updated 04:05 pm EDT, Wed May 18, 2011
Could serve as backup for North Carolina facility
Apple is in the process of establishing a new datacenter presence in Silicon Valley, industry sources say. Specifically the people claim that Apple has signed a seven-year lease with a third-party Santa Clara center run by DuPont Fabros Technology. The lease includes 2.28MW of critical power load, and is scheduled to begin in the third quarter after the center is opened. The lease has technically been public knowledge since DuPont Fabros' Q1 results call, but at the time the signer was identified only as a "Fortune 50 technology company with excellent credit."
The space allocated to Apple is estimated to be about 11,000 square feet. That makes the operation far smaller than Apple's facility in North Carolina, which measures some 500,000 square feet with over 184,000 of that assigned to the datacenter proper. Apple already has other California datacenters in Newark and Cupertino, however, and could choose to expand within the Santa Clara space once DuPont Fabros completes a planned expansion.
Apple's intentions for the new datacenter are unknown, but it's speculated that it could serve as backup or a complement to the one North Carolina. The latter has been officially described as for iTunes and MobileMe, although in reality Apple is expected to launch related cloud services such as a media locker and/or streaming support. The technology may be referred to as iCloud.