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Equipment in an Open19 cage, inside a rack by Rittal Rittal
Equipment in an Open19 cage, inside a rack by Rittal

Rittal Joins LinkedIn’s Data Center Standard Foundation

Rittal, one of the world’s largest suppliers of data center racks, has joined the Open19 Foundation, a new non-profit governing a data center standard created by LinkedIn, now a Microsoft subsidiary.

Open19 describes several standard form factors for server chassis and a cage to install those servers in. It also includes a power distribution design, as well as connectors for power and networking that do away with cables. The cage fits into any typical 19-inch data center rack, and everything about the standard is meant to simplify and accelerate hardware installation in a computing facility.

By joining the foundation Rittal adds another major data center vendor name to the list of companies supporting LinkedIn’s effort to standardize its design. Other major logos on the member list are Schneider Electric, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and GE, among others.

See also: Open19 Aims to Do What OCP Hasn’t Done

Along with announcing its Open19 membership, Rittal said it was introducing a data center rack product based on the standard.

The foundation is structured to govern Open19 as an open source project. Companies can contribute intellectual property to the project if they want to, but they’re not required to open source their innovation as a prerequisite for participating.

While Rittal’s announcement focuses on the rack aspect of Open19, the project’s scope is to standardize the way servers are deployed in core and edge data centers. Micro-data centers for edge deployments have been a major focus for Rittal recently, but the company made no mention of whether its micro-data center product line will in any way be affected by Open19.

See also: GE Bets on LinkedIn’s Data Center Standard for Predix at the Edge

At the end of the day, an Open19 membership is a relatively low-risk endeavor for a vendor like Rittal. It can be involved without being forced to let go of any IP, and its whole point is to be compatible with existing rack standards, meaning there’s no threat to Rittal’s big data center rack business.

Read more: Open19, the Vendor-Friendly Open Source Data Center Project

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