by Brent Dirks
February 23, 2012
While officials in Prinevlle, Ore. worked hard to convince Apple to build a data center in the town, they also had help from a little company called Facebook. Yesterday Apple confirmed plans to build a data center in the town after purchasing a 160-acre plot of land from Crook County for a cool $5.6 million. And, in an interview with a local TV station, Crook County Judge Mike McCabe said that Facebook, who has a data center near the purchased property, helped lobby Apple:
"Facebook kind of helped recruit (Apple), saying, 'You've got to come up and look at this community.'"Speaking to the TV station, Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet was only able to confirm the company purchased land for a data center. The announcement comes after legislation passed by both the Oregon House and Senate that assures data centers in enterprise zones would not be assessed state property taxes. When the Oregon data center is complete, it will join Apple's data center (pictured above) in Maiden, North Carolina. That center went live in mid-2011 and currently supports services like iCloud, which is currently used by more than 100 million users on the iPhone, iPad and Mac. The North Carolina center is also notable because of the green technology used in the building. According to Apple, the center has earned coveted LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and uses the largest end-user owned solar array in the country. Also in the works are plans to build the largest non-utility fuel cell installation in the United States. With iCloud playing a larger part in the next version of OS X, Mountain Lion, and possibly in the mythical Apple TV/iTV that is rumored to be introduced in 2012, the new data center may be Apple's continuing way of saying that the future is in the cloud, and the data centers that power it.