Monthly Archives: October 2014
Microsoft has released the second-generation server design specification created to support all of its 200-plus cloud services into the public domain. This is the second server spec the company has contributed to the Open Compute Project, a Facebook-led initiative to bring the ethos of open source software development to hardware and data center design. Microsoft became the second data center operator to open source its server design specs (first one was Facebook) in January, when it joined OCP and announced its first OCP server.
VMware has expanded on its ultra-converged hardware scheme EVO:RAIL, and its forthcoming big brother EVO:RACK which defines a data center design – and promised to share elements of EVO:RACK with the Open Compute Project. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger promised to share features of the EVO:RACK specifications with the Open Compute Project, the industry grouping which was initiated by Facebook to create open source hardware specifications for data centers. This is something of a turnaround as Gelsinger has been critical of Open Compute in the past and VMware is keeping a tight grip on the specs for the small-scale OPEN:RAIL systems.
If you’re in the data-center business, you’ve probably been following the Open Compute Project(OCP). And if you haven’t, you should. OCP is Facebook’s response to dealing with a server count that likely exceeds a million. Their innovations around scale and serviceability are simply too compelling to ignore. The industry can’t ignore the designs rising out of OCP. It’s a very disruptive approach. I’ve been working in data centers since a 300 MB disk was the size of a washing machine, and I’ve watched what happens when companies are stubborn to adapt. You’ve got two choices when disruption comes to the marketplace: embrace it or die a slow, agonizing death.
Ever wish you could start with a clean slate and build your data center from the ground up with the most optimized equipment? Well, a few years back, Facebook engineers did just that– designing and building their own servers, power supplies, server racks and battery backup systems. The result was the Facebook hyperscale data center in Prineville, Oregon. And then in 2011, they shared and open sourced the specs for the hardware.