2010 looks to be shaping up to be the year of the self-hosted data centre, with both Apple and Twitter investing pretty incredible amounts of money to create their own enormous data warehouses.

TechCrunch reports on the news that Twitter is looking to finally add some real power to its platform - and, perhaps, end the 'over capacity' messages once and for all - with its own data centre to be located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Speaking on the company's engineering blog, Jean-Paul Cozzatti stated that self-hosting is required due to the microblogging service's phenomenal growth "with over 300,000 people a day signing up for new accounts." Cozzatti also points out that a custom data centre dedicated to Twitter gives the company "full control over network and systems configuration, with a much larger footprint in a building designed specifically around our unique power and cooling needs."

The data centre, which will be brought on-line over the next two years, will be in addition to the company's existing hosting with NTT America.

While Twitter's new data centre is set to be a bit of a beast, Apple's new hosting site in North Carolina is likely to cast a far larger shadow: Geek.com is claiming the company is spending roughly $1 billion on the project. Once it's completed early next year, Apple will find itself the owner of one of the largest data centres in the world.

Apple's Peter Oppenheimer claims that the new data centre "will provide Apple with a major East Coast infrastructure hub to support its iTunes music store and iPhone app store," but the incredible size of the site - in total, the new data centre takes up more than 500,000 square feet - would appear to suggest the company has something a little more impressive up its sleeve than simply expanding the AppStore.

Many believe that Apple's investment in the North Carolina project indicates that it is attempting to build a cloud computing platform to rival Google - one of the few companies that will still be able to boast bigger private data centres than the Cupertino company once the project is complete. Although the most popular theory is that Apple is working on a cloud-based iTunes (similar to, say, Spotify), other possibilities include a move towards web-based versions of popular Apple packages such as iLife and iMovie to compete with Google's Docs and YouTube services.

Are you looking forward to the day when the Fail Whale no longer terrorises innocent Twitter users, or more curious about precisely why Apple needs such a large data centre? Any Mac fans hoping for some cloud-based goodness? Share your thoughts over on the forums - and speaking of Twitter, you should follow bit-tech.

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