1480, from M.Fr. capacité, from L. capacitatem, from capax "able to hold much," from capere "to take" (see capable). Meaning "largest audience a place can hold" is 1908. Capacitate is recorded from 1657.
Refers to "carrying capacity" which is the maximum number of organisms in which an environment can support. In more general terms, capacity refers to how much of something another thing can contain.
Concept in relation to data farms:
Carrying capacity while taking its roots in ecological terms has an almost direct integration into the notions surrounding data farms. Data farms can be thought of as an ecosystem in their own right. Under these terms there are two sub definitions which could be extrapolated. First, carrying capacity can refer to a data farm's ability to simply hold information. The second notion goes a little further to describe the ability of the data farm to actually process the data. How much data can be articulately mined and put to use. In addition the physical nature of data farms can also tie into the theories of carrying capacity and ecosystems. The large warehouse structures which house the servers and other hardware for the data centers to function is stressed as a closed ecosystem, much like earth (biosphere 1) and biosphere 2. The intention of the data farm is that it is closed off from the outside world physically and only specific data is released beyond this physical perimeter. This is inherently the premise conceived of at the biosphere 2 research space. As data filtered out of biosphere 2 its physical perimeter was kept mostly intact for a particular duration in order to test its abilities to be self-sustaining.
"In the future, McHarg imagined, humans would build and settle in 'a space buoy' located between the Moon and the Earth. Here the ecologists were to 'reproduce a miniature farm' within an artificially built biosphere providing the astronauts with food. It was supposed to be an organic community of plants, insects, fish, animals, and birds designed to have a carrying capacity for several astronauts."