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Apple Opening A New Data Center in Silicon Valley

Data Center Knowledge reports Apple is adding a new data center in Silicon Valley, set to open in the third quarter of 2011 to provide “additional IT capacity” to Apple’s rumored new cloud services that include music, video, storage, and more. The new space, commissioned to DuPont Fabros Technology, is located in Santa Clara, California, and it’s smaller than the massive data center Apple has been building in Maiden, North Carolina, throughout 2010 and 2011.

Apple is expanding its Internet infrastructure with a new data center in Silicon Valley, as it prepares to bring additional server and storage capacity online later this year. The new server space, housed in a third-party facility, will be smaller than the huge iDataCenter that Apple has built in North Carolina.

DuPont Fabros disclosed the Santa Clara lease in its first quarter earnings, but did not reveal the name of the tenant, which is consistent with its policies. In a conference call with analysts, company executives described the tenant as a “Fortune 50 technology company with excellent credit.” But multiple industry sources have since confirmed that the tenant is Apple.

The website suggests that the wholesale data center space model might be convenient for Apple if they’re looking to deploy a new facility quickly in the next few months, “as wholesale space can be delivered more rapidly than building a new data center.” According to Data Center Knowledge, this new lease refers to a 11,000 square feet space, compared to the 500,000 square feet facility in North Carolina, which had been rumored to be set for an expansion at 1 million square feet as well.

DFT’s Santa Clara site will be built in two phases, each with 18.2 megawatts of capacity. When it is completed, the building will span 360,000 square feet, with a total of 176,000 square feet of space on a 42-inch raised floor, which allows cooling capacity for high-density server installations.

It’s not clear whether Apple has any expansion options for additional space at the facility. But many of DuPont Fabros’ largest tenants follow a pattern in which they lease space in the first phase of a data center, and later take additional space once the second phase is available.

It’s not clear at this point how the new data center is going to be used and if Apple is already planning an expansion by ordering more space; more details about DuPont Fabros and the Santa Clara facility can be found in the original report here.

In the past months, speculation had pegged Apple’s data center plans to be focused on a major MobileMe revamp, dubbed iCloud, to be announced at the upcoming WWDC as part of the next version of iOS and Mac OS X Lion. The North Carolina data center powering iTunes and MobileMe services was rumored to be ready for launch this Spring, but no additional details were provided by Apple on the facility’s official opening, leading many to believe work hasn’t been finalized yet. Back in April, a report also claimed Apple had ordered 12 petabytes of storage for iTunes video content, without mentioning, however, whether such a massive storage would be destined to streaming, or the existing iTunes Store infrastructure.

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