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Apple to build second 'tactical datacenter' at Maiden, NC facility

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Permit filings discovered on Wednesday reveal Apple is preparing to expand its existing 500,000-square-foot datacenter in Maiden, N.C. with a new, smaller "tactical datacenter" complete with office space, meeting area and breakroom.

Data Center


According to a report by local publication The Hickory Daily Record, Apple's new tactical datacenter will be 14,246 square feet and measure 25 feet tall, slightly smaller than a similar ancillary structure built over one year ago.

The information comes from an erosion permit filed with the Catawba County planning office. Plans for the datacenter reportedly show centrally located "banks of computers" with 11 cooling units. Two additional air conditioners will take care of the office space and other work areas, while security is to be handled by a "man trap" type door.

The cost of the new project is unknown, but appears to be on a smaller scale than the original 21,030-square-foot tactical datacenter, which was priced at $1.8 million. That build required 22 A/C units, five fans, 14 humidifiers, six electrical unit heaters and one duct with electric louvers.

Apple's Maiden datacenter plays a vital role in the company's backend infrastructure and contains servers for various iCloud and iTunes services. The site is powered by a large 5-megawatt biogas fuel cell installation and the largest privately owned solar array in the country.
post #2 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
 
while security is to be handled by a "man trap" type door.

That doesn't sound too pleasant XP

post #3 of 32
Purely subjective on my part but I can read about FB, Google or Amazon creating new server farms I can get excited but when I read about Apple doing it I think to myself 'meh.' When we originally got word they were building them out I was excited about it but I think I expected something obvious and direct that would show these high-tech data centers in action.

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post #4 of 32
My opinion is the complete mirror image of yours.
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Purely subjective on my part but I can read about FB, Google or Amazon creating new server farms I can get excited but when I read about Apple doing it I think to myself 'meh.' When we originally got word they were building them out I was excited about it but I think I expected something obvious and direct that would show these high-tech data centers in action.

Tactical data centers are cool. I think they are what we used to call disaster recovery centers. That is why they have man traps and meeting rooms so a team can come in and do forensics and recovery in case of an attack or catastrophe.

 

@Emes

The man trap is a small transitional space between the foyer and the actual data center. It is usually only large enough for one person. This helps prevent piggybacking when someone passes their hand print scan and card swipe, an unauthorized partner cannot slip through before the door closes. Some mantraps are very elaborate in terms of weigh ins and glass observation from the security guards - sort of like the TSA at the airport.

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post #6 of 32

Two additional air conditioners will take care of the office space and other work areas, while security is to be handled by a "man trap" type door.
 
Another obvious Apple security breach.   Females will be able to enter at will.
 
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

 

@Emes

The man trap is a small transitional space between the foyer and the actual data center. It is usually only large enough for one person. This helps prevent piggybacking when someone passes their hand print scan and card swipe, an unauthorized partner cannot slip through before the door closes. Some mantraps are very elaborate in terms of weigh ins and glass observation from the security guards - sort of like the TSA at the airport.

I was already aware of that, but thank you anyways

post #8 of 32

Just what exactly has Apple done with all these DataCenter? Purely in terms of innovation or even achievement Apple gets Zero marks for its backend. And the scale Apple are handling now and going into future, they seriously need to get their hands on server hardware and software to ensure things working properly.

post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Purely subjective on my part but I can read about FB, Google or Amazon creating new server farms I can get excited but when I read about Apple doing it I think to myself 'meh.' When we originally got word they were building them out I was excited about it but I think I expected something obvious and direct that would show these high-tech data centers in action.

According to various dated statistics:

Tens of Billions of Notifications per day
Billions iMessages per day
Hundreds of Millions of emails per day
Tens of Millions of Apple Maps users
Tens of Millions of Apple Siri users
etc.
etc.
etc.

Apple focuses on user experience, not the underlying technology, as the value proposition. Apple data centers are based on competitor's technologies so Apple has no incentive to promote the underlying technology.

Quiet Brilliance. Quite reminiscent of the Apple social network strategy and the mobile payment strategy.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Purely subjective on my part but I can read about FB, Google or Amazon creating new server farms I can get excited but when I read about Apple doing it I think to myself 'meh.' When we originally got word they were building them out I was excited about it but I think I expected something obvious and direct that would show these high-tech data centers in action.

I never was expecting Apple to show the inner workings of their datacenters. Cool to see pictures of it, also during Steve's keynote when he 'gave us' iCloud, but normally Apple hides all the backend stuff.

If you meant that you wanted to get excited about Apple getting 'cloud stuff right' I'd agree with you, though my geographical location could be the cause of my poor upload speed experience. The continuous duplicates in the Notes app are starting to annoy me and the hit or miss syncing of Aperture Photo streams have become irritating.

Still, in no way compares these negatives to the vast amount of 'cloud stuff' they are getting right. Anyone what their iTunes server uptime is?
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

According to various dated statistics:

Tens of Billions of Notifications per day
Billions iMessages per day
Hundreds of Millions of emails per day
Tens of Millions of Apple Maps users
Tens of Millions of Apple Siri users
etc.
etc.
etc.

Apple focuses on user experience, not the underlying technology, as the value proposition. Apple data centers are based on competitor's technologies so Apple has no incentive to promote the underlying technology.

Quiet Brilliance. Quite reminiscent of the Apple social network strategy and the mobile payment strategy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

I never was expecting Apple to show the inner workings of their datacenters. Cool to see pictures of it, also during Steve's keynote when he 'gave us' iCloud, but normally Apple hides all the backend stuff.

If you meant that you wanted to get excited about Apple getting 'cloud stuff right' I'd agree with you, though my geographical location could be the cause of my poor upload speed experience. The continuous duplicates in the Notes app are starting to annoy me and the hit or miss syncing of Aperture Photo streams have become irritating.

Still, in no way compares these negatives to the vast amount of 'cloud stuff' they are getting right. Anyone what their iTunes server uptime is?

I think I would have been happy with a doubling of iCloud storage from 5GB to 10GB so I didn't have to use a different iCloud account for each iDevice.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think I would have been happy with a doubling of iCloud storage from 5GB to 10GB so I didn't have to use a different iCloud account for each iDevice.

Don't understand their stinginess myself either. It's not like they're using expensive NAND in their DC's.

And their paid upgrade plans are pricy:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5879
post #13 of 32
Thanks for the explanation. Where I'm from a mantrap looks more like this:


It would probably work as a security feature but you might have some legal issues to work with...
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I think I would have been happy with a doubling of iCloud storage from 5GB to 10GB so I didn't have to use a different iCloud account for each iDevice.

The iCloud storage thing has been an issue with me for some time. IMO, it would make far, far more sense for Apple to apportion an amount of online storage equal to the capacity of the device. When a person shells out for a 64GB iPad, not just a 16GB, it only makes sense to me that they'd have an iCloud account capable of backing up the entire iOS device.

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post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The iCloud storage thing has been an issue with me for some time. IMO, it would make far, far more sense for Apple to apportion an amount of online storage equal to the capacity of the device. When a person shells out for a 64GB iPad, not just a 16GB, it only makes sense to me that they'd have an iCloud account capable of backing up the entire iOS device.

I'm all for getting capacity based on the number of devices one has purchased but I don't know how the logistics would work.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm all for getting capacity based on the number of devices one has purchased but I don't know how the logistics would work.

Are you referring to 'what happens when you buy five devices, sell two and then buy two more with lower capacities?'...that kind of thing?

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post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Are you referring to 'what happens when you buy five devices, sell two and then buy two more with lower capacities?'...that kind of thing?

Even just buy and sell devices in general. Let's say they give you the exact same amount of data per device, regardless of capacity.

How do they move the data from one user to another when you sell it?
Do they offer a time frame/window to purchase a new device in case you are near your maximum?
What aspect of the device is it tied to? Find my iPhone seems to be the only viable option since you can lock a device to only one iCloud account that way.

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post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I'm all for getting capacity based on the number of devices one has purchased but I don't know how the logistics would work.

Authorize additional storage based on the device identifiers linked to your Apple ID?

post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

Authorize additional storage based on the device identifiers linked to your Apple ID?

Say you wiped the device remotely because you misplaced it (and then found it the next day behind the bed) what happened to the additional storage?

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Say you wiped the device remotely because you misplaced it (and then found it the next day behind the bed) what happened to the additional storage?

 

Why would wiping the device affect Apple's internal records? Apple should still know that the device is still registered to your account. The only reason you would lose access to the additional storage is if you sell the device and unlink it from your account so that someone else can register the device.

post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Even just buy and sell devices in general. Let's say they give you the exact same amount of data per device, regardless of capacity.

How do they move the data from one user to another when you sell it?
Do they offer a time frame/window to purchase a new device in case you are near your maximum?
What aspect of the device is it tied to? Find my iPhone seems to be the only viable option since you can lock a device to only one iCloud account that way.

Maybe restrict the storage space to the original purchaser when the device is bought directly from Apple to incentivize direct sales, then low or no storage options for private resales? In other words, once you paid Apple, you bought the storage...in fact you could have the option of selling the device with or without the associated online storage space! Could create an entire new supply and demand market for online storage.

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post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

Why would wiping the device affect Apple's internal records? Apple should still know that the device is still registered to your account. The only reason you would lose access to the additional storage is if you sell the device and unlink it from your account so that someone else can register the device.

So let's say you wipe the device to sell it. How does that online storage move from one owner to the next? Wiping it unlinks your email already. The only "hard" linking is through a feature they only introduced in iOS 7 to prevent thieves from activating it if it's stolen. No one has ever mentioned this as a means for tying data to an account (except me).

So lets say Apple has the same idea that I do. I ready my device to sell it which means turning off Find My iPhone. When does that data drop from my account? Immediately? A week? A month? What if puts me over the limit? What happens to my data?

The last time I asked this here people said it should always stay on the account. Does that mean I can then buy a dozen devices in the Apple Store, tie them to my account, wipe them and then return them for full refunds to get 12x the online storage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Maybe restrict the storage space to the original purchaser when the device is bought directly from Apple to incentivize direct sales, then low or no storage options for private resales? In other words, once you paid Apple, you bought the storage...in fact you could have the option of selling the device with or without the associated online storage space! Could create an entire new supply and demand market for online storage.

Direct sales might work but I wonder if Apple likes the high resale value with their iDevices (not that I think it would affect it much, or at all).

The simple answer isn't to do this complex dance with devices but to simply give users more data that 99.999% of users who need to do backups and hold mail will not to worry about storage. I was still under 5GB with 2 devices but I was getting those stupid daily warning messages once I hit 4.8GB even though that wasn't going to move to 4.9GB for a very long time.

One solution was to simply migrate my mail off iCloud so save 400GB. Instead I opted to use a different account on my iPad mini for the backup, but I think for security reasons I'll do that with both devices so that my iCloud email is not he same one I will use for backups or Find My iPhone.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So let's say you wipe the device to sell it. How does that online storage move from one owner to the next? Wiping it unlinks your email already. The only "hard" linking is through a feature they only introduced in iOS 7 to prevent thieves from activating it if it's stolen. No one has ever mentioned this as a means for tying data to an account (except me).

So lets say Apple has the same idea that I do. I ready my device to sell it which means turning off Find My iPhone. When does that data drop from my account? Immediately? A week? A month? What if puts me over the limit? What happens to my data?

The last time I asked this here people said it should always stay on the account. Does that mean I can then buy a dozen devices in the Apple Store, tie them to my account, wipe them and then return them for full refunds to get 12x the online storage?
Direct sales might work but I wonder if Apple likes the high resale value with their iDevices (not that I think it would affect it much, or at all).

The simple answer isn't to do this complex dance with devices but to simply give users more data that 99.999% of users who need to do backups and hold mail will not to worry about storage. I was still under 5GB with 2 devices but I was getting those stupid daily warning messages once I hit 4.8GB even though that wasn't going to move to 4.9GB for a very long time.

One solution was to simply migrate my mail off iCloud so save 400GB. Instead I opted to use a different account on my iPad mini for the backup, but I think for security reasons I'll do that with both devices so that my iCloud email is not he same one I will use for backups or Find My iPhone.

In any event, a higher base amount of iCloud storage would be a nice gesture.

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post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The iCloud storage thing has been an issue with me for some time. IMO, it would make far, far more sense for Apple to apportion an amount of online storage equal to the capacity of the device. When a person shells out for a 64GB iPad, not just a 16GB, it only makes sense to me that they'd have an iCloud account capable of backing up the entire iOS device.

I don't backup to iCloud, but use iTunes (for reasons I don't even remember; whatever). And the backup certainly isn't the same size as the content it is holding. In fact, after restoring a backup on an iOS device it tells me to sync it with iTunes to I get my media (photo/video/music, possibly more) back on the device. Is that different by backing up to iCloud? I once restored a friends' device from an iCloud backup and I think I had to connect it to iTunes to get the media back on there again.

At any rate, this I believe is what Apple thinks they did right: grant the user a free backup solution in case they lost their iOS device, which has their SMS, settings, wallpaper, whatnot on it. Including email, as that could be considered the most important data to users. All media is a separate backup through photo stream / iTunes music + movie/TV purchases already so no need to include that in the free default 5GB.

Does any of this makes sense? (I only slept for 4 hours and did a 90km cycling workout in 2h40m so feel a little...can't describe it)
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
 
In any event, a higher base amount of iCloud storage would be a nice gesture.

I don't use any iCloud storage, except what automatically gets saved. What I would prefer for cloud storage, is for it to be file format agnostic, like a USB flash drive is. I have very few documents that are compatible with iCloud. I just need generic space. I used iDisk all the time before it was EOLed.

 

I have a lot of storage on my Google Business account and it works really well, especially being able to share folders and files with the other offices.

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post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


So let's say you wipe the device to sell it. How does that online storage move from one owner to the next? Wiping it unlinks your email already. The only "hard" linking is through a feature they only introduced in iOS 7 to prevent thieves from activating it if it's stolen. No one has ever mentioned this as a means for tying data to an account (except me).

So lets say Apple has the same idea that I do. I ready my device to sell it which means turning off Find My iPhone. When does that data drop from my account? Immediately? A week? A month? What if puts me over the limit? What happens to my data?

The last time I asked this here people said it should always stay on the account. Does that mean I can then buy a dozen devices in the Apple Store, tie them to my account, wipe them and then return them for full refunds to get 12x the online storage?

When one wipes a device, what else happens besides the device being restored to factory state? Isn't one able to later restore the contents of the device from iCloud? If so, Apple must still have a record of that device under your iCloud account. 

 

The unique identifier for your device (say its serial number) should remain associated with your account until you or Apple unlink it. Apple could arrange things so that the identifier is only able be linked to one Apple ID at a time. When you sell your device, you would need to unregister that device and give up the extra storage space (or Apple could automatically start billing you for the extra space) before the next person can register the device under his Apple ID and obtain the storage allowance. If you return your device to Apple for a refund, Apple could disassociate the device from your Apple ID and give you the choice of paying to continue using the extra storage. So in your example, you wouldn't be able to keep 12x the online storage unless you continued to pay for it.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 2/21/14 at 4:27pm
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

When one wipes a device, what else happens besides the device being restored to factory state? Isn't one able to later restore the contents of the device from iCloud? If so, Apple must still have a record of that device under your iCloud account. 

The unique identifier for your device (say its serial number) should remain associated with your account until you or Apple unlink it. Apple could arrange things so that the identifier is only able be linked to one Apple ID at a time. When you sell your device, you would need to unregister that device and give up the extra storage space (or Apple could automatically start billing you for the extra space) before the next person can register the device under his Apple ID and obtain the storage allowance. If you return your device to Apple for a refund, Apple could disassociate the device from your Apple ID and give you the choice of paying to continue using the extra storage. So in your example, you wouldn't be able to keep 12x the online storage unless you continued to pay for it.

Now, as of iOS7, when you enable Find My iPhone you lock the device to a unique serial number that prevents it from ever being activated unless that is unlinked/unlocked as you describe. That is the only method I can see for giving additional capacity to each new iDevice sold, but that's not even 5(?) months old.

Perhaps with the next iOS 8 update we'll see something like that but I'd still like them to just give everyone more data across the boar; It's not like we still have an iDisk to abuse.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Now, as of iOS7, when you enable Find My iPhone you lock the device to a unique serial number that prevents it from ever being activated unless that is unlinked/unlocked as you describe. That is the only method I can see for giving additional capacity to each new iDevice sold, but that's not even 5(?) months old.

Perhaps with the next iOS 8 update we'll see something like that but I'd still like them to just give everyone more data across the boar; It's not like we still have an iDisk to abuse.

Why would the capability to link a device to iCloud require an OS update? It seems that the implementation should be almost entirely server-side. The serial number of your device would serve as an activation code, similar to a credit card number, which you give Apple to obtain storage space on iCloud. Apple would just need to ensure that each serial number can be paired with no more than one Apple ID at a time.

post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

Why would the capability to link a device to iCloud require a major OS update?

Prior to iOS 7 you updated the device by downloading and installing the proper IPSW. There was no check with server to see if the device was locked to a particular iCloud account. I don't see how this could be retroactively added to all devices running and earlier version of iOS.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Prior to iOS 7 you updated the device by downloading and installing the proper IPSW. There was no check with server to see if the device was locked to a particular iCloud account. I don't see how this could be retroactively added to all devices running and earlier version of iOS.

I don't really understand why we are discussing the mechanism for OS updates.  Isn't the payment processing and storage provisioning handled entirely server side? Right now when you buy extra iCloud storage from Apple, does your device need a software update to access the extra storage? I was merely proposing a system where you pay for the storage by buying a device and providing Apple the device's serial number instead of your credit card number. What am I missing?


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 2/21/14 at 8:53pm
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

I don't really understand why we are discussing the mechanism for OS updates.  Isn't the payment processing and storage provisioning handled entirely server side? Right now when you buy extra iCloud storage from Apple, does your device need a software update to access the extra storage? I was merely proposing a system where you "pay" for the storage by providing your device's serial number instead of your credit card number. What am I missing?

So you register the device and it gives you iCloud data. Now you wipe the device. What happens to the data allowance they have you?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


So you register the device and it gives you iCloud data. Now you wipe the device. What happens to the data allowance they have you?

Nothing until you unregister the device. 


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 2/21/14 at 9:28pm
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