Apple begins work on $68m Oregon data center

Apple begins work on $68m Oregon data center

Summary: Work on the iPhone and iPad maker's new Oregon data center is set to begin, powering more than 150 million iCloud users.

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Apple has begun the first phase of its new $68 million data center in Prineville, Oregon, as the technology giant moves forward with serving even more cloud-reliant customers. 

According to local news sources, Apple has started to clear and flatten the land for one of two buildings that will take around 338,000 square-foot of space. (That's about twice the size of an average Costco store, The Oregonian says, or about 320 times larger than the average New York apartment.) Apple's data center is a stones throw away from Facebook's own data center on the other side of the highway, a prime position for securely housing user data.

At some point in the future, likely next year, Apple will begin work on the second building -- adding about 16 rows of servers in total -- with room for even more should the Cupertino, CA.-based firm decide to expand its operations there.

Apple currently has around 150 million iCloud users, and that figure is expected to grow exponentially as more Apple products support the cloud-based technology. iCloud supports documents, photos, music and video, along with application data from third-party developers.

According to AllThingsD in April, the technology giant was granted a 15-year tax break in return for a $250 million investment in the data center, along with 35 employees who will run the facility.

Apple says on its website:

Our newest data center, located in Prineville, Oregon, is just getting under way [...] At Prineville we have access to enough local renewable energy sources to completely meet the needs of the facility. To achieve that goal, we're working with two local utilities as well as a number of renewable energy generation providers to purchase wind, hydro, and geothermal power -- all from local sources.

While Apple bangs on about its renewable energy sources, critics and green energy activists claim Apple is using too much energy from non-renewable sources, such as coal. Greenpeace still has yet to grant Apple an "A" rating for its data centers, for instance.

Topics: Apple, Big Data, Cloud, Data Centers, Data Management

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14 comments
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  • $68 million seems low

    I'm not a data center designer so I have no experience in this area. However my company has built some large data centers and the costs easily exceed $68 million.
    ye
    • $68 million is just...

      for the first phase of the project.
      msalzberg
      • I'm reading phase one as building one.

        Maybe it's different. If it's just one building, as in the way I'm reading it, it still seems quite low.
        ye
        • Agreed, seems low, but...

          that comes out to $200/sq ft, which is actually high. Those are NYC construction costs, not Oregon costs.
          msalzberg
    • Yes,

      less than 50 cents per user.
      kingkong88@...
    • icloud beta

      correct me if i'm wrong but icloud is still designated as beta by Apple?
      so they charge users for a beta service and still get a tax break?
      warboat
  • Can't Wait to See How . . .

    . . . Toddy will twist this one!
    Gr8Music
    • I'll say it straight...

      A 15 YEAR TAX BREAK for investing in their OWN company and 35 employees!?!

      I wish they WERE making this up!
      ahmazin
      • Sign of the future

        Old joke is coming true: The future is one employee and a dog... The employee is there to feed the dog and the dog is there to keep the employee away from the computers...
        rejohnson
      • It's called "The Facebook Bill"

        A 15 year Tax Break? I'd suggest it would employ a few hundred workers during building works, but then settle down to the 35 employees who run the site. If they had said Call Centre, then maybe, but what would be the real benefit to the State? No wonder the US is in financial trouble (Wonder how FB went?).
        mattmuir
  • Who cares about Greenpeace?

    Honestly, is there anybody that cares about whether Greenpeace approves of Apple? Millions of iPad, iPhone, and Mac buyers certainly don't care even one tiny little bit about Greenpeace. Besides that millions of people use Google, and they also don't care about Greenpeace.
    arminw
    • i care...

      not greenpeace specifically, but the environment in general. the world is built on so much convenience and not acting like the oil gauge is getting low. global warming is a real threat and burning all this stored energy at once and concentrating it into our environment so we don't sweat will have it own repercussions. the world needs to forget about hydro and wind power. solar power is the answer to our energy needs and global warming. if you think about it, you convert the heat from the sun instantly and use it immediately or store it rather than creating a bunch of heat all at one time. more solar energy hits the earth in one hour than the entire world uses in a year. think about how great solar is. just think how much solar energy would curb the energy used for air conditioning as that heat is exhausted outside so it stays cool inside. solar panels could replace the oil on our roofs, parking spot roofs, soon windows, commercial building roofs and many more. the big speed bump to get over though is cost of solar panels, high quality inverters and high quality big batteries.
      focusandconcentrate@...
      • Solar

        I'm a fan of solar energy. Even living here in oft cloudy Oregon I've got solar panels on my roof. But your misconception is that it is the heat from the sun that powers the solar panels. Photovoltaic cells take the rays from the sun, not the heat, and convert it into electricity. They actually are more efficient on a cold and sunny day than a hot and sunny day. But as much as I like solar I have no illusion that it can solve all our energy needs. There's no sunlight for half of the day (on average) and clouds can definitely get in the way. I want to see us move to more renewable energy but it will have to be a combination of sources, more like what Apple proposes.
        boomchuck1
  • They had to put it in Oregon

    I suppose that Utah refused to back up Apples Porn collection to the cloud.
    dcsos