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Apple Building Out Minor Data Center Capacity Expansion in California

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Apr 12, 2001
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Data Center Knowledge reports that while Apple's massive new data center in North Carolina has been gaining all of the attention over the past year or so, the company is still looking to expand capacity elsewhere, as evidenced by a recent commitment for space in a third-party data center in Santa Clara, California near the company's headquarters.
In April, Apple signed a seven-year lease for 2.28 megawatts of critical power load in a new data center being built in Santa Clara, Calif. by DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT), a leading developer of wholesale data center space. The lease is scheduled to commence in the third quarter (July to September), when the building opens.

DuPont Fabros disclosed the Santa Clara lease in its first quarter earnings, but did not reveal the name of the tenant, which is consistent with its policies. In a conference call with analysts, company executives described the tenant as a "Fortune 50 technology company with excellent credit." But multiple industry sources have since confirmed that the tenant is Apple.
According to the report, the commitment is notable as it appears to be Apple's first foray into the wholesale data center market in which tenants lease built-out data center space, a market that allows companies to quickly deploy new data capacity without the long lead time needed to construct and outfit a new leased or owned facility from scratch.

Apple's new capacity in Santa Clara is, however, significantly smaller than that of its new North Carolina data center or even its smaller one in Newark, California, barely registering as a blip in the company's overall data center capacity.
The Silicon Valley lease works out to about 11,000 square feet of data center space. By comparison, the iDataCenter in Maiden, North Carolina is 500,000 square feet, and includes more than 184,000 square feet of data center space, according to records filed with local officials.
The move could, however, indicate that Apple is seeking some relatively short-term space to carry it through a period of increased data needs as it pursues more significant expansions elsewhere. Such an expansion could come by Apple taking either additional space in the new facility, which will total 360,000 square feet when fully built out, or new space at a separate location. The company has, however, been assumed for some time to be interested in building out additional West Coast data center capacity to rival the new North Carolina facility, as most Internet companies do provide major hubs on both coasts for increased performance and backup capabilities.

Article Link: Apple Building Out Minor Data Center Capacity Expansion in California
 

Doctor Q

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It makes sense that Apple wouldn't want to put all of its eggs in one basket. Nor all in the United States for the long term.

I see that the Santa Clara facility is LEED-rated. I wonder how green the North Carolina facility is.
 
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shompa

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Jul 23, 2002
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18.2 Megawatt? That is a heck of a lot of mac mini servers.

The smaller 2.28 megawatt is probably for Steves personal prototype G5 powerbook.
 
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guzhogi

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18.2 Megawatt? That is a heck of a lot of mac mini servers.

I really wish Apple would bring back the Xserve, and make it something Apple would actually want to use in its own data centers. Sure, it may not sell very many nor make huge margins, but that doesn't mean it isn't important. I would really love better integration in enterprise marks between Macs and servers. Mac Pros/Mac Minis don't cut it in the enterprise market, Windows servers cost so much in licensing and don't have the same integration.
 
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goobot

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This is probably just for the increase of users where the new facility is for a new server feature.
 
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M-O

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18.2 Megawatt? That is a heck of a lot of mac mini servers.

The smaller 2.28 megawatt is probably for Steves personal prototype G5 powerbook.

or the iPad running Snow Leopard.
 
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paul4339

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11000 sq feet in santa clara near their HQ? Sounds like something more for their own internal use (eg. test lab) rather than the NC data center which is something for public use.
 
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3282868

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Eddyisgreat

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Oct 24, 2007
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I really wish Apple would bring back the Xserve, and make it something Apple would actually want to use in its own data centers.

Why would they need to? Apple can and will build applications on top of big iron from various vendors that wouldn't run on a standard 10.6 sno leopard box anyway.

Don't get me wrong I enjoy working with xServes in the field, and probably would have went with one in my recent most server deployment, but I wasn't the most popular one in the room for that opinion ;)
 
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steadysignal

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maybe someday there will be an announcement for a product apple is selling that will utilize all these DCs.

all rumors aside...
 
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djrobsd

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What a bad location for a data center... The Bay Area doesn't hold up well in a natural disaster. ;) They should be building these in places like Vegas and Phoenix.. ;)
 
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firewood

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diamond.g said:
Hmm, what is the other 316K sqft used for?

The other 316k sq ft? Some new data centers allocate an entire top floor just for power efficient cooling. Otherwise the cooling can end up costing more than all the servers.
 
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ericinboston

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All this yapping for over a year now on these supposed data centers. If they are truly data centers, I'm not sure what Apple is waiting for. :) It's not like there has been any big rumor coming out about AppleTV trying to take on Netflix/PayPerView...maybe iTunes Cloud but who knows. Seems like a lot of dead-end stories with these data centers.
 
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AppleMan101

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Possibly for distributing lion?
...
and similar distributions in the following years?

is there any evidence of them getting small DCs around the world in addition to the ones that have been getting all the press attention in the US? it would be a good use of some of their cash which is tied up overseas.
 
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res1233

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Face it, haters: the twenty-teens are the decade of Apple.



I wondered that as well. Let the tin foil hats descend and make theories with their half-baked heads.

Isn't it obvious? It's where Apple is going to store this year's alien spacecraft salvage. We all thought that building in NC was a data center. Guess again! Alien headquarters. My tinfoil hat is getting a little tight, I'll be on later.
 
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jglavin

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Mar 21, 2006
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18.2 Megawatt? That is a heck of a lot of mac mini servers.

The smaller 2.28 megawatt is probably for Steves personal prototype G5 powerbook.
18 MW over that 300k qsuare foot building is something like 60 watts per square foot. That's like a third of what a normal data center uses these days, so if that's true it is an efficient operation indeed.
 
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bradl

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Only problem I can see is this is proximity to the San Andreas (which really isn't overdue to go off, thanks to Loma Prieta) and Hayward (which is LONG overdue) faults. The South Bay area sits squarely between them, if not outright on the San Andreas (which splits the Bay in half).

It's funny that they also would build closer to them, while other Silicon Valley companies are investing in data center space up in Sacramento, which is well out of the fault area.. they already have a software development site nearby in Elk Grove, so I wonder why they wouldn't have looked a bit further out, but still in the Norcal area..

BL.
 
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KingCrimson

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18 MW over that 300k qsuare foot building is something like 60 watts per square foot. That's like a third of what a normal data center uses these days, so if that's true it is an efficient operation indeed.

Cite?
 
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MorphingDragon

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Mar 27, 2009
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I really wish Apple would bring back the Xserve, and make it something Apple would actually want to use in its own data centers. Sure, it may not sell very many nor make huge margins, but that doesn't mean it isn't important. I would really love better integration in enterprise marks between Macs and servers. Mac Pros/Mac Minis don't cut it in the enterprise market, Windows servers cost so much in licensing and don't have the same integration.

Apple uses Oracle solutions as far as we know. They literally have no need for the xServe themselves.

Also Mac OSX will integrate into almost any IPA server.
 
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4miler

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Oct 11, 2009
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I guess people in California don't see the danger of building a data centre in an earthquake zone. The Japanese didn't see the problem of building a nuclear plant in an earthquake zone - so maybe Californians are just as myopic. That's one reason not to use Apple's cloud services. When the "big one" comes, Apple's data services go down with it. Come to think of it -- the main hub that controls the internet - is that in an earthquake zone somewhere in California?
 
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0007776

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I guess people in California don't see the danger of building a data centre in an earthquake zone. The Japanese didn't see the problem of building a nuclear plant in an earthquake zone - so maybe Californians are just as myopic. That's one reason not to use Apple's cloud services. When the "big one" comes, Apple's data services go down with it. Come to think of it -- the main hub that controls the internet - is that in an earthquake zone somewhere in California?

It's not like they wouldn't have off site backups of everything, and I doubt that a data center will send out nearly as much radiation as a nuclear plant, so it's not really a fair comparison. Anyway, I'd be more worried about tornadoes or hurricanes hitting their other data centers than earthquakes. Powerful earthquakes don't happen all that often.
 
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diamond.g

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The other 316k sq ft? Some new data centers allocate an entire top floor just for power efficient cooling. Otherwise the cooling can end up costing more than all the servers.

I have had a great many conversations about raised floor versus dropped ceiling when it comes to cooling. You wouldn't need to dedicate a whole floor for that purpose.
 
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