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Is Fire-Damaged Apple Building A Data Center?

There are reports that the Apple building damaged by fire last night may have been a data center.

There are conflicting reports about the Valley Green Six building on Apple's Cupertino campus, which was damaged last night by a three-alarm fire. Early reports suggested it was an R&D facility, but some sources now say it was actually a data center. A post at MacRumors says the building is home to Apple's Information Systems & Technology department, which "drives Apple's corporate systems, retail systems and other key infrastructure." A CNet commenter also says the building houses the IT department, but is not the primary data center.

UPDATE: Several readers confirm that Apple's data center is actually in another building across the street from Valley Green Six, which houses IT administration staff.

An Apple spokesperson told InformationWeek and Byte of the Apple that the office at 20705 Valley Green Drive is "not an R&D building," but would not say how Apple uses the facility. As we've previously noted, some major companies refuse to confirm the location of data centers (see The Fight Club Rule of Data Center Secrecy). But then again, Apple likes secrecy more than many companies, so there could easily be other explanations for its tight-lipped PR response.

No one was injured in the fire, which burned for about three hours, according to the Santa Clara County Fire Department, which said the incident appeared to be accidental and broke out near where a construction crew had been working. The roof and second level of the building sustained the most significant damage, but there are also reports from the scene of water from the firefighting efforts flooding parts of the ground floor. If this is indeed a data center, that kind of water damage could be deeply problematic.

Anyone know more? If so, share in the comments or e-mail us.

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