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New Video of Apple's Enormous iDataCenter 182

1sockchuck writes "A new aerial video provides a rare look at Apple's new data center in North Carolina, which is expected to begin operations as soon as this week. It reveals the scale of the facility, which at 500,000 square feet will be among the world's largest data centers. The video, shot by a North Carolina real estate agent, also shows additional site preparation work that could support rumors that Apple plans to build another huge data center at the site." This is what drone cameras are for.
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New Video of Apple's Enormous iDataCenter

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  • by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:06PM (#34006484)

    It costs $1000 because they had to custom-design a lot of internal parts and do stuff to make everything fit. For instance, the flash memory is directly on the board rather than in a separate enclosure attached by a SATA cable. Also, the display on the 11" apparently has more pixels than the display on my 13" MBP. Other than the fact that it's tragically small and that I don't think I could realistically be able to work on anything smaller than my 13", it seems like a pretty nice machine, at least when compared to all the cheap crap netbooks I've interacted with (My 10" EeePC was so terrible for me that I gave it away).

  • by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:10PM (#34006508)

    Which won't put a significant dent in their $51 billion dollar cash reserves.

  • by darrylo ( 97569 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:44PM (#34006654)

    I'm sure they've thought of this, but I really hope that the river next to it doesn't flood ....

    (Rummages through FEMA's awful web site for flood maps) Well, that's interesting. Apple's probably OK, as the 1% flood line doesn't appear to cover their site. However, there's an interesting line on the map called, "limit of study", that appears to end before the site... Assuming that I have the right location, google maps is here [], and here is FEMA's flood map [] (note: FEMA's link was working earlier, but now appears to be broken -- I hope I got the link right).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:55PM (#34006716)

    500k sqft is a decent size datacenter for a single building, though there are a number of larger [] datacenter [] buildings [], and many larger datacenter complexes (like Stone Mountain at 6 million sqft) [] or (DataPort at 3.5 million sqft) [].

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Sunday October 24, 2010 @06:04PM (#34006760) Journal

    Apple has always been the biggest customer for Xserve. Not sure what they're using now, but when the iTMS store was launched, all of the machines serving the store pages in iTunes were Xserves, with some combination of Sun and IBM systems to run the back-end order processing SAP services.


  • Re:Hey, (Score:2, Informative)

    by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Sunday October 24, 2010 @06:10PM (#34006802) Journal

    Because 1) Apple's already got a massive data center here, and 2) it's a good idea to put redundant data centers on opposite sides of the country.


  • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @06:42PM (#34006978) Journal

    Cheap TVA electricity.

    Actually, they are located close to McGuire nuclear power plant [] (owned by Duke Energy), and near 4 major hydroelectric dams on the Yadkin River that create High Rock Lake, Tuckertown, Badin Lake (Narrows) and Falls lake, which are managed/quazi-owned by Alcoa []. Alcoa doesn't make aluminum here anymore, so they have power to sell, and usually do during peak time. There are also a number of coal and natural gas plants nearby. I live about 70 miles from the new data center, and was somewhat surprised that they put it in such a low density area, until I realized how much power capacity is nearby. TVA isn't really a factor in this part of the country, as I believe all the hydro power around here is privately owned.

    Electricity usage in NC is way down, due to all the textile and furniture manufacturing moving to China and India, plus all the aluminum manufacturing is now gone. Those industries were typically BIG consumers of electricity. My understanding is that all the power plants in this region are running well below their peak output, so we literally have more than we know what to do with here. I would imagine that electricity is damn cheap for Apple to buy in bulk, which is a major portion of their expenses.

    Also, it doesn't hurt that NC is located somewhat in the center of the eastern USA, and 2/3rds of the population lives east of the Mississippi river, so it is actually a good location, geographically. The rather new Dell plant near Winston-Salem was just shut down (moved to Mexico), and there has been rumors of Apple buying it for manufacturing as well. There are lots of good reasons that would make sense, since the state spent MILLIONS in new infrastructure to the plant just a few years ago, and the workforce around here is generally good with a manufacturing history, AND both UPS and FedEx have major hubs about 30 minutes away at GSO. Would love to see that happen, only because we need the jobs with over 10% unemployment here.

  • Re:What OS? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 24, 2010 @07:09PM (#34007138)

    Can't say how I know, but they're mostly using Solaris and AIX with non-Apple backend storage.

    And it went online on Thursday.

  • by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @07:32PM (#34007246)

    I had no idea top500 was about datacenters...

    You're right, it's not. It's about supercomputers. The first one on the Top 500 list I could find information on regarding area was #4, Kraken. It's only 2,000 square feet. OP just needed an excuse to put down the iPad, lest he risk loosing the "leet" 3's in his his username.

  • by dakameleon ( 1126377 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @07:35PM (#34007262)

    Especially since those costs may never be realized by the people running the company -- a lot of the the price is paid by people living in that area, e.g., look what happened to Flint, Michigan after GM closed its plant, almost overnight the crime-rate skyrocketed []. GM didn't have to pay for the social costs of that, the taxpayer is. But the taxpayer is also paying the price in greater carbon emissions, lower quality of life (at least for the unemployed), and loss of tax revenue, etc.

    It's called Externalities [], and the negative externalities are what taxes are meant to compensate for, though imposing import tariffs to discourage off-shoring is considered bad form these days.

  • by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @07:46PM (#34007352)

    Apple sells hardware. All of this is non-revenue generating investment, it's just a way to consume profits.

    No, but it's a way to create future profits by making their hardware more appealing through cloud services the way the App Store has made iPhones more appealing to consumers.

  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @10:03PM (#34008134) Homepage Journal
    Most of their XServes and mac pros are actually assembled in the US. Not sure if it's due to the weight(those beasts can be quite heavy and thus really expensive to ship), export restrictions or what.
  • Re:What OS? (Score:4, Informative)

    by fnj ( 64210 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @03:26AM (#34009468)

    Sigh, no to both posters, OS X is neither Mach nor BSD. It is built on XNU, a hybrid kernel built on Mach, with BSD bits to provide the Unix process model, POSIX API, the network stack, file systems, and some other goodies. The BSD bits were adapted from FreeBSD with significant modifications. There is also something called I/O Kit to provide drivers, and this part is unique to OS X.

    XNU has been greatly developed from the original created by NeXTSTEP. The Mach part has been changed from Mach 2.5 to Mach 3.0, the BSD part has been changed from 4.3BSD to FreeBSD as a base, and Driver Kit has become I/O Kit.

  • by crovira ( 10242 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:28AM (#34011860) Homepage

    The OP asked "Is there a square meter of the Earth's surface that hasn't been flown over and photographed in the last month?"

    The answer is NO, by several sources, down to a resolution of less than 3 inches.

    Just because you don't have access to it because you can't find better than KH-11 imagery doesn't mean that the imagery doesn't exist.

    I have seen embarrassing photos of infamous people sunning themselves, from 490 miles away. :-)

!07/11 PDP a ni deppart m'I !pleH