Apple to build new cloud infrastructure as Verizon sells off data centres – reports

datacentreTwo US tech giants are heading in opposite directions regarding datacenters, according to a couple of recent reports

Local US news sources report that Apple has filed a permit with Washoe County in Nevada, to build a new cluster of data centre facilities near its original Reno site. The planning application for Apple’s new ‘Project Huckleberry’ involves the construction of the full shell of a new data centre, several data centre clusters and a support building. The new Huckleberry project will have essentially the same design as an earlier installation in Reno, dubbed Project Mills, according to Trevor Lloyd, senior planner for Washoe County Planning and Development’s Community Services.

Apple was first attracted to invest in the area in 2012 when it received an $89 million tax abatement incentive to locate in Reno Technology Park. Apple recently applied for permission to build a new substation to support further development as the existing site is reaching its capacity, according to Lloyd.

Permission for the site, based on past trends, should be granted by the end of January, according to Lloyd. Tax incentives for cloud infrastructure projects could make economic sense for regional development authorities given their long term impact, according to Mike Kazmierski, president of western Nevada’s Economic Development Authority. “When you put tens of hundreds of millions of dollars on a huge data centre project, you’re in it for the long haul,” said Kazmierksi.

Cloud service provider Rackspace is also planning to build a data centre at Reno Technology Park.

The demands that data centres make on the local community are minor in comparison to benefits that a cloud computing infrastructure brings to the community though economic investments – and owners of data centres should use this in negotiations, according to Kazmierski.

Meanwhile, a large stock of cloud infrastructure could come on the market as telco Verizon Communications reportedly began a process to sell its global estate of 48 data centres. According to insiders quoted by Reuters Verizon is aiming to raise over $2.5 billion and streamline its business. Currently the colocation portfolio generates $275 million in EBITDA.

Telcos such as AT&T, CenturyLink and Windstream have also divested themselves of their data centres businesses in recent years.