Apple, the popular hardware maker and media services provider, is building a new data centre facility in North Carolina, US. According to a research note published by a financial analyst yesterday, when complete it could be “among the largest such facilities in the world".
First announced in 2009, the facility in Maiden, NC covers 500,000 square feet. According to the local development authority, Apple will invest $1 billion in the facility over ten years.
Speculation about what Apple plans to do with the new data centre – five times the size of its current facility – is rife.
In yesterday’s research note, Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research suggested five possible uses. It could be used to support Apple’s advertising network, future consumer cloud-storage services, music or video streaming services or voice-activated personal organisation services, based on its acquisition of voice technology start-up Siri last year.
Sacconagi noted that the company spent $1.7 billion on IT assets in 2010 (more than Google, Microsoft or Amazon), indicating that "Apple’s anticipated computing needs are massive".
In 2010, Apple paid a Maiden couple $1.7 million for their property in order to make way for the data centre. The couple had paid $6,000 for the one story house and its plot of less than one acre of land in 1976. They now live in a mansion, local news sources reported.