Apple Investing Billions in Mesa, AZ Data Center
GT Advanced Technologies, a leading supplier of sapphire glass, went bankrupt in 2014. Leaving their 1.3 million square foot building unused. Apple purchased the facility and began converting it to a massive data center. Employing upwards of 150 people.
Apple confirmed that they will be spending an additional $2 billion over the next ten years to continue to improve the existing facility. They will be building a large solar panel farm to supply much the power that is needed. Arizona’s climate is perfect for this type of green energy. Until those panels are up and running Apple is partnering with Salt River Project to buy clean energy.
No Word on What the Data Center is Used For
While Apple has the facility up and running with thousands of servers and other devices, they haven’t said what exactly the facility is used for. It is almost certain that all their biggest services will have some processing applications including iMessage, iCloud, iTunes, Siri, the App Store, etc.
Given that Apple continues to grow an expand there are going to be many other things operating out of this facility. As Apple continues to invest in this large facility, they will generate more processing power and cloud storage options.
Investments Into the Facility
It takes a lot to transform a building from one specific use into another. While GT Advanced Technologies used this location for many different things, a large-scale data center like Apple needs is not one of them. To help build the facility into what Apple needed it to be, a huge amount of time and money has been directed toward this project.
One of the biggest things that this facility has is the massive cooling system. Data centers require very strong and reliable cooling systems to keep the servers and other equipment operating at safe temperatures. While the desert provides advantages such as dryer air and solar energy, the heat can be a problem. To combat both the heat produced by the equipment and the heat from the area surrounding the facility, Apple has multiple powerful cooling units in operation.
They also have employees working around the clock in their command center to monitor the facility, the equipment, and everything else that is used. If there are any problems, the team will quickly take steps to address them so there is little, if any, impact to the end users.
It is these types of major investments into data center facilities that are powering the high-tech world we live in. While most people are barely even aware of the existence of these types of massive data centers, they are becoming more and more common around the world. Keeping up with the massive growth in processing and storage demand is just one of the many responsibilities of the tech giants like Apple.