Monthly Archives: August 2014
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Hot Interconnects — Facebook is in production testing of its open Wedge switch design, and is on track to contribute the design and software to the Open Compute Project. Wedge is a “top-of-rack” (small, simple, low-cost) switch with 16 (or 32) 40Gbit/s Ethernet ports, designed to be the “first building block” of the “Facebook disaggregated switching technology,” according to a presentation here by Facebook Network Architect Yuval Bachar.
Developers have been quick to try the Docker open-source project that represents a free alternative to VMware’s core virtualization software for running many apps on each server. Today, a personage no less than VMware chief executive Pat Gelsinger announced that it’s working with Docker to make Docker’s containers “enterprise ready.” But wait, there’s more. VMware has now joined the Open Compute Project, which Facebook initiated in 2011 to share its data center hardware customizations with the rest of the world. This year Microsoft contributed some of its server designs to the project, and today Gelsinger said VMware will make its new EVO:RACK hardware available on gear that meets Open Compute standards.
Facebook has developed a system called Autoscale to optimise its software infrastructure and make its datacentre more energy efficient. After making its datacentre hardware and server components more energy efficient, Facebook has now turned to optimising its software infrastructure for further power efficiency and reduced environmental impact. The social network has developed a system called Autoscale for power-efficient load balancing. Currently used in its production clusters, Autoscale has already provided “significant energy savings”, the social media giant said.
A few years ago, Facebook’s then head of infrastructure, Frank Frankovsky, was instrumental in setting up the Open Compute Project (OCP). The OCP is an industry group, led by Facebook but open to all comers, that aims to share best practice in terms of the design of server, storage and data center hardware. It’s an example of a company like Facebook using its immense scale to deliver benefits to others.