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Apple may lease data center space in Silicon Valley

Apple's name is reportedly on the lease for part of a new data center in Santa Clara, Calif. Previously, the company has built its own facilities.

DuPont Fabros Technology's data center in Santa Clara, CA where Apple is said to be a new tenant.
Apple is said to be a new tenant at DuPont Fabros Technology's new data center being built in Santa Clara, Calif.
DuPont Fabros Technology

Apple's data center efforts could be expanding yet again, with the company reportedly leasing space from a new wholesale data center facility in Silicon Valley.

Data Center Knowledge reports that Apple signed a seven-year lease with DuPont Fabros Technology last month, worth approximately 11,000 square feet of data center space in its Santa Clara, Calif., facilities. The beginning of the deal is slated for sometime in the third quarter, when the facility is up and running.

This data center effort would differ from Apple's existing strategy, which has involved the company building its own facilities. Apple has data centers in Newark, Calif., as well as in Maiden, N.C. The latter facility is 500,000 square feet, roughly five times the size of the one in Newark.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the lease, and DuPont Fabros does not reveal the name of its tenants. Nonetheless, the company listed details about the lease within its first-quarter earnings report (PDF), with executives noting that it was a Fortune 50 technology company. Data Center Knowledge pegged Apple as that company based on confirmation from "multiple sources."

What Apple does within its data centers continues to be a topic of interest for industry observers. Most of that curiosity still centers on Apple's efforts in the cloud, particularly with user data and media storage. Apple this year is widely expected to re-launch its MobileMe service as a storage locker, offering users a way to access myriad files no matter what device they're on. The data centers could also play a crucial role in Apple offering an iTunes subscription service.

Apple spent more than $1.7 billion during fiscal 2010 on IT assets, according to an analyst report from Bernstein Research published in March. The firm estimated that Apple plans to spend close to a billion more than that during 2011's fiscal year, which ends September 24.