The Apple data center in Maiden, North Carolina. (Photo: Apple)

A Look Inside Apple’s iDataCenter in North Carolina

Apple has provided the first look inside its data centers in a series of media interviews designed to promote its use of green energy. In interviews with Wired and The Today Show, Apple Vice President of Environmental Initiative Lisa Jackson has shown off the massive solar power arrays that power the company’s data centers in Reno, Nevada and Maiden, North Carolina.

The NBC video includes a brief look inside the Maiden data center, where correspondent Anne Thompson walks through the hot aisle of a row of servers. The aisle is contained, with end doors and clear ceiling panels, and Jackson says the temperature is about 103 degrees.

Why the hot aisle? Apparently it’s to conceal the server and storage technology Apple is using. “I was allowed to describe everything I saw, with one exception: the manufacturer of the servers,” writes Wired’s Levy (who also appears in the Today Show piece). “I can say that they are not Mac Mini’s or anything else that you’d buy in an Apple store.”

Here’s a look at the video. The data center tour begins at about the 1 minute mark. Yes, there’s probably a pre-roll ad.

You can also check out the video at The Today Show site.

Levy, who also got the first look inside Google’s data center, doesn’t provide much detail on the data halls or technology, but offers observations on Apple’s design aesthetic.

“The outside of the administration building has some sweet design elements, like decorative strips of terra cotta paneling in three shades of red, giving it a feeling of a desert lodge,” he writes. “The halls are festooned with huge, neatly hung photographs of tiny details iPhones and other Apple devices. Even the computer rooms seem to have an Apple vibe—they’re not so industrial. The doors to the hot aisle have frosted glass, like lavatory doors at a hip restaurant. The air-cooled facility is relatively quiet; unlike some other data centers, no earplugs required. You get the feeling you could probably eat off the server floor.”

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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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  1. Bernard J Michalski

    Would like to know more about the Apple Industry of data .