Apple Offers Rare Look Inside Mesa, Arizona Data Center

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple doesn't often allow people to visit its data centers, which are located across the country, but The Arizona Republic was recently given a tour of Apple's Mesa Arizona data center, formerly the site of GT Advanced.

The Mesa Arizona facility spans 1.3 million square feet, with long, sparse hallways equipped with servers. Apple calls the Mesa site its "global data command" center, which employs a "handful" of employees working in 10-hour shifts to oversee Apple's operations data. 150 employees total are employed at the data center.

Servers in the Mesa, Arizona data center, via The Arizona Republic​
The facility is not recognizable as Apple's from the outside, surrounded by thick, dark walls draped in vines. A guard patrols the entrance to the parking lot.

Server halls contain dozens and dozens of rows of large, humming electronics. Booming fans sit above the servers in an effort to cool the technology.
While The Arizona Republic was provided with a tour and was allowed to take photos inside the data center, Apple "would not share many specifics about what happens inside the facility" due to security concerns.

The Mesa data center, and others like it, house data from Apple apps and services that include iMessage, Siri, and iCloud.

Apple announced plans in 2014 to repurpose the Mesa, Arizona plant where GT Advanced worked to develop sapphire glass for Apple products before filing for bankruptcy. Hundreds of GT Advanced employees were laid off when the company failed, with Apple at the time pledging to bring more jobs to the city.

The water-cooling system for the Mesa, Arizona data center, via The Arizona Republic​

Not long after, Apple confirmed that it would transform the Mesa, Arizona plant into a "command center" for Apple's global data network. It has been operational since 2016, and Apple has been renovating and adding on since then. According to The Arizona Republic, the most recent addition, several new halls of servers, was completed in April.

The Arizona Republic's photos of the data center are worth checking out for anyone interested in Apple's data operations.

Article Link: Apple Offers Rare Look Inside Mesa, Arizona Data Center
 
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ojfl

macrumors newbie
Jun 6, 2015
26
15
It seems the monitoring is done with Mac machines. But the pictures are not clear enough as to what the actual servers are.
 

907

Suspended
Aug 15, 2018
25
13
Cool, although I guess it doesn't look much different from any other data center.
 

Brenster

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2008
641
453
I used to be just like you! But once I got used to forking our £2.99 per month for all the cloud me and my family needs, I decided it was good value.
I hear you. £2.49 here for enough iCloud storage to back up 2 iPhones, 1 iPad Pro, 1 iPod Touch and two Macs, including all three photo libraries going back well over a decade, also being made available and synced across all of our devices.

For the facility, the peace of mind and the convenience, £2.49 is peanuts - it wouldn’t even buy a cup of coffee a month if I wasn’t paying for iCloud storage.
 

Christoffee

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2012
355
479
UK
I hear you. £2.49 here for enough iCloud storage to back up 2 iPhones, 1 iPad Pro, 1 iPod Touch and two Macs, including all three photo libraries going back well over a decade, also being made available and synced across all of our devices.

For the facility, the peace of mind and the convenience, £2.49 is peanuts - it wouldn’t even buy a cup of coffee a month if I wasn’t paying for iCloud storage.
It might be £2.49 for me too! Evidence that I just don’t care!
 

m0sher

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2018
800
763
This must really be a top-secret facility, I know the Mesa Arizona area well and I’ve never seen this building. :apple:
 
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Expobill

Suspended
May 30, 2018
1,424
927
Meh, this is all probably for churning data of all that cash they made off of iPhones and that $99.99/ per file exchanging in store service fee.
nothing to see here, move along......
 

Brenster

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2008
641
453
It might be £2.49 for me too! Evidence that I just don’t care!
When I think what I used to pay annually for the .mac and MobileMe family packs....

From what I remember, Steve’s last keynote had him declaring Apple was going ‘all in’ on iCloud and asking the obvious question ‘These guys did MobileMe, why should we trust them?’. Apple made good on that promise and the pricing is more than reasonable for what is on offer.
 

lunarworks

macrumors 68000
Jun 17, 2003
1,897
4,877
Toronto, Canada
A gigantic data center requiring massive amounts of cooling built in one of the hottest places in the USA.
There's a larger story to this.

This plant was built for GT Advanced Technology to produce high-quality sapphire for Apple. When GT ended up not being able to deliver on the promise and collapsed, Apple decided to use the building they paid for for something.
 

happyslayer

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2008
919
425
Glendale, AZ
A gigantic data center requiring massive amounts of cooling built in one of the hottest places in the USA.
I live in the area. There are a lot of call and data centers built here. Yes we have pretty high temps a lot of the year, but that is about all. No major weather issues to take down a call/data center. No hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanos or even much rain. About the only weather to speak of happens around this time of year (maybe even tonight) and those are basically just really big dust storms. So reliability is very good. Also, like the above poster said, good access for solar as well, with all our sunny days,
 

DTphonehome

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
1,772
2,300
NYC
It seems the monitoring is done with Mac machines. But the pictures are not clear enough as to what the actual servers are.
I wonder if Apple would have saved money by keeping the Xserve around and being their own best customer with all the data centers they’ve built around the world.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 604
May 30, 2002
6,898
2,187
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Did you spot the oompa loompas?
LMAO ... just finished watching Bruce Linton's interview on Bloomberg (CEO of Canopy) and he mentioned Oompa loopas as part of the conversation and then getting serious with what their business is about.

Back on topic this server looks VERY clean .. similar to Apple's products.

I'm curious if hackers grew a big solid pair if they'd go the next step and try blowing up security centres to muffle with competition? Sounds crazy but is it really that far from corporate theft and espionage?
 
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