Category Archives: Rackspace
The Open Compute open source hardware project got its start more than three years ago when social media giant Facebook, which was at the time using custom server designs it created in conjunction with Dell, sat down with Rackspace Hosting and a number of other big datacenter operators and worked out the means of open sourcing hardware designs to drive innovation in servers, storage, switches, and datacenters and to drive down the cost of that infrastructure at the same time.
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.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is launching one of the largest Open Cloud networks in academia. The network utilizes OpenStack software, co-founded by Rackspace, and Open Compute hardware, founded by Facebook, and will support advanced computing and big data analytics research. The UTSA Cloud and BigData Laboratory, with more than 20 doctoral students, will utilize the network to research new technologies and innovations in various areas of computing. The laboratory was built in collaboration with industry partners such as Rackspace, Open Compute Project Communities, Mellanox, Internet2, ZeroVM and many others.
There are two trends happening in the IT hardware market, each gaining momentum but offering very different ways of outfitting data centers. On the one hand, companies with enormous data centers such as Facebook, Rackspace, Google and Goldman Sachs are creating their own compute, storage and network devices using cheap, commodity components. The pieces are built to a standard – organized by the Open Compute Project (OCP) – to ensure they interoperate, and they are then are assembled to create hardware that is finely tuned to the specific needs of an organization.
Given the degree to which open source software has worked its way into the corporate data center, it’s interesting to dream about how “open source hardware” espoused by the Open Compute Project might let us cast off the yoke of vendor lock-in and save money on data center hardware. The reality is that hardware designed to meet the needs of Facebook and Rackspace may not be much use to the average enterprise data center. The first thing you have to realize about Open Compute designs is that, like the rich, service providers are different. They don’t buy servers one or even a hundred at a time; they provision whole data centers all at once. Those servers are also committed to very specific use cases rather than general-purpose computing.
Network World – At the Open Compute Foundation summit held this week, Rackspace announced that it is following in the footsteps of founding OCF member Facebook and will build its own compute and storage servers based on the open standards the foundation has lobbied for. Rackspace plans to roll out the new OCF-based servers in its newest east coast data center, which it hopes to open in the first half of this year, says company COO Mark Roenigk.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — This morning, Facebook and a slew of big names in cloud computing and data center hardware unleashed a whole boatload of news — new hardware designs, new jobs, and new partnerships — all around the Open Compute Project. AMD and Intel both showed off some new hardware products. Rackspace announced it has customized its own server hardware around OCP designs — and contributed its customizations back to the project. And Fusion-io was talking about its new 3.2TB ioScale card, also an OCP product.
SAN ANTONIO – In the battle for the hyper-scale data center, long-dominant server OEMs like Dell and HP are doing battle with a growing challenge from firms offering custom server designs. If you’re looking for the front lines in this battle, look no farther than companies like Rackspace Hosting. Rackspace is one of the fastest-growing cloud computing providers. The San Antonio company spent $202 million on servers and storage for customers over the past year, adding more than 12,000 servers in its data centers.
Rackspace is gearing up to host an Open Compute Summit conference at its San Antonio, Texas, headquarters (May 2-3). The summit, held twice annually, will focus on energy efficient IT infrastructure — servers, storage and data center infrastructure — and working sessions for engineers to collectively shape and define the Open Compute Project (OCP) community. Dropping a few big names, the Rackspace blog post states that the summit “brings representatives of the OCP board including Facebook, Goldman-Sachs, Intel and Arista Networks together for brainstorming sessions, panel discussions, and a keynote address on the latest OCP projects.”
The second Open Compute Project Summit was a resounding success, but that just means we as a community have a lot of work ahead of us to advance the goals and benefits of open hardware. Through a series of presentations by industry luminaries and technical workshops, hundreds of participants came together and discussed the Open Compute Project initiatives. The Open Compute Project Foundation and its board were announced. Modeled after the Apache Software Foundation, the OCP Foundation will design and deliver tangible goods and source files to let people deploy OCP hardware in their environments.