Bank of America is taking a cue from Facebook's infrastructure playbook with a transition to Open Compute and software-defined technologies, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company is shifting most of its workloads to a software-defined data center setup.
This is a perfect example of the widespread change and reform occurring within enterprise IT. The company moved the majority of backend systems to the cloud a few years ago and wants 80 percent of systems running in software-defined data centers within three years.
The company is considering ways to tap and create its own software-defined technology to eliminate compatibility issues that come with traditional vendors and better connect the business. The process began in 2013.
Open Compute has the potential to lower the total cost of ownership for large-scale IT deployments. The open source hardware movement began in 2011, when Facebook shared and open sourced the specs for the hardware inside their Open Compute-optimized data center.
Facebook designed and built their own servers, power supplies, server racks and battery backup system. Last year, Facebook said that Open Compute had saved them $1.2 billion. The savings go beyond hardware; Facebook saved enough energy to power 40,000 homes and brought carbon savings equivalent to taking 50,000 cars off the road, according to Mark Zuckerberg.
The move will have major impact on Bank of America’s current vendors. Open Compute has been shaking up the supply chain for years. A growing vendor ecosystem in support means more options for potential users and more pressure for OEMs to participate. Bank of America going Open Compute has implications beyond the company itself, it’s another significant enterprise win for the project prompting more activity on both buy and sell side of the Open Compute equation.
The financial services industry is one of the largest cash cows for traditional IT vendors. Part of the difficulty of making the switch is Bank of America’s long-established deals and partnerships with these vendors. It spends billions annually on infrastructure.
Last year,the company created a separate team to develop the company's next generation architecture, David Reilly, global technology infrastructure executive for Bank of America told InformationWeek. Reilly discussed the need for evolution on the hardware side in particular.
Other big Open Compute success stories include Rackspace and IO. IO worked with AMAX to create Open Compute servers and storage to power IO.Cloud.
Hyve Solutions, a division of Synnex, qualified as a government vendor under General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule 70, meaning government agencies can also tap Facebook’s data center designs if they choose through Hyve.