Apple has reportedly placed large orders for storage equipment from Isilon Systems that can support 12 petabytes of scale-out storage, according to a report in a storage industry publication. Storage Newsletter says the Isilon gear will manage video downloads for iTunes subscribers, attributes the information to “an inside source of the new dvision of EMC.” In November EMC announced plans to acquire Isilon for about $2.2 billion.
The report has sparked a new flurry of speculation that Apple is ramping up its storage infrastructure to equip its new North Carolina data center, presumably to power a cloud-based “storage locker” that can house music, video and other media for iTunes users.
Isilon specializes in scale-out NAS (network attached storage), which allows companies to begin small and scale quickly up to muiltiple petabytes in size, while maintaining high levels of performance and availability.
Apple’s new iDataCenter in Maiden, North Carolina is nearly five times the size of the company’s primary California facility, suggesting that the company anticipates major growth in its data storage needs. Apple’s long-term plans for the site include a second data center of similar size, and in recent months the company has obtained construction permits for preliminary work on the site of the second building. Formore background on the facility, see the Apple Data Center FAQ.