When Apple told us to expect big things out of iCloud at its WorldWide Developer’s Conference earlier this summer, we knew it was going to be big.
We just weren’t sure how big.
Today the Associated Press is reporting that Apple has filed it plans to invest more than $250 million into a new data center in Prineville, Ore. that will measure in at 500,000-square-feet. The space will be used to store a countless number of data storage units.
A construction start date has yet to be set for the project that’s located on about 160 acres of property.
Prineville, Ore. is located in central Oregon, about three hours southeast of Portland. The rural community is near the Ochoco National Forest.
Apple is currently working on another 10,000-square-foot data center in Prineville and Facebook plans to build an additional data storage facility in the same city. Oregon’s relatively cheap electricity rates makes it attractive for technology companies to come in and set up shop.
One Prineville resident, in an Apple forum, said he’s looking forward to the construction projects, as the town is dealing with nearly 13 percent unemployment. Apple will likely install solar panels around the data center in an effort to be more environmentally friendly.
“I live in Prineville oregon and we get a nice amount of sun (a lot more than portland does) and as for why they would choose this location is simple the land is very cheap here and they want to compete with facebooks data center,” the resident said.
What does this mean for iCloud?
For one, Apple is expecting to increase the amount of iCloud customers substantially after the release of the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini.
Mac OS X Mountain Lion, the newest operating system for the Mac family lineup, includes greater iCloud integration, and we’ve told that iOS 6 will also utilize the cloud technology to a greater degree.
That’s one reason why the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini are likely going to include a new dock connector with less pins. The current 30-pin connector was to increase sync times between the computer and the iOS device. With iCloud, everything will sync over the air.
Apple’s $1 billion North Carolina data center is a similar in square-footage to the planned Oregon center. It also includes a 100-acre solar farm. That data center houses storage unites used for iCloud, iTunes and Siri, according to Apple Insider.