Apple Building Out Minor Data Center Capacity Expansion in California
Data Center Knowledge reports that while Apple's massive new data center in North Carolina has been gaining all of the attention over the past year or so, the company is still looking to expand capacity elsewhere, as evidenced by a recent commitment for space in a third-party data center in Santa Clara, California near the company's headquarters.
In April, Apple signed a seven-year lease for 2.28 megawatts of critical power load in a new data center being built in Santa Clara, Calif. by DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT), a leading developer of wholesale data center space. The lease is scheduled to commence in the third quarter (July to September), when the building opens.
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.
According to the report, the commitment is notable as it appears to be Apple's first foray into the wholesale data center market in which tenants lease built-out data center space, a market that allows companies to quickly deploy new data capacity without the long lead time needed to construct and outfit a new leased or owned facility from scratch.
Apple's new capacity in Santa Clara is, however, significantly smaller than that of its new North Carolina data center or even its smaller one in Newark, California, barely registering as a blip in the company's overall data center capacity.
The Silicon Valley lease works out to about 11,000 square feet of data center space. By comparison, the iDataCenter in Maiden, North Carolina is 500,000 square feet, and includes more than 184,000 square feet of data center space, according to records filed with local officials.
The move could, however, indicate that Apple is seeking some relatively short-term space to carry it through a period of increased data needs as it pursues more significant expansions elsewhere. Such an expansion could come by Apple taking either additional space in the new facility, which will total 360,000 square feet when fully built out, or new space at a separate location. The company has, however, been assumed for some time to be interested in building out additional West Coast data center capacity to rival the new North Carolina facility, as most Internet companies do provide major hubs on both coasts for increased performance and backup capabilities.