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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A new report says local officials expect Apple's $1 billion data center in North Carolina to begin operations "any day now," while aerial footage of the site shows continued construction, supporting rumors that Apple may double the size of the server farm.



According to a Data Center Knowledge report published Sunday, the data center is "fully operational," with Apple beginning to "ramp up production" at the server farm. The Cupertino, Calif., company could be planning to build a second facility on the site, the report notes.



Rumors of a planned expansion to the data center by Apple picked up steam last week when John Paczkowksi of Digital Daily, citing anonymous sources, reported that Apple was considering doubling the 500,000 square-foot space. The North Carolina data center is already five times larger than the company's current data center in Newark, California.



Apple first announced the Maiden, NC location for the data center in July 2009, although few details of the project have been released. The company has also begun hiring workers for the data center and is expected to create at least 50 Apple-badged employees and as many as 250 ancillary positions.



In July, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer told analysts during an earnings call that the North Carolina data center remained on schedule. "We expect to complete it by the end of the calendar year, and begin to use it," said Oppenheimer.



Though the exact purpose of the massive server farm remains unknown, analysts speculate that it will play a central role in Apple's move toward cloud computing and streaming media. Apple's new $99 Apple TV, with just 8GB of on-board storage, is built for streaming. Additionally, the recently released MacBook Air, which Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs called the "future" of the entire MacBook line, is equipped with only flash memory. With the entry-level 11.6-inch model sporting just 64GB of flash storage, the ultra-thin notebook line would greatly benefit from cloud-based initiatives.



Local realtor Bill Wagenseller added to the speculation of a second facility by posting a YouTube video containing aerial footage of the nearly operational data center. In the video, a large-scale construction project is seen underway directly behind the data center, although it is unclear whether the work is for the rumored expansion.







"Though there has been no official announcement, I discovered that site work is being performed and it clearly appears that there may be some truth to the speculation," Wagenseller wrote in the video's description. In February, Wagenseller posted footage of the server farm while under construction.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 93
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 93
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,594member
    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.



    Nonsense - with only 50 employees for a 24 / 7 operation they don't need much parking - that would only be about 15 people working each of 3 shifts. Besides, it looks like the one end of the building might be a parking garage as it has a driveway going in and out the other side.
  • Reply 3 of 93
    That has to be the whitest building I've ever seen.
  • Reply 4 of 93
    they seriously need a big apple logo on top.
  • Reply 5 of 93
    +1 It looks like parking.



    If you compare it to the video shot on Feb 19, 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDXSSi1qStA

    it shows parking for a few hundred vehicles in the same spot.
  • Reply 6 of 93
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Data Center!
  • Reply 7 of 93
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    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.



    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.
  • Reply 8 of 93
    Being Apple has mentioned the data farm however has not gone into detail suggests something BIG to come. Bigger and more intense than just cloud streaming of Itunes.



    Stay tuned the answer is coming sooner than we expect.
  • Reply 9 of 93
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    New home of the App Store? With the Mac App Store coming within 90 days, this new data centre is approaching ready.
  • Reply 10 of 93
    The back of Apple's data centre is better looking than the front of Microsoft's.
  • Reply 11 of 93
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Data Center!



    Beat me to it!
  • Reply 12 of 93
    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.



    A more than 500,000 square foot parking lot? For roughly 300 employees?



    The additional site actually looks larger than the already-built facility. Remember the scale we're talking about. I doubt that's all for a parking lot??. and they wouldn't have left a massive parking lot for the last minute, would they?



    I definitely think they're building something else, but I wouldn't assume it's more data-center space they're building? hmmm, chip fab plant maybe? )
  • Reply 13 of 93
    Added parking for developers come to plead their case following Mac App Store screening.



    (sarcasm, don't get spun up)
  • Reply 14 of 93
    By the way, at the lower end of the building is what looks like a parking lot, with quite a large number of cars already in it (I'd assume there are a large number of engineers in there working to get things set up), and it's only about 1/3 full? They look fairly small, but it's a rather huge building… the scale is hard to grasp from the video.



    [update] on second viewing, those are too symmetrical, and maybe a bit small to be cars…? hmmm, maybe part of that top area is for parking, but surely not all of it?
  • Reply 15 of 93
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 93
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


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



    I agree!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by speedxdesign View Post


    they seriously need a big apple logo on top.



    Big enough to be seen by the ISS as it flies over!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Data Center!



    HAHAHA!!! BRILLIANT!!



    Incidentally, that's a HUGE building for only 300 employees. Especially if they're broken up into shifts. I think working there would be a somewhat surreal experience. The building alone (without the rumored expansion) already covers more than 10 acres! Boggles my mind!
  • Reply 17 of 93
    Ladies and gentlemen I give you ED209
  • Reply 18 of 93
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 93
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Data Center!



    POST OF THE MONTH
  • Reply 20 of 93
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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.



    Yup, let's look up who robo-signed all that stuff. They might know something... Or maybe not at all.
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