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Apple leases space in new Silicon Valley data center

Cult sets up shop in someone else's server room

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Apple has leased space in a new Silicon Valley data center, according to a report citing "multiple industry sources".

Data Center Knowledge reports that Apple has signed a seven-year lease for space in a new data center being built in by DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT). DFT discussed the lease in reporting its first quarter earnings, and during a call with analysts it described the signee as a "Fortune 50 company", but it did not name Apple specifically.

Apple already runs its own data centers in Newark, California, and at its headquarters in Cupertino, California, and it's close to completing a $1bn data center in western North Carolina. The cult-like company is taking a different approach in leasing space from DuPont Fabros, and presumably, this is because it will soon need access to additional data center space as it prepares to launch a new set of online services under the name iCloud.

Rumors indicate that Apple is preparing beta versions of iOS 5.0 and Mac OS X Lion that hook into services that will allow users to store and synchronize a wide range of data on Apple servers. Reports indicate that Apple's North Carolina facility will anchor the services, but the DuPont Fabros data center could provide some redundancy. Apple is leasing only about 11,000 square feet of space from DFT, whereas its North Carolina facility offers 140,000 square feet of data center space.

Apple has promised to "unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS" at its Worldwide Developers Conference next month, and this will almost certainly involve iCloud. Last month, GigaOm reported that Apple recently purchased the iCloud.com domain for $4.5 million from Swedish outfit Xcerion. Tellingly, Xcerion has moved its desktop-as-a-service offering from iCloud.com to CloudMe.com.

At its annual shareholders meeting earlier this year, Apple indicated that its Maiden, North Carolina data center would support its iTunes and MobileMe services, but a report from AppleInsider says that iCloud is the next incarnation of MobileMe. ®

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