What would it mean if Apple wanted to take all the songs in all the iTunes libraries sitting on all the hard drives of its users and host them in the cloud? It would probably require Apple to build an enormous data center to house the operation. There are widespread reports that Apple is contemplating such a shift.
As it happens, Apple is also building a major new data center in Maiden, North Carolina that will span 500,000 square feet. The enormity of the new facility - which will be nearly five times the size of the company’s 109,000 square foot Newark, Calif. data center – has raised questions about Apple’s ambitions. Why would it need all that data center space?
A Shift to the Cloud?
I discussed this question in an August interview with Leander Kahney at the Cult of Mac blog. A recap: The most interesting question is whether Apple needs a much larger facility to support growth in its existing services, or is scaling up capacity for future offerings. One of the leading theories about the size of the NC project is that Apple is planning future cloud computing services that will require lots of data center storage.
More of the Data Center Knowledge article from Rich Miller