updated 03:45 pm EST, Thu February 3, 2011
Start of operations delayed?
Apple is likely employing specialized hardware at its newest data center, a third-party announcement suggests. While refusing to name their client directly, two firms -- Instor and Electrorack -- say they have finished a project involving custom enclosures at a large data center in North Carolina. Apple only recently established a facility in the vicinity of Maiden in Catawba County.
Instor and Electrorack were hired through Holder Construction, known to have worked on the Apple data center. The two companies claim that their enclosures were "built specifically to address the owner's precise and unique requirements concerning airflow, cable management and equipment mounting." Electrorack describes the facility as "landmark," having "truly changed the playing field in terms of size, efficiency, and engineering."
The firm further mentions "highly-aggressive implementation schedules" and "one-off solutions." The president of Instor, Bob Hancock, adds that there were "times when changes to specific racks had to be made to accommodate certain third-party systems." Scheduling may be the most significant matter though, as if server enclosures were only just finished, the data center may be past deadline. It was officially slated to start operations by the end of 2010, though Apple's definition of operations has been deliberately vague.
The company has kept the facility's purpose a secret. Various reports have indicated that the company may be working on streaming iTunes content, and/or providing other cloud services.