Facebook Opens its Server, Data Center Designs
April 7th, 2011 By: Rich Miller
In a marked departure from industry practice, Facebook is disclosing the designs and specs for its new data center in Prineville, Oregon. The social network today launched the Open Compute Project, through which it is releasing the details of its energy efficient data center design, as well as its custom designs for servers, power supplies and UPS units.
A number of major Internet companies, including cloud computing provider Rackspace Hosting and gaming giant Zynga, indicated that would likely adopt elements of the Open Compute designs. Meanwhile, server vendor Dell said it had already integrated the Open Compute motherboard design into servers.
Many leading data center providers are secretive about the details of their data center designs and operations (see The Fight Club Rule of Data Center Secrecy), believing any proprietary designs offer a competitive advantage over business rivals. Other companies cite security concerns in electing to cloak their data center operations in secrecy.
“We’re not the only ones who need the kind of hardware we’re building out,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “This should make it easier and more cost-effective for everyone building social applications to do what they’re doing.”
“The idea is really to push the industry forward,” said Amir Michael, a Hardware Engineer at Facebook. “This will be an initiative to share our best practices with the industry. We don’t hold this technology as a key to our business. We want to help others build infrastructure more efficiently.
Facebook is publishing the specifications and mechanical CAD files under the Open Web Foundation license, which grants a “worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, copyright license, without any obligation for accounting to Facebook, to reproduce, prepare derivative works … and implement the specification to the full extent,” the company said.
Some of the designs featured in the Open Compute Project will be difficult for other companies to easily implement, as they rely upon an atypical power distribution and UPS configuration – an approach which makes them most valuable in new construction rather than retrofitting existing operations. In addition, Facebook’s data center design relies upon free cooling – the use of fresh air rather than air conditioning to cool the servers. The ability to use free cooling is guided by geography, with cooler climates working best.
But Facebook has lined up a meaningful list of industry players to participate in the initiative. Advanced Micro Devices, Dell, HP and Intel are among the companies that co-developed technology with Facebook. In addition, Dell’s Data Center Solutions business will design and build servers based on the Open Compute Project specification. Synnex Corporation will also serve as a vendor for Open Compute Project servers, offering fully integrated and tested solutions based on customers’ specifications.
“Facebook has contributed advanced reference designs for ongoing data center and hardware innovation,” said Forrest Norrod, Vice President and General Manager for Worldwide Server Platforms for Dell. “We look forward to collaborating with like-minded technology providers and partners as we seek ways to learn from and further advance these designs.”
Graham Weston, the chairman of Rackspace, said some of the ideas designed by Facebook and released in the Open Compute project could save the company millions in power costs. “We have been developing our own IP (intellectual property) in the data center, and we’ll be flushing some of that to go with the Open Compute design.”
Zynga looks like another likely adopter.”We look forward to working with the Open Compute Project to exchange best practices and help the entire industry advance in the areas of power efficiency, design and manageability,” said CTO Cadir Lee.
Here’s a video providing an overview of the Open Compute Project:
[...] Facebook said that it had …Facebook Open Sources Server, Data Center Specs for PrinevilleeWeekFacebook Opens its Server, Data Center DesignsData Center KnowledgeFacebook's open hardware: Does it compute?Registerall 487 news [...]
[...] Facebook Opens its Server, Data Center Designs (datacenterknowledge.com) Share this: Uncategorized Data center, Facebook, Google, Mark Zuckerberg, Open source, Prineville Oregon, Social network, Twitter AT&T, must instead share the air, according to the Federal Communications Commission » [...]
IanPosted April 10th, 2011
Where is the video?
[...] Facebook’s Open Compute Project has spent the past 18 months putting together a completely new design for Facebook’s first data center in Prineville, Ore., which Facebook owns itself. Take Facebook’s new servers, which claim a 13 percent power use reduction from the servers it’s using today. They’re made by Quanta, but Dell has said its Data Center Solutions business will be making servers based on Facebook’s design. [...]
How Valuable is Facebook’s Energy Efficient Open Data Center Design? | Facebook News – Social Media News – Facebook InfoPosted April 12th, 2011
[...] Facebooks Open Compute Project has spent the past 18 months putting together a completely new design for Facebooks first data center in Prineville, Ore., which Facebook owns itself. Take Facebooks new servers, which claim a 13 percent power use reduction from the servers its using today. Theyre made by Quanta, but Dell has said its Data Center Solutions business will be making servers based on Facebooks design. [...]
[...] of the white-box server? The fact that Synnex (a large distributor in the channel), according to DataCenterKnowledge.com, has plans for the Open Compute Project platforms may suggest [...]
J SinghPosted May 18th, 2011
Does anybody know the network vendor they went with? There is no details of that here http://opencompute.org/
Unless I’m missing it
[...] Open Compute Summit is Facebook’s creation, really. The company open-sourced its data center designs in 2011. And with that, they and others in the data center world formed Open Compute Project, an [...]