Apple Builds Giant Data Center In North Carolina – But For What?

Mac_mini_Intel_CoreEarlier this month Google CEO Erik Schmidt parted with the Apple board of directors because Apple and Google are closing in on each others core businesses. Most people will probably say that Google is closing in on Apple, with the launch of Android, Google Chrome, Google Chrome OS and so on, which was also said to be the reason why Erik Schmidt decided to leave. But what if Apple is actually also planning on entering Googles home turf…?

You see, Apple is looking to spend one billion U.S. dollars to build a gigantic 45,000 square meters data center in North Carolina, more than four times as large as the company’s largest data center today. And they won’t even tell us what it’s for!!

No big surprise, really. Apple is known to keep its new products and technologies a secret until launch. It has created fertile ground for speculation.

It is expected that construction will start shortly, dual fiber connections have already been installed. The data center is expected to create 50 full-time jobs, maybe even 100 jobs once the facility becomes fully operational, as well as 250-300 temporary construction jobs in the region that has been hit hard by the economic crisis. It is estimated that the facility could be responsible for as many as 3,000 jobs in the regional economy, including construction, operation, and maintenance of the facility itself, as well as indirectly as a result of increased economic growth.

This billion dollars investment in a data center can be a sign that Apple has big thoughts about cloud computing. The largest Apple data center currently is in Newark, California, and Apple also has a data center near its headquarters in Cupertino.

In addition, Apple uses the global network of Akamai and Lime Light Networks to distribute its digital content.

What do you think this data center is for? The successor to Snow Leopard could be a more cloud-based operating system, or what are they up to?

Some how I doubt they are going to use Mac Minis in their new data center, but it would be cool to have one of those racks!

9 thoughts on “Apple Builds Giant Data Center In North Carolina – But For What?”

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  3. “45,000 square meters data center” now that’s one hell of an iPod 😆 Seriously though, just imagine another attempt by someone to throw Google of their mighty pedestal, now that would be something to see 😉
    .-= Blazing Minds´s last blog ..Review: Skechers Shape-ups, walking on air! =-.

    • Hehe, well, I sure don’t hope they’re going after Google… I need Apple to keep focus on what they’re good at and make sure they optimize their MobileMe service because it’s not really living up to it’s value for being a paid service, too many issues with e-mail, in particular.

      But it’s hard for me to guess on what they might be up to that requires such a big facility. Maybe we’ll know more after September 9th (I think it is) when they’re having a conference or something about music, some new stuff expected to be revealed by then.

  4. Wow, my mind is churning trying to think what they could be using it for. Could it be tied to the long-rumored Apple tablet? Maybe the tablet will download Apple-controlled content (similar to the Kindle). Or maybe they are expecting that much more of a crush in traffic with either the tablet, or updates to their other items (iPods and iPhones), that they’re getting ready. Or maybe, as your comment mentions, it won’t have anything to do with hardware but will be some new venture. I guess time will time.
    .-= Evan Kline´s last blog ..Google Voice – A Primer =-.

    • Yeah, could just be because they expect – or am already seeing – an increase in traffic. iTunes Store, App Store etc.

      But one would think they would prefer a data center in Europe if they’re about to allow more TV shows / movies in Apple TV for the Europeans too. I’m downloading from the US iTunes Store down to my Apple TV and it runs great, SD movies play within seconds – HD movies has to buffer a bit first but then they also play while “streaming”.

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  7. They are on a top secret phase and maybe in a few months they will mass produce a new gadget. Just keep on what you are doing Apple. Surprise us all!


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