Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Apple-Google Data Center Corridor

Google and Apple may be having their tensions at the boardroom level, as seen in this week’s news that Google CEO Eric Schmidt will resign as a director of Apple. But the two technology giants are aligned in another area: the merits of western North Carolina as a haven for massive Internet data centers.

Apple’s planned $1 billion data center in Maiden, North Carolina is just 25 miles from a huge Google data center complex in Lenoir. The proximity is not an accident, as the Google project in Caldwell County prompted economic development officials in nearby towns to begin pursuing data center development.

That included Catawba County, where economic development director Scott Millar began a concerted effort to attract data centers, a process that culminated in Apple’s decision to build in Maiden. Millar believes the presence of the technology sector’s two marquee names will attract additional projects, establishing the region as a major data center destination.

“I think that from an investment standpoint, now every CIO in the country is forced to look at the merits of the Apple/Google Corridor,” said Millar. “We’re not going to quit here.”

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