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Apple's $1 Billion Data Center Mystery 244

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it's-just-a-fruit-stand dept.
1sockchuck writes "One of year's most tantalizing technology secrets involves Apple's $1 billion investment in a new data center in North Carolina. Is it the Death Star in Apple's plan for galactic domination? Some Apple watchers predict it will be the hub for a 21st century broadcasting network. Other enthusiasts are doing flyovers to film videos of the 500,000 square foot facility. There's also an unofficial FAQ about the new data center. What is Apple up to with this huge facility?"
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Apple's $1 Billion Data Center Mystery

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  • Quote (Score:2, Funny)

    Other enthusiasts are doing flyovers to film videos of the 500,000 square foot facility.

    Jesus Christ on a crutch... is there anything Apple fanbois *won't* do?

    • Re:Quote (Score:5, Funny)

      by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @01:56PM (#34688784) Journal

      Other enthusiasts are doing flyovers to film videos of the 500,000 square foot facility.

      Jesus Christ on a crutch... is there anything Apple fanbois *won't* do?

      Calm and measured reactions to rumors?

    • by hellkyng (1920978)

      Its finally come, they are building the iChurch...

    • Re:Quote (Score:5, Informative)

      by TimHunter (174406) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:05PM (#34688948)

      I know it's always tempting (and easy) to fire off a quick anti-Apple slam, but...Jesus Christ on a crutch...couldn't you take a minute to learn the source of the video? It took me 10 seconds to find out that it was made by a local real estate agent. Somebody who quite probably has a financial interest in learning more about a billion-dollar Apple data center being built in his town. Hardly an "Apple fanboi."

      • by Pharmboy (216950)

        Please keep your facts out their speculation and karma whoring ;) Personally, I'm glad to see them build the data center, but then again, I live nearby and just happy to see the jobs. I wouldn't care if it was Google, Apple, IBM or Yahoo doing the building. We still have over 10% statewide unemployment here.

        • by FooAtWFU (699187)
          With all due respect to Apple, ask Winston-Salem how their Dell plant deal worked out.
          • by Pharmboy (216950)

            I know plenty of people who worked at Dell, (I live in Lexington now). They gave back all the money, but the real loss was all the infrastructure that was built for them. Dell never did live up to their promises, instead moving everything to Mexico.

            The data center, however, doesn't have all that infrastructure paid for by tax dollars, so it is actually a much lower risk for taxpayers. It is also a bit less likely to get moved simply because they didn't put it here because of cheap labor, but because of l

      • by dr2chase (653338)
        Can't a real estate agent also be an Apple fanboi? Think of the usefulness of an iPad for that sort of work.
        • by gtall (79522)

          You don't understand real estate agencies, they exist solely to wall off information and make you go through them to get it. The last thing they want is customers shopping for a home by driving around with an iPad and an on-line listing service.

          • by dr2chase (653338)
            No, no, the AGENT gets the iPad, it gets him location info (good) as well as a decent browser, he can access the database on the fly on house-showing days, and try to adjust his tour for better/worse showings. Because you know for damn sure his customers are checking out Zillow on the fly, right?
    • is there anything Apple fanbois *won't* do?

      Ah, a challenge! Let me think, what won't apple fanbois do?

      My top ten list of things apple fanbois won't do:

      10) Mix plaid and polka dots.
      9) Take a calculus class
      8) Pay too much for that muffler.
      7) Pay anything for that music.
      6) Drink fucking Merlot.
      5) Listen to Country and Western music in a non-ironic way.
      4) Move to a flyover state.
      3) Charge a reasonable rate for their "Graphic Design" skills
      2) Tip a waiter

      And the number one thing apple fanbois won't do?
      1) Date a member of the opposite sex.

      Badump-CHA! Than

      • by fotbr (855184)

        Unashamed apple fan here. Your list is complete and utter rubbish.

        10) Anyone who isn't blind wouldn't mix those. Or wear them at all, for that matter.

        9) Took, and passed, three of them. Also, a course in differential equations, another in partial differential equations, and several statistics courses.

        8) I do most of the work on my cars, and all the work on my motorcycle. Parts costs are actually pretty low; what people get screwed on is shop labor fees.

        7) Internet radio. Why pay for or maintain you

    • -Insert joke about girlfriends / wives-
  • by Nocuous (1567933) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @01:55PM (#34688778)
    Is the Death Star really the technology to which you want to compare this data center? How well did that work out for the empire?

    Personally, I think it's the computational center for Steve's worldwide reality distortion field. You need to really crunch the data to figure out how to bend people to your will.
    • by Amorymeltzer (1213818) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:08PM (#34688994)

      Apple has better people working for them, though. I mean, as far as design flaws go, "sometimes left-handed folks get dropped calls" is a lot better than "womprat-sized hole that automatically destroys entire facility when fired into." If Apple built the Death Star, the Rebels would have been defeated but Vader couldn't have called the Emperor to tell him about it.

    • How many Bothans have died to bring us this information?

  • by future assassin (639396) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @01:58PM (#34688828) Homepage

    They listened and now you got a real walled garden to go to and be protected by Supreme Commander Jobs.

  • by SpinyNorman (33776) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:01PM (#34688868)

    They're trying to build a simulator for Steve Jobs ego before he kicks the bucket.

    • LOL Of course not, there's no simulator big enough for that!

      But joking aside, I've been keeping up on this for a fair while, and amongst the more credible insiders, a lot of information has been released...

      Steve Jobs is designing a new kind of Apple training facility, initially for a few people who work for Apple, but eventually it will be opened to certain segments of the public.

      It's supposed to be revolutionary. Someone said it's the final solution to all our training problems. The original idea was devel

  • by RevWaldo (1186281) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:01PM (#34688880)
    The center's purpose isn't clear, but it apparently sports many catwalks, large video displays, and exercise facilities.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8 [youtube.com]

    .
  • It's 'The Cloud' that everyone is talking about.

    No, not really. They just bought some acreage to grow Macintosh, of course. Apple is officially going in to the juice business.
  • I mean, what could a large tech company want with a huge data center?

    The mind just boggles at the thought of a huge company that has and uses an enormous amount of data actually wanting a place for it.

    Next you'll tell me that Microsoft has huge data centers.

  • I'll be first in line to get my data!
  • by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:07PM (#34688976) Journal
    Amazingly, this looks a lot like Black Mesa to me.
  • Pinky. (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheWizardTim (599546) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:07PM (#34688982) Journal

    Same thing we do every night Pinky, try to take over the world!

  • by slapout (93640) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:08PM (#34688986)

    ...for employees who leak info...

  • Steve Jobs is using it as a warehouse to store his massive shuriken collection. As you recall, he threw an enormous shit fit when Tokyo airport security wouldn't allow him to board his own private jet with a couple particularly rare specimens.

    His raging tantrum over a couple throwing stars doesn't seem so childish now does it?

  • In the unofficial FAQ, is that a dirt racin' track in the background of the picture?

    After a few decades in the telecom industry, I've seen remote pops having all kinds of crazy neighbors. It kind of makes sense, its not as if a bunch of hardware would contain about the noise, and most of the time, there would certainly be plenty of parking... Not many other facilities would want to locate next to a racetrack, beyond the obvious tow truck, autoparts and hotel types.

  • The high cost is easy to explain -- they're going to fill it with Apple Macs rather than normal 1U servers. 10x cost -- after all, they _ARE_ Apple :)

    • The high cost is easy to explain -- they're going to fill it with Apple Macs rather than normal 1U servers. 10x cost -- after all, they _ARE_ Apple :)

      Actually, Macs probably don't cost Apple very much at all...

  • by Quantus347 (1220456) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:22PM (#34689186)
    You can't see it yet on Google Maps yet, but the Data Center is listed as located at 45.725613, -113.622258, or at 6081 Startown Road, Newton, NC 28658
  • Maybe they're going to put computers in it? Like lots and lots of them?

  • what's google doing building a huge facility in Pryor Oklahoma? So they will have 3 huge facilities soon... West coast, east coast (Manhattan) and midwest... Maybe apple has paid for some lessons...
  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:30PM (#34689298)
    this is obviously the Royal Tomb.

    Apple employees: I have some distressing news about the company Retirement Plan...
  • The real question: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:32PM (#34689336) Journal
    Now that they've taken the Xserve out back and given it the 'ol' yeller treatment', what exactly is humming away in that fancy new datacenter of theirs?

    Are they actually taking their own risible advice, and packing the place floor-to-ceiling with the "3 mac-pros-per-12U-shelf-what-is-this-'LOM Card'-you-speak-of?" server configuration?

    Will this facility be the world's largest collection of hackentoshes? Is this going to be the most humiliating "Get The Facts" microsoft ever gets to do? Will somebody actualy be running Darwin for reasons other than perverse experimentation?
    • Are they actually taking their own risible advice, and packing the place floor-to-ceiling with the "3 mac-pros-per-12U-shelf-what-is-this-'LOM Card'-you-speak-of?" server configuration?

      No. It will be stuffed floor to ceiling with Mac Airs and old, version I AppleTVs. This will result in such a concentration of Mac Awesomness that it will result in the Singularity.

      Unfortunately, since it will happen in North Carolina, no one will take notice of it for a couple of decades.

      • by Stregano (1285764)
        Or they stuff it full of those crappy color Macs (you know, those ones that got the multi-color idea off of Gameboys) and maybe some Apple 2e's to result in a concentration of Mac suck so bad that North Carolina is kicked out of the US
    • by varmittang (849469) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @04:28PM (#34690898)
      http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2010/07/21/the-technology-inside-apples-new-idatacenter/ [datacenterknowledge.com]

      Here are some factoids gleaned from Apple’s job postings:

      - Apple says that its “data center environment consists of MacOS X, IBM/AIX, Linux and SUN/Solaris systems.”
      - The Maiden facility will have a “heavy emphasis” on high availability technologies, including IBM’s HACMP and HAGEO solutions for high-availability clusters, Veritas Cluster Server, and Oracle’s DataGuard and Real Application Clusters.
      - Job candidates are also asked to be familiar with storage systems using IBM, NetApp and Data Domain, and data warehousing systems from Teradata.
      - Networking positions require a familiarity with Brocade and Qlogic switches.

    • by tnk1 (899206)

      Now that they've taken the Xserve out back and given it the 'ol' yeller treatment', what exactly is humming away in that fancy new datacenter of theirs?
       

      Dells. Lots and lots of Dells.

  • the steve jobs reality distortion field came from the turtle neck, did you?
  • Apple is trying to construct a structure large enough to contain Steve Jobs' ego. I predict failure.

  • Heh, they have everyone snookered into trying to figure this place out so they won't be trying to get the inside scoop on the latest iPad/iPhone/iwhatever device update. They also have all of the Apple engineers sequestered until July.

  • Slashdot ran the idea of an Apple broadcast network back in June: http://apple.slashdot.org/story/10/06/05/219214/The-Apple-Broadcast-Network?from=rss [slashdot.org]
  • Do you guys think iTunes downloads, Genius calculations, MobileMe, AppStores, GameCenter and whatnot all just exist for free? I wouldn't be half surprised if the datacenter wasn't, at least partially, to consolidate existing stuff.

  • Specifically, it is a high-speed, state-of-the-art rumor mill.

  • But I would think that Apple is going to use it for the App store they are about to launch. In my mind apps are going to take up a bit more space than music files. That and their current offerings in media continue to grow.
  • I call BS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @03:50PM (#34690410)
    Where is this $1 billion price tag coming from? I've seen facotries go up twice that size for under $20 million, so unless the thing is filled with solid gold doorknobs I'm doubting that pricetag. Also, all these "sources" are random apple fanboi tech sites. It's apple rather well known for spawning their own viral mysteries to help build up suspense for their next big thing? To me that looks like your standard manufacturing plant, look at the water towers... why would you need those in a data center? Maybe they're sick of the bad press from china and might start offering an american made version of some of their hardware? It's clear their customers don't care about price.
    • Where is this $1 billion price tag coming from? I've seen facotries go up twice that size for under $20 million, so unless the thing is filled with solid gold doorknobs I'm doubting that pricetag. To me that looks like your standard manufacturing plant, look at the water towers... why would you need those in a data center?.

      The price does seem way too high. But the water towers actually make sense. They are a backup water supply (for cooling) in case something happens to the main water supply.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @03:53PM (#34690438) Homepage

    It will be as if a million Google servers cried out in terror.

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