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Open-source principles have contributed to US$1.2bn in IT cost savings at Facebook through the commoditisation of enterprise hardware and switches, the social network’s programme manager John Kenevey said. Kenevey was in Dublin earlier this week to address the Open Tech Ireland gathering on SDN technology, presented in co-operation with the Irish Software Association, Intune Networks, KEMP Technologies, and Sanctum Networks.
Instagram announced last week that it’s picked up its billions of images stored in Amazon Web Services (AWS) and dumped them into Facebook’s own servers in one of the largest data migration operations ever undertaken. News of the move came from this interview with Facebook infrastructure engineer and Open Compute Foundation program developer Charlie Manese. Manese revealed that the massive migration took about a year to organize and an additional month to carry out. As a result of moving onto Facebook’s infrastructure, Instagram now uses about a third fewer servers, something that significantly reduces its operating costs, Manese notes.
Optical storage has also been used for long-term data retention and environmental stress tests indicate that the latest generation of Blu-ray optical media should have an expected life-time of at least several decades. At the Creative Storage Conference Bill Cubellis from Sony said that properly made archival grade optical discs should have a shelf life of 50 years. At the Open Compute Project Summit in January 2014 Facebook presented a 1 PB Blu-ray disc storage system prototype with 10,000 discs. Facebook estimated that this system would reduce the storage costs by 50% and the energy consumption by 80% compared to their current cold storage system (probably HDD based).
Commodity pricing pressure is forcing changes in the top-of-rack switch market. Pluribus Networks, a networking startup that specializes in switches with an operating system that enables network virtualization, is the latest vendor to feel those effects. It will rely on a third-party integrator to manufacture its top-of-rack data center switches from now on. Merchant switch silicon from Broadcom and other chip makers have largely commoditized the top-of-rack switch market. Several startups have emerged with network operating systems designed to run on white box or bare-metal switches. Dell recently became the first OEM switch maker to open up its data center switches to third-party operating systems. Now, Pluribus has decided that selling and supporting software is more important than selling low-margin top-of-rack switches.
Facebook has migrated Instagram’s colossal collection of images out of Amazon Web Services and into its own bit barns. News of the move comes in this interview with Facebook infrastructure engineer and Open Compute Foundation program development chap Charlie Manese conducted by Australian hyperscale compute appliance startup Infrx . At about the 7:45 mark of the video, Manese says Instagram has moved onto Facebook infrastructure and now uses about a third fewer servers, “obviously reducing our costs from when we had it on the Amazon platform.”
Facebook has credited its focus on designing and developing its own data centre infrastructure – including playing a pioneering role in terms of Open Compute – with saving the social network US$1.2bn in IT costs in the past three to four years. Facebook program manager John Kenevey spoke to Siliconrepublic.com about the social network’s work with the Open Network Foundation (ONF) to encourage software defined network (SDN) standards, as well as Facebook’s focus on the Open Compute Project to bring open-source thinking to hardware creation. Kenevey will be speaking in Dublin on Monday at the Open Tech Ireland gathering on SDN technology.
Some think the cloud will be stored and driven on white box technology – no-name computers and datacenter processors assembled for peanuts in their millions using mass-produced, non-specialist parts. Others say initiatives like Facebook’s Open Compute are the future. The company aims to create a wide-scale, open, bare bones computing infrastructure by re-engineering everything from network architectures to motherboards and power supplies to find new, low cost efficiencies and alternatives.
On Thursday, June 26, the WHIR is excited to be hosting a webinar with HP called the Top 5 Considerations for Transitioning to Open Compute. The free webinar kicks off at 1 pm ET, and will feature a presentation from Curt Belusar, HP Director of Platform Research and Development. During the presentation, Belusar will share the top considerations for transitioning to Open Compute platforms in a data center. He will also share more about HP’s Open Compute portfolio.
Your Instagram photos aren’t where they used to be. This spring, even as some 200 million people were using Instagram on their smartphones, a small team of engineers moved the photo sharing service from Amazon’s cloud computing service—where it was built in 2010—into a data center operated by Facebook, which bought Instagram in 2012. “The users are still in the same car they were in at the beginning of the journey,” says Instagram founder Mike Krieger, “but we’ve swapped out every single part without them noticing.”
Pluribus Networks Brings the Server-Switch Paradigm Into the Broader Commercial Market at White-Box Economics
The Pluribus Freedom Server-Switch architecture developed over the last four years has been validated by the recent Facebook ‘Wedge’ announcement, which combines switching and compute into a modular and open top-of-rack form-factor platform. The Pluribus E-Series based on open off-the-shelf technologies while leveraging the Pluribus NetvisorTM network hypervisor is in fact the first broadly available server-switch in this new category of SDN platforms, unlocking the disruptive potential of new networking business models, while poised to adopt the OCP architecture in the future.
Founded in 2011, the Open Compute Project has been gaining attention from more and more organizations. The promise of lower cost and open standards for IT servers and other hardware seems like a worthwhile endeavor; one that should benefit all users of IT hardware, as well as improving the energy efficiency of the entire data center ecosystem. The open source concept has proven itself successful for software, as witnessed by the widespread adoption and acceptance of Linux, despite early rejection from enterprise organizations.
Using reference designs for Open Compute servers, Rackspace has developed three custom designs specifically for OnMetal. The company has identified four workloads that stand to benefit the most from the bare-metal cloud service (processing web requests, background processing, RAM-based caching and database servers) and modified Open Compute designs for them. The Open Compute Project is an open source hardware and data center design initiative started and led by Facebook. Open source server designs currently available through OCP were originally developed by Facebook for its own purposes.
Social media giant Facebook is one step closer to ousting Cisco Systems as its primary datacenter switching supplier with the launch of a new top-of-rack engineering project inside of the company code-named “Wedge.” As in the front of the wedge that is going to split apart the $20 billion and fairly monolithic datacenter switching market. Jay Parikh, vice president of infrastructure engineering at Facebook, divulged some of the details on the homemade Wedge top-of-rack switch at the GigaOm Structure conference in San Francisco.