Apple's drives progress in data center innovations
Monday, Jan 27th 2014

Ever since breaking onto the scene nearly 30 years ago, Apple has been a leader in technology. Although the company is famous for its innovative end user offerings, including the iPod and iPad, Apple is also at the front of the pack in innovative data center design. Recently, Apple received considerable media attention when it announced plans to open a data center in the Netherlands.

New European data center
Apple stated that it is considering launching a  data center facility in Eemshaven, a seaport in Groningen of the Netherlands. Data Center Knowledge contributor John Rath said it could bring as many as 150 to 200 jobs to the area, which is becoming a growing hub of data center activity.

Rath wrote that Apple reserved a 98.8-acre site in the area, which would provide access to nearby power generating stations as well as a 156 megawatt wind farm. The move would make sense for the company, which has been aiming toward 100 percent renewable resource reliance for all its facilities for a number of years. Rath said the region also has burgeoning plans for additional alternative energy sources.

"With around 1,000 megawatts installed or under development currently, the Netherlands has plans for an additional 4,450 megawatts in wind farms at sea by 2023," Rath wrote.

Oregon solar farm
Although its Netherlands facility would most likely make use of the considerable wind power in the North Sea area, Apple's Oregon data center will utilize solar energy. The company recently received approval from local city and county officials to extend tax exemptions for IT and data center equipment procurement at its Prineville facility to use in erecting a solar farm.

According to The Oregonian, Apple was offered the opportunity to purchase an adjacent 200-acre plot of land, which would most likely be used to build a solar farm. During the construction process on the Oregon facility, which began in the fall of 2012, the organization stated it planned to use renewable power resources to power its facility. At the same time, Apple said it was working with local utilities and other groups to buy renewable power and establish "Apple-owned renewable energy sources," the news outlet stated.

As Apple continues to further its sustainability efforts with its data centers, the facilities still require the target server room temperature to function properly. Data center organizations can leverage temperature monitoring systems to ensure that their data room temperatures remain in the recommended range. Such technology monitors the cooling system, removes excess heat created by IT equipment and prevents servers from overheating and causing downtime.