Monday, March 29, 2010

Apple is notoriously secret and dramatic in how it unveils new products and company news. There's always buzz and rumors preceding company announcements, but no one ever really seems to know the full details until Apple is ready to tell us. The iPad seemed to come from out of nowhere when it was announced two months ago (it goes on sale to the public Saturday, by the way). This same kind of mystery is still surrounding Apple's East Coast data center, which has been under construction in Maiden, North Carolina since last summer. Maiden is a small town about 45 minutes northwest of Charlotte.

State officials practically bet away the farm to land Apple's server farm, giving the company an unprecedented number of tax breaks for the promise of jobs and the allure of the Apple brand. Well, last week, Apple posted 10 jobs for the data center in Maiden, most of which are technician positions. The Associated Press was among the first to break the news, and even though Apple officials wouldn't comment, many believe this signals that the $1 billion, 500,000-square-foot operation is nearing completion.

The crazy thing is that no one outside of Apple seems to know what the massive facility will house or produce. It's driving tech bloggers nuts (you wouldn't believe how many blogs there are dedicated to Apple). One of the strongest suspicions is that the data center will be used to support cloud computing. You'll have to visit Wikipedia's description of cloud computing to try to even remotely understand what it's about.

Only Apple could build something so big, so expensive, so fast, and above ground (though people are speculating about the large number of floors that are below ground), and no one know what it's going to do. But since jobs are coming, if you have experience in a related field, you might want to visit the Apple jobs website often.

Below is a short video clip of an aerial view of the data center captured last month by a Realtor who's selling land next to it.


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