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Open Compute Project Takes on Converged Infrastructure, Saves Facebook $1 Billion

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted January 28, 2014


The Open Compute Project officially got started in 2011 as a way to open up Facebook's server designs and help the broader IT community — it's an effort that is paying off for Facebook and many others too.

Today at the Open Compute Summit V event, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that in the last three years his company has saved a billion dollars Frankovsky by building out its infrastructure using OpenCompute designs.

"We've also saved a lot in terms of the energy consumption," Zuckerberg said. "In just the last year, we have saved the equivalent amount of energy of 40,000 homes, and if we can bring those saving and efficiencies to other companies as well, that's great."

Frank Frankovsky, Chairman of the Open Compute project, emphasized during the event that the effort has grown rapidly since 2011 and now includes over 150 member companies.

The Open Compute Project (OCP) comprises a number of efforts, including multiple sets of server-related designs that aim to optimize efficiency and deployment. OCP now also features storage and networking designs, which might lead some to believe that the effort is a player in the converged systems area.

Frankovsky, though, views the term converged infrastructure as a buzzword for proprietary lock-in.

"There are a lot of benefits of converged infrastructure — if you want a full solution that is vertically integrated you buy converged, but you'll also be locked-in," Frankovsky said.

That's where the open ecosystem of vendors that are now participating in OCP can help, enabling organizations to build the components they need without the lock-in risk.

"The solution provider network plays a critical role in being able to deliver the benefits of a converged infrastructure without the proprietary bullsh*t that typically comes with it," Frankovsky said emphatically.

As part of the evolution of OCP the effort will now also have a more reciprocal open source licence, such that any derivative works need to contribute code back into the project. Frankovsky expects the new licensing effort to increase the velocity of the project overall.

"We now have a non-blocking architecture and consumers dealing directly with OCP technology suppliers," Frankovsky said. "Historically, those that embrace open source are far more successful than those that fight open source."


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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