Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Around the world, data centers are popping up to service the continued expansion of cloud services into mainstream computing. Following the lead of Google, IBM, Amazon and others, Apple continues to prep massive data centers east and west for its new thrust into cloud computing services. The debut of Apple's iDataCenters and its new cloud computing services, rumored to debut soon, will include the rollout of its iCloud.com domain.
The first cloud service to be offered by Apple will likely be dedicated to streaming music to iPads, iPhones, iPods and even PCs running iTunes—but that is just the start. Apple is also planning to retool its MobileMe service to provide a "storage locker" in the clouds not only for music, but for any file—enabling its iOS-based devices to store massive amounts of personal and corporate data that can be quickly accessed from the clouds as if it were stored locally.
The eastern Apple iDataCenter (not to be confused with the data center management app by the same name) houses a massive half million square feet of server farm and support facility space in rural North Carolina. Apple’s eagerly awaited cloud music service will most likely be streaming music from this new data center in Maiden, N.C. The iDataCenter was personally welcomed to the state by Gov. Bev Perdue, who signed an agreement that gives Apple a state tax credit worth $46 million.
The sprawling iDataCenter in North Carolina is rumored to be setting Apple back a cool billion dollars, and will draw an astounding 100 megawatts of power, which had to be negotiated with Duke Energy Corp. (Charlotte). The installation will boost Apple's cloud computing capabilities with five times more throughput than its existing 100,000-square-foot data center in Newark, Calif.
Apple has already reached agreements with EMI Group, Sony and Warner Music Group regarding its plans to stream audio to mobile device users who own those songs and which have been authorized to stream them. The only remaining holdout is Universal Music Group—the last member of the big four—which is expected to sign on before Apple unveils iCloud.com at its Worldwide Developers Conference next week (June 6-10 in San Francisco).
Apple is also planning a new data center in Santa Clara, Calif., which is being built by DuPont Fabros Technology—a developer of wholesale data center space. This smaller 11,000-square-foot facility consumes 2.3 megawatts. Apple has signed a seven-year lease on the space, which is near the company’s Cupertino headquarters. The new western iDataCenter is rumored to be housing a reinvented MobileMe service retooled to offer storage locker space for cloud computing tasks.
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 10:29 AM