Emerson Adapts Open Compute, Eyes HyperScale Market

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In the first two years of the Open Compute Project’s initiative to bring open design standards to hyperscale data centers, vendors of power and cooling products have been notable for their absence. Not so with the 2013 Open Compute Summit, which begins today in Santa Clara.

Emerson Network Power will be on hand at the summit to show off a rack solution that integrates power distribution and back-up concepts in the Open Rack specification, created with off-the-shelf components, the company said. Emerson is also launching a new consulting initiative that will target operators of large cloud environments for search and social networking.

Emerson’s presence reflects the growing impact of the Open Compute Project (OCP), which is building enough momentum that the largest vendors in the data center equipment space are paying attention. OCP’s initial focus was on server and data center design. That’s why HP, Dell, Intel and AMD participated in the project’s 2012 summit, and Digital Realty Trust and DuPont Fabros technology are working to support Open Compute designs in their wholesale data center space.

Open Compute Focus Extends to Racks

It appears to be OCP’s introduction of the Open Rack that has captured the attention of Emerson Network Power, a leading player in data center power and cooling that sells lots of cabinets and rack containment systems.

The Open Rack provides a 21-inch wide slot for servers, expanding upon the 19-inch width that has long been the standard for data center hardware. The wider form factor will create more room for improved thermal management, as well as better connections for power and cabling. Power supplies are now separate from the server motherboards and reside in a “power shelf” at the base of the rack, where they tie into the busbar at the rear of the unit.

Scott Barbour, the business leader for Emerson Network Power Systems, said Emerson’s expertise in power distribution, cooling and infrastructure management positions the company to be a player in adapting Open Compute designs.

“The hyperscale solutions team is made up of individuals with decades of data center experience and draws upon the knowledge and capabilities of thousands of Emerson technologists and engineers to support the visions of data center professionals,” said Barbour. “And only Emerson has the global scale and resources to rapidly implement those visions.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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