in their maybe




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post #14 of 25
People are talking about "iCloud" but the website iCloud.com redirects to cloudme.com at least for now (and for some reason the opening page i get is in Portuguese...). And their logo looks like the inverted me.com cloud.

I wouldn't consider me.com a 'failure' as someone said, but it's still very limited, slow (at least iDisk is slow), disk storage (basic plan) is very limited, the new iCal is good but it was hard setup (all kinds of bugs, required deleting the account in all my devices running different versions of OS X to start clean from backup (and with superb help from Apple rep over chat). Aside from all those little problems... I still prefer me.com than other cloud services out there--because i get much more than just file storage in the cloud.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

isn't 11,000 sqft really small for a datacenter? that's like 4 mid-size houses. If you include space for administration, cooling and power systems, etc it seems very small.

11,000sqft is 4 houses? My guess, you don't live in the Bay Area!
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

isn't 11,000 sqft really small for a datacenter? that's like 4 mid-size houses. If you include space for administration, cooling and power systems, etc it seems very small.

2750 square ft per house is not small, regardless of where you're from and I've lived on both coasts, in the Bay Area and back in the Pacific Northwest where space is not limited.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

isn't 11,000 sqft really small for a datacenter? that's like 4 mid-size houses. If you include space for administration, cooling and power systems, etc it seems very small.

If too much data is put in the Cloud some of it will leak into a Black Hole out there in space.
The 11,000 Sq Ft will just catch the leakage from N.C. cloud. Look what happened to Windows Vista, most of the OS ended up in a Black Hole.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Selected media, perhaps. What I have on my Macs wont fit on a IOS device.

Which is why you need streaming. Frequently accessed media lives on the device. The rest is in the cloud. If implemented correctly it should all be transparent to the user.
post #19 of 25
I want to be able to send in all my DVD movies and have them give me access to an iCloud version instead that can be streamed anytime I want.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Which is why you need streaming. Frequently accessed media lives on the device. The rest is in the cloud. If implemented correctly it should all be transparent to the user.

QFT.

On devices with large amounts of memory everything can be synced (Ã* la Live Mesh, Dropbox or Sugarsync) but on limited memory devices more intelligent syncing needs to be employed and (exactly as you said) if this is implemented correctly it should all be transparent to the user.

I actually think Google Music is a great example of how sync should be enabled for devices with limited storage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

I'm not seeing any features that would have me use iCloud.

What features have you see of iCloud? I haven’t seen anything at all. Actually... I haven't even seen confirmation that iCloud even exists!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kozchris View Post

I want to be able to send in all my DVD movies and have them give me access to an iCloud version instead that can be streamed anytime I want.

Sounds like you want UltraViolet to take off . Apple isn't an member at the moment though... so I don't think you'll see anything like this from them.
post #21 of 25
accessing them from anywhere else in world adds an order of magnitude of latency.

Are there any rumours of Apple building matching centres in other continents? Here in Australia the government is building a bright, shiny NBN (National Broadband Network) that could certainly do an AppleCentre proud.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrubhar View Post

I think Apple is planning on Lion being the first cloud OS done right. Here are my predictions:

1. Apps sync across all devices. Special mobile+mac bundle apps will be introduced. They will share data in the cloud. For instance, a financial app would share data across the desktop and mobile version.

2. Your home folder will be synced up to the cloud. All of your media and documents will be synced across all devices. Potentially an overhaul of how we manage our files. Backup problems disappear.

3. All this content will be available from the Apple TV.

4. Apple will likely ditch MobileMe as a failure, although they will probably keep the @me.com domain.

5. Connecting a new Mac will download all of your content. Apple is working on advanced streaming protocols to assist with viewing the media.

6. We've seen the UI tweaks and new features of Lion, but none of this cloud stuff. It would explain why the Lion update so far seems boring.

1) Right now I plenty of have Mac and iOS apps that either since using iDisk or Dropbox (mostly the latter) or simply backup via iDisk or Dropbox. If Apple could add an API for their Mac App Store and iOS App Store apps so that this is done seamlessly through at lead a 256-bit AES secure folder Id be very happy.

2) Thats just not possible for most people. I couldnt anyone of my Home folder folders expect Documents. What I would like them to do is make syncing personal files and folders seamless to the user while allowing me to store the data anywhere on my Mac. For example, I could have a .DOC file that I keep on my desktop. If I Get Info on the file I can check a box that will sync this with the new iDisk storage. I can move this file around at will without affecting its syncing. Also, it would be incremental backups of changes and allow me to retrieve older versions of the file, just like with Dropbox. The only real difference is the integration with the OS which 3rd-parties cant do.

3) AppleTV streaming of your content will still be from your local machines. I do think its likely that WAN access to your iDisk/iCloud will become available but this wont be the common access method.

4) I think exchanging iDisk for iCloud whilst keeping MobileMe, but I can also see changing the name again. I think keeping me.com for email would make sense if they do rename MobileMe.

5) This is impractical on many levels. Storing and syncing your setting and personal info is fine because its small, but media is too large. Time Machine has been updated in Lion and not going anywhere. What Id like to see is an Apple Home Server running on iOS and ARM with multiple HDDs for redundancy.

6) Lion isnt boring to me. There are plenty of great changes that make me more productive than with SL. The problem you might be having is reading about Mission Control instead of using it.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #23 of 25
The new center will host all the traffic while the Apple Store is being updated.
The center will host this image file, and assure that it loads without any hickups.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

isn't 11,000 sqft really small for a datacenter? that's like 4 mid-size houses. If you include space for administration, cooling and power systems, etc it seems very small.

I can see the benefit of having a close by miniature data center for internal testing. Beta testing and development. Perhaps developers can work with this center, and run over and tweak it manually if need be. Then when all is set for a new product launch, it'll be easier to get it to run on the big center.

It could be used for anything really.. perhaps it's the new Apple Retail Store data center..
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Like I said, nothing there that interests me. And if I can't turn it off, it's reason to drop the Mac and go back to Windows.

I don't understand what you think could possibly be mandatory with this iCloud thing that would cause someone to switch computing platforms. MobileMe is a service that is available to both Macs and Windows. MobileMe is totally optional, how do you think it (or iCloud) could ever be mandatory? Are you currently a MobileMe subscriber?
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