The cloud market is growing and growing, and on the back of this, The Open Compute Project (OCP) is gaining traction. Recently the German infrastructure manufacturing company Rittal joined the project after developing OCP-compliant racks („Open Rack“) and cabinets for several years.
The Open Compute Project was established in 2011, as Facebook was redesigning its data center in Prineville, Oregon. After the facility was complete, Facebook decided to openly share standardized infrastructure designs for components such as compute nodes, storage servers, network switches and racks. So far, the OCP has attracted many corporate-level members like Microsoft, Apple, HPE and Cisco. The general idea behind OPC is, that open standards will win out in the data center and the wider infrastructures where they are placed.
There are many reasons for evaluating what the Open Compute project has to offer for everybody who is in the data center business: Data center efficiency is a main topic for OCP. In general, the design principles oft he project can lead to important cost savings and a smaller carbon footprint.
That’s why enterprises like Goldman Sachs have a significant amount of OCP equipment in their data centers, and Rackspace – a founding member – heavily utilises OCP for its operations. Microsoft is also named as a frequent contributor, reportedly running over 90 % of their hardware as OCP.
From today’s point of view, the idea of bringing together a community from a wide range of business disciplines, with a common goal to build better hardware is convincing: When companies are not sworn to secrecy, they can work together in the open. That ignites innovation and leads to a more efficient data center infrastructure.