After Delays, iDataCenter Set for Spring Debut

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The huge new Apple data center in North Carolina has apparently hit some delays but will open this spring, the company said yesterday at its annual meeting. Apple  also confirmed that the facility in Maiden, N.C. will support its iTunes and MobileMe services, according to AppleInsider, which had access to the shareholders-only meeting.

It’s long been known that the new data center would support iTunes and MobileMe. The suspense has been whether those services would undergo a cloud transformation that would explain the enormous scale of the 500,000 square foot iDataCenter. Apple didn’t fill in the blanks yesterday, leaving tech news outlets to revisit recent reports that the facility will house retooled versions of iTunes and MobileMe featuring “cloud lockers” providing easy access to users’ music, videos and photos.

Here’s what’s new in Wednesday’s announcements: the fact that the North Carolina data center is apparently not yet live. Last fall sources said the iDataCenter was prepping to go live “any day now.” There are many different reasons why the opening of a data center can be delayed. One possible factor: the sudden death in November of Olivier Sanche, Apple’s Director of Global Data Center Operations, a role in which he oversaw the preparations of the new $1 billion facility.

Will we know when the iDataCenter finally goes live? Apple has been consistent in saying as little as possible about the facility. In the meantime, check out the Apple Data Center FAQ for a complete rundown of what we know and don’t know about the huge North Carolina facility (shown below).

An aerial view of the new Apple data center in Maiden, North Carolina, excerpted by a new video by Bill Wagenseller.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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