The OCP Hardware Market Is Booming, But What Does It Mean for My Data Center?

OCP expert panel to address key questions around open source hardware at Data Center World

Data Center Knowledge

December 19, 2019

2 Min Read
Microsoft Azure hardware on display at the OCP Summit 2019
Microsoft Azure hardware on display at the OCP Summit 2019Yevgeniy Sverdlik

Earlier this year, market research firm IHS Markit released a report stating that the market for data center equipment sold by Open Compute Project Foundation members topped $2.5 billion in 2018 – and that didn’t even include purchases by OCP board member giants like Facebook, Microsoft, and Rackspace. The implication, according to IHS, is that the initiative to grow the market for open standards-based hardware and software is growing faster than detractors had initially predicted, and that the market for the supporting open infrastructure is growing alongside the boom in hardware and software – despite criticism that actual enterprise deployments and colocation facilities supporting its 21-inch racks are relatively low.

This could have a huge impact on data center operators of both enterprise and hyperscale designs, as it can bring costs down not just for the equipment and infrastructure itself, but also for colocation services for which some enterprises may opt. Since 2011, when the Open Compute Project was launched by Facebook, more than 200 vendors have signed on to participate in the initiative, giving it additional heft in influence over data center technology development.

Considering that IHS – which is part of the same Informa Tech family as Data Center World and Data Center Knowledge – also predicts that the market for OCP equipment will top $10 billion by 2022, you start to realize the importance of understanding how much influence the initiative will have on your own data center decisions.

Related:What the Apollo 11 Computer Can Teach Today’s Data Center Architects

While sales of OCP-related storage technology had previously lagged the growth of server equipment, the biggest jump in sales over the next three years will come from the storage side, IHS said.

Cliff Grossner, executive director for cloud and data center research practice at IHS, said OCP equipment market drivers such as serviceability, disaggregation, and flexibility to add new features took on a greater importance over the past year, something he said happened when a market matured. As these technologies start entering the mainstream, it becomes more important for data center managers to stay on top of developments.

Grossner will be leading a panel of industry experts and OCP members at Data Center World in San Antonio in March, and among the issues the panel will be discussing are disaggregated systems, OCP-certified equipment, and how all that impacts data center design. As more mainstream buyers begin deploying these open-standard technologies, it’ll become even more critical to factor in how the technologies will impact both data center design and legacy equipment upgrade and expansion. Plus, of course, there’s that important concern about support of the open infrastructure, and whether existing data centers will be able to accommodate the influx of equipment.

If you’re interested in learning more about the impact of disaggregated systems and the Open Compute Project from some of the top experts on the subject, consider attending Data Center World in San Antonio in March. Learn more about it here.

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