Back in April 2011 a small core group of Facebook engineers got together to re-imagine what computer infrastructure would look like if it were affordable, fully customizable and a little easier on the environment. This idea brought to life what is now known as the Open Compute Project. Through this project, this group of engineers, leveraging their roots as hackers, built their own server architecture from the ground up. This meant building everything from their server management software to their hardware to the servers themselves. The goal was to share this technology as it evolved. What they found in constructing this new open-source server technology is that it was both 24 percent less expensive and 38 percent more energy efficient than traditional state-of-the-art servers.
Open Compute & The Server Market
Earlier this month at the 2012 Open Compute summit in San Antonio, TX, the probable disruptions to the current server market began to surface. Historically, server manufacturers like Dell, IBM and HP – otherwise known as the big three in IT circles – have dominated the server market for years. Likewise, these companies have been building server technology that is both expensive and a major source for energy consumption. Most recently, alternative server manufacturers like, ZT Systems and Quanta Computer have announced new server offerings based on the Open Compute proprietary server technology.
The big change that Open Compute will bring has to do with customization. No longer are enterprise-level organizations strapped into the rigid server architecture design choices of the big three. With Open Compute, companies can fully customize their servers, operating systems and hardware, and for a fraction of what it would cost to continue implementing the same old server architecture.
Why Open Compute Matters to IT Managers?
· Open Compute is Cool – First off, there’s the obvious reason that Open Compute is a disruptive, cutting-edge technology. Its origin as the idea birthed by Facebook engineers gives it a nice pedigree and it has the noble, lofty goal of making the largest social network on the planet work better, faster and at a lower price tag.
· Open Compute is yours to Control – The big idea surrounding the Open Compute’s inception is that servers can be fully customizable and controlled within your organization. Every IT manager will salivate at the opportunity to build, customize and have complete control over in-house server technology.
· It is Green – The new IT manager is and should be concerned with green matters for two reasons. 1) Green server technology is good for the planet and 2) Eco-friendly servers based on Open Compute designs reduce energy costs by nearly 40 percent.
It is the Future of the Web
With cloud computing technology at the forefront of the web, investors, I.T. managers and engineers are anxiously awaiting the arrival of bulletproof datacenter technology. This means boosting the quality of servers used in the world’s largest datacenters responsible for managing the world’s data. While Open Compute isn’t a surefire solution to the world’s datacenter’s energy, performance and security issues, it’s a step in the right direction, as it is the most flexible option available to scale to the constantly changing needs of the web.