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Apple reportedly expanding global data center presence with new facility in Curacao

post #1 of 40
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Apple's latest data center project may be on the small southern Caribbean island of Curacao, as local media suggests the iCloud operator may be taking over a facility where construction is nearly complete.




A Dutch news report spotted by AmongTech claims that the Unique Infrastructure Group is building a new data center on Curacao for Apple. According to the report, the facility is already almost completed, but the original company behind it went bankrupt and was taken over by UIG.

UIG is now said to be completing work on the facility, which will reportedly be used by Apple. While it's unknown what Apple would use the facility for, the company's iCloud and iTunes digital operations are likely candidates.

After building major data center operations in the U.S, including massive facilities on both the east and west coast, Apple now appears to be expanding its operations internationally. Earlier this year, it was said that the company was planning a new data center in the Netherlands to better serve customers in Europe.

Apple Maiden NC Data Center


Racks of Apple's iCloud servers in Maiden, NC


And this week, Apple confirmed that it has begun storing iCloud user data in data centers owned by China Telecom. Given the fact that China Telecom is owned by the Chinese government, which itself is notoriously invasive, Apple spoke out on the partnership to ensure that the data on the servers is secure.

"Apple takes user security and privacy very seriously," the company said in a statement. "We have added China Telecom to our list of data center providers to increase bandwidth and improve performance for our customers in mainland China. All data stored with our providers is encrypted, China Telecom does not have access to the content."
post #2 of 40

Seeing as this island resides in the Caribbean and with prior knowledge that some locations therein are utilized by companies to lower their taxes, this is OBVIOUSLY a tax dodge–my use of the phrase meaning to imply that Apple is breaking 500 laws and refusing to pay any money in taxes whatsoever–so therefore I am outraged and will petition to have the company sued for whatever reason would be applicable.

 

There, that’s out of the way.

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post #3 of 40
Odd place for a datacenter

Even odder if significant bandwidth is going through Venezuela or Columbia

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post #4 of 40
Now that the psycho Joren Vandersloot was voted off the island, all is safe for Apple female employees there.
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post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

Odd place for a datacenter

Even odder if significant bandwidth is going through Venezuela or Columbia

Yeah, I wonder why they didn't put it in Panama which is connected with many more network infrastructure providers and a much friendlier government.

 

http://submarine-cable-map-2014.telegeography.com/

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post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

Odd place for a datacenter

Even odder if significant bandwidth is going through Venezuela or Columbia

 

Aren't continents just really, really, really big islands?

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post #7 of 40
What's the benefit to having a data center here? Just tax benefit?
post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
 
Aren't continents just really, really, really big islands?

Asia is a continent and so is Europe. They are connected so they can't both be islands. If not for the Suez and Panama canals the same would be true of North and South America as well as Asia and Africa.

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post #9 of 40
It would be a nice place to vacation. All of that wonderful air conditioning.
post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

Asia is a continent and so is Europe. They are connected so they can't both be islands. If not for the Suez and Panama canals the same would be true of North and South America as well as Asia and Africa.

The presence or absence of a canal (i.e., a large man-made ditch) doesn't determine continental connectedness (any more than a bridge would).

post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

What's the benefit to having a data center here? Just tax benefit?

No ... this ... 1biggrin.gif

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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

Asia is a continent and so is Europe. They are connected so they can't both be islands. If not for the Suez and Panama canals the same would be true of North and South America as well as Asia and Africa.

The presence or absence of a canal (i.e., a large man-made ditch) doesn't determine continental connectedness (any more than a bridge would).

No disagreement from me, just a disclaimer.

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post #13 of 40
It's only a "tax haven" if you your company (or subsidiary) is incorporated there.
post #14 of 40
Somebody has to support all those vacationers in the Carribean! Which reminds mei need to find a way down there this winter.
post #15 of 40
It's not crazy, Curacao is one of the most stable countries in the area, with a high standard of living. It's not easy to find South or Central American countries that don't have some degree of political or social or economic instability.
post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechLover View Post

It would be a nice place to vacation. All of that wonderful air conditioning.

The ABCs are a bit hard to get to (or at least the airline flights aren't convenient/cheap). It might be worth it if you really like to windsurf or scuba dive, otherwise Mexico would be a more reasonable vacation destination for North Americans.

 

Disclaimer: I've been to Bonaire and I am a PADI certified diver.

 

If you just want air conditioning, can't you just go to the movie theater in the nearest mall or your town's library?

post #17 of 40
I know nothing of their stability as a nation or tax laws but just looking at their submarine network cable map it's definitely not a bad place for a DC.





PS: I've never been to Curacao. I'll have to check that off my list at some time.
Edited by SolipsismX - 8/16/14 at 11:49pm

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post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I know nothing of their stability as a nation or tax laws but just looking at their submarine network cable map it's definitely not a bad place for a DC.

 

I still think Panama is better for several reasons. Check out this historical hurricane map. As you can see we never get hurricanes,

 

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post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Now that the psycho Joren Vandersloot was voted off the island, all is safe for Apple female employees there.

Wrong island. Van der Sloot was never successfully prosecuted for the alleged murder of Natalie Holloway on Aruba, a 70-mile swim from Curaçao. He now sits in a Peruvian maximum security prison for the murder of a young woman in Lima.

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post #20 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

The ABCs are a bit hard to get to (or at least the airline flights aren't convenient/cheap). It might be worth it if you really like to windsurf or scuba dive, otherwise Mexico would be a more reasonable vacation destination for North Americans.

Starting Nov. 2, Southwest will fly round-trip from Chicago Midway through Orlando for as low as $525. Aruba is just as easy to reach as San Juan or the USVI, Saint Martin and other popular Caribbean islands.

Busiest US routes from Aruba (2009–2010)[citation needed]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1
New York (JFK), New York
237,498
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue
2
Miami, Florida
209,364
American Airlines
3
Newark, New Jersey
145,448
United Airlines
4
Atlanta, Georgia
139,547
AirTran, Delta Air Lines
5
Charlotte, North Carolina
120,362
US Airways
6
Boston, MA
113,910
JetBlue, US Airways
7
Philadelphia, PA
67,993
US Airways
8
Washington (Dulles), VA
27,477
United Airlines
9
Chicago (O'Hare), Illinois
18,362
United Airlines
10
Houston, TX (Bush)
15,727
United Airlines
Edited by Kibitzer - 8/17/14 at 6:59am

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post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

The ABCs are a bit hard to get to (or at least the airline flights aren't convenient/cheap). It might be worth it if you really like to windsurf or scuba dive, otherwise Mexico would be a more reasonable vacation destination for North Americans.

Starting Nov. 2, Southwest will fly round-trip from Chicago Midway through Orlando for as low as $525. Aruba is just as easy to reach as San Juan or the USVI, Saint Martin and other popular Caribbean islands.
 

Fine except Aruba is a different island.

 

 

American Airlines has flights to Curacao from the US for $545 from Miami.

 

Copa and Insel also fly there from Miami according to Expedia.

 
Jet Blue starting in December

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post #22 of 40

Okay, as a recently moved Curacao native i feel the need to clarify some things. First off the data center mentioned in the post is truly top when it comes to disaster-proof. It is build on solid rock, on top of a hill with reinforced concrete. now Curacao sits out of the hurricane belt and thus a disaster rarely happens, but in the case it does, that building could take 8.0 earthquake while being hit by a superstorm. When it comes to data I can guess Apple was attracted to Curacao because Curacao has Dutch privacy laws, so handling data is a sensitive business. Having Dutch privacy laws means Apple can keep the tight security it has on data while having a gateway to South America and The Caribbean to improve cloud performance. Another thing to point out is that Curacao is an extremely sunny place, combined with comparatively cheap land and incentives from the government, Apple can easily keep the data center powered by 100% renewable energy.

If the post is true it means the organisation behind the data center has accomplished its mission of bringing top Tech Companies to the island.  

 

Source: Native from Curacao & was at the opening of the data center.

http://www.ctexpartners.com/

post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I still think Panama is better for several reasons. Check out this historical hurricane map. As you can see we never get hurricanes,



1) Wow, there really are no hurricanes in Panama according to that map.

2) That map looks like a kid got to it with their crayons.

3) We should looking at this report as being accurate to determine why Apple would choose Curaçao over Panama (or anywhere else).

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post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) Wow, there really are no hurricanes in Panama according to that map.

2) That map looks like a kid got to it with their crayons.

3) We should looking at this report as being accurate to determine why Apple would choose Curaçao over Panama (or anywhere else).

Very few hurricanes make it as far south as Curaçao, and the ones that do are probably not very strong.
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post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Very few hurricanes make it as far south as Curaçao, and the ones that do are probably not very strong.

It does appear that way. This may be a Monster Cable Scenario. Meaning, Monster Cables may have slightly better impedance, slightly better shielding, or even be made slightly better but it doesn't warrant the cost and you're not going to get a better experience from them, so I wonder if the chances of a severe hurricane hitting Curaçao is so slight that it really wasn't a concern for Apple.

So what is the reason? Taxes? Protection? Cost? Some major trunk line? Something else entirely?

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post #26 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It does appear that way. This may be a Monster Cable Scenario. Meaning, Monster Cables may have slightly better impedance, slightly better shielding, or even be made slightly better but it doesn't warrant the cost and you're not going to get a better experience from them, so I wonder if the chances of a severe hurricane hitting Curaçao is so slight that it really wasn't a concern for Apple.

So what is the reason? Taxes? Protection? Cost? Some major trunk line? Something else entirely?

It's probably due to a host of beneficial reasons. Maybe the close proximity to Venezuela, and Brazil without being in them. I really don't think that they did it with the dart throwing method. lol.gif
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post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
 
It's probably due to a host of beneficial reasons. Maybe the close proximity to Venezuela, and Brazil without being in them. I really don't think that they did it with the dart throwing method. lol.gif

Perhaps Apple being the ultimate control freaks bought the entire country from the Netherlands. 

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post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Perhaps Apple being the ultimate control freaks bought the entire country from the Netherlands. 

Odd that Curaçao produces pretty good baseball players, and is not really known for soccer like the Netherlands is.
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post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It does appear that way. This may be a Monster Cable Scenario. Meaning, Monster Cables may have slightly better impedance, slightly better shielding, or even be made slightly better but it doesn't warrant the cost and you're not going to get a better experience from them, so I wonder if the chances of a severe hurricane hitting Curaçao is so slight that it really wasn't a concern for Apple.

So what is the reason? Taxes? Protection? Cost? Some major trunk line? Something else entirely?

Since Apple is said to be acquiring an almost completed project from a bankrupt company, maybe they're getting a deal which they couldn't refuse, even if there is this intermediary UIG. Distressed merchandise, in other words, and we all know how frugal Tim Cook is. Never known to spend more than 3 billion on a single thing.
post #30 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Since Apple is said to be acquiring an almost completed project from a bankrupt company, maybe they're getting a deal which they couldn't refuse, even if there is this intermediary UIG. Distressed merchandise, in other words, and we all know how frugal Tim Cook is. Never known to spend more than 3 billion on a single thing.

That sounds like an exceptionally compelling reason to me.

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post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I know nothing of their stability as a nation or tax laws but just looking at their submarine network cable map it's definitely not a bad place for a DC.




PS: I've never been to Curacao. I'll have to check that off my list at some time.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

I still think Panama is better for several reasons. Check out this historical hurricane map. As you can see we never get hurricanes,

 


-> http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/08/15/google-cables-sharks-kevlar/14099761/

post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by OcelotWreak View Post

It's only a "tax haven" if you your company (or subsidiary) is incorporated there.

 

Correct. Curacao only makes sense if it is used to serve South and Central American customers. North America has plenty of Apple data centers and the company is doing just fine tax-wise with most of their operations based in Ireland.

post #33 of 40

I don't understand how these undersea cables actually work. There are some indications that there are repeaters which I would assume require power but the illustration below does not indicate any power, just fiber elements. I'm curious how the sharks are detecting electromagnetic fields when there is only optical fiber.

 

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post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I don't understand how these undersea cables actually work. There are some indications that there are repeaters which I would assume require power but the illustration below does not indicate any power, just fiber elements. I'm curious how the sharks are detecting electromagnetic fields when there is only optical fiber.

[image]

My study of undersea fiber optic cables back-in-the-day detailed that the fiber optic lines were "erbium doped", meaning that element was added to the fiber optic line at specific intervals and when a specific wavelength of a laser interacts with it from the source end making the optical signal amplified.

I thought it was only needed on one end with the specific intervals of erbium doping causing the signal to be applied again, but perhaps this is a one jump process thus requires underseas lasers and therefore power.

I found it very interesting but since it wasn't something I was ever going to deal with and the data then was very hard to come by I was both unable nor highly motived to find out all the specifics of how it works.
Edited by SolipsismX - 8/17/14 at 7:35pm

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post #35 of 40
The timing of all this data center expansion spree is all wrong. We are on the cusp - literally in months - of a revolution in the server space, with 64-bit ARM processors going massively parallel - like 16 core on single die, and being capable of being operated at high clock speeds - north of 2.0GHz, with huge memory bandwidth, cache, etc. All while barely sipping power.

Just think about it - if we take A7 itself, and replace the GPU cores with additional CPU cores, we could potentially get an 8 core 64-bit machine (GPU cores are typically way larger). It is already "capable" of addressing as much memory as any Intel processor. Moving it to 22nm process or lower will allow further efficiency.

For years, the world has seen a Virtualization play - where monster servers are split up into smaller virtual servers. With many single points of failure that could bring down multiple servers at one shot. I believe we will see the reverse of this in the future.

This made sense when network equipment costs were ridiculously high, etc. Today, this makes zero sense whatsoever. Long term power considerations are more important than even upfront cost of all the equipment combined! And since ARM comes with cheaper upfront cost too, it is a perfect solution!
post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Very few hurricanes make it as far south as Curaçao, and the ones that do are probably not very strong.

That is correct. Further, look how many hit the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts! Apple has stores in many of those locations.

I lived in the Cayman Islands for 11 years. In 2004 we got hit hard by hurricane Ivan, the first direct hit in 72 years. It's the eye of the storm that causes the most damage, everywhere else is like some trees down and local flooding, not the massive devastation from a direct hit.

Our island was a major disaster zone after the 2004 hurricane. Many buildings were destroyed and it took more than six months (!!) to restore electricity to the majority of the island. Still, the big banks downtown were back up and running within a day or two. They are built like fortresses and they suffered minor to no damage from the storm.

Current building codes in any of those countries would not allow wood frame construction but elevated steel and reinforced concrete, watertight structures - especially for a data centre. Don't assume that apple executives were smoking the ganja when making this decision.

The tax benefits to apple are very real and they are probably geographically positioning this for bandwidth reasons as well.

Apple has all kinds of international subsidiaries for both distribution and tax strategy purposes. That aspect is hardly news.
post #37 of 40

Visiting Curacao is going to be a tax deductible trip for all of the top executives. They will build or buy a big vacation palace for all of the executives. Apple will host huge parties and use the palace to schmooze with government officials from all around the world. Apple will fly corporate executives of other companies with which they want to do business and pay for the whole trip. This will become the destination spot for anybody wanting to do business with Apple.

 

The Apple palace will become famous. This will be just another perk for top executives of other companies for doing business with Apple.

 

Wouldn't it be cool if they built a miniature version of their circular home office in Curacao? The pool in the center would be blocked from prying photographers so that the guests could do all sorts of debaucheries and not get caught.

 

This is the reason for selecting Curacao.

post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

I don't understand how these undersea cables actually work. There are some indications that there are repeaters which I would assume require power but the illustration below does not indicate any power, just fiber elements. I'm curious how the sharks are detecting electromagnetic fields when there is only optical fiber.

 

The copper sheath in your picture carries several thousand volts DC to power the repeaters. That is why there's a PE insulator surrounding it. High voltage is necessary to account for the resistance over thousands of miles. Like many land power systems, the seawater acts as a ground and return.

post #39 of 40
Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

High voltage is necessary to account for the resistance over thousands of miles.

 

The first person to discover a room temperature superconductor will be a trillionaire. End of discussion. Every inch of laid cable on the planet will be replaced. The cost won’t matter; the benefits will be worth it.

Originally Posted by helia

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post #40 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

I don't understand how these undersea cables actually work. There are some indications that there are repeaters which I would assume require power but the illustration below does not indicate any power, just fiber elements. I'm curious how the sharks are detecting electromagnetic fields when there is only optical fiber.

 

Why isn't there separating material between the steel wire and the copper?

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