Facebook-Led Open Compute Project Plans The Future Of The Data Center, November 08, 2011 There’s a new open source project--led by giant companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Dell--that is looking to change data center hardware in the same way that traditional open source projects have impacted software.
The Open Compute Project, which recently held a summit in New York to announce several new projects, is dedicated to finding a way to do for large data center hardware what projects like Linux and Apache have done for enterprise software. The Open Compute Project has released specifications for data center hardware, including servers, racks, batteries, and cooling and electrical design. With these open specifications, the idea is that companies and vendors will be able to build products designed to these open hardware specifications. The focus of the Open Compute Project is on the highest-end data centers, the kinds that one would find in companies such as Facebook and Amazon. But there is potential for some of these designs to find their way eventually into smaller data centers. And there is a great deal of potential for savings in power, better and cheaper cooling, and much greater interoperability for hardware in a data center.