updated 10:22 am EDT, Wed March 27, 2013
Precursor facility sets stage for larger complex
An initial, smaller building in Apple's new Reno datacenter is finished and "just days away from going online," AppleInsider says it has learned. The structure -- roughly 15 minutes east of Reno itself, in the Reno Technology Park -- occupies roughly 20,000 square feet, and relies on five large fan vents plus water cooling to keep temperatures down. Although surrounded with a simple fence, the building is also protected by a mix of security guards and camera-equipped lamp posts. An AI source says that the facility should start operations within the next few weeks.
The building is believed to be a precursor to a much larger finished complex. Apple owns 345 acres surrounding its current footprint, roughly twice the area the company has devoted to a datacenter being developed in Prineville, Oregon. The early Reno structure could be a "tactical" facility, meant to supplement the core datacenter, much like similarly-sized buildings in Prineville and Maiden, North Carolina.
Once ready, the Reno complex will represent Apple's fourth large-scale datacenter in the US. The company has been pursuing an aggressive expansion plan for such facilities, likely due to an ever-increasing reliance on iCloud, the continued popularity of iTunes and the App Store, and the need to support Siri and Maps.