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Facebook's Frank Frankovsky: Open Compute Update


Facebook's hardware design chief previews his Interop keynote by explaining why he decided to open source the company's data center designs.

Maybe it's the full beard beneath the bald dome. Regardless of whether it's energy consumption or hardware design, Frank Frankovsky gives the impression that he's got his subject in a bear hug. He's going to tell you about the whole thing; no detail will escape his attention. And he does so with a combination of gravity and geniality that makes the process highly palatable.

Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that this Ursa Major at Facebook is the founder of the Open Compute Project and has ended up as chairman of the Open Compute Foundation's board of directors. He's the de facto leader of the world's first open-source hardware project.

His official title at Facebook is VP of hardware design and supply chain operations, which means he's responsible for ensuring that Facebook has all the hardware it needs when it needs it. That's no small order, and over the last several years it has forced a rethinking of what data center builders were doing.

Anyone who has been to Facebook's data center complex in Prineville, Ore., can see the first phase of Frankovsky's work. Server motherboards sit on open sleds that slide in and out of the server rack for easier maintenance; components are arranged in channels that allow continuous air flow down the rack. Temperatures are a little higher than expected in the data center because Facebook servers are designed to run at 85 degrees and Facebook doesn't use giant air conditioner chillers to cool the air. The result of revamped server and data center design is a facility that is 38% more efficient and 24% less expensive than predecessor data centers, said Frankovsky in a recent interview at Facebook offices in Menlo Park, Calif.

... Read full story on InformationWeek

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