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Summary:

[qi:037] Apple yesterday came a step closer to building a $1 billion data center in North Carolina. The state’s legislature on Tuesday approved a $46 million incentive package tailored to attract a data center project from an unknown company that several news outlets have identified as Apple. […]

[qi:037] Apple yesterday came a step closer to building a $1 billion data center in North Carolina. The state’s legislature on Tuesday approved a $46 million incentive package tailored to attract a data center project from an unknown company that several news outlets have identified as Apple. The state’s House will cast a final vote on the bill today before sending the legislation to the governor. Now, I have some questions about incentives for data center projects, but my real question is, what is Apple doing building a billion-dollar data center?

That’s a lot of raised floor and servers. Apple certainly needs hardware to operate its iTunes store, its MobileMe cloud and other web-based services, but does it need quite so much? Given the degree to which Apple likes to control all aspects of its products, and the rise of a variety of cloud services, perhaps it’s planning space to provide better online services. Maybe the $1 billion will buy Apple the infrastructure for an entertainment cloud to deliver everything from music to movies, along with a productivity cloud for applications and stored contacts and files. Om has pointed out that Apple needs to focus on its infrastructure if it wants to compete, so maybe this data center is Apple’s $1 billion bet on the cloud.

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  1. Maybe Apple plans to host cloud services for third-party iPhone developers. For 30% of revenue, of course.

  2. Notable News From the Tech World Thursday, June 4, 2009

    [...] Thursday, June 4, 2009 | 9:58 AM PT | 1 comment Apple is spending $1 billion over nine years to build a new data center in North Carolina. Earlier this week, the state’s governor signed a bill giving huge tax [...]

  3. What Could Make OS X 10.7 Great? Monday, August 16, 2010

    [...] With iDisk supporting a “home folder” like structure (Documents, Movies and Music folders to name a few) and local syncing, it can serve as a home folder in the cloud for most purposes. Without Terminal witchcraft, users are still left with a home folder on their iDisk and a home folder in their Users folder with no easy way to reconcile the two. Apple has always made a push for “a great experience” and what could be better than your whole home folder in the cloud, accessible from any Internet-enabled Mac? It’s almost like NetBoot on steroids but it would take a bit of foundational work first, for example, optimizing the file system. Could this be an extended use of the rumored North Carolina data center? [...]

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