Traditionally, April and May mark the busiest months of year for our Sustainability team, which is part of our Corporate Social Responsibility Team (CSR). Yes, there is the obvious Earth Day celebration that takes place during that time, but I want to share some of the highlights from the last six weeks on what the team is working on here at Rackspace:
Is more better? Not always, but when it comes to more industry leaders contributing to the CloudU Big Data Massive Open Online Course (MOOC); more is definitely better. As CloudU continues to extend its reach beyond its online presence, the program will sponsor the first ever Open BigCloud and Open Compute Project (OCP) Workshop at The University of Texas in San Antonio (UTSA). The event will take place Wednesday, May 7 and Thursday, May 8 on the UTSA campus.
Our new UK data centre was designed from the ground up to be green. From minimizing landfill and the impact on the environment during the upcoming construction, to using cutting edge technologies like “indirect outside air” cooling, to achieving BREEAM certification; the 130,000-square-foot Crawley, West Sussex-based data centre illustrates our mission to be good stewards of the environment and reinforces our focus on energy conservation.
It feels like yesterday that Frank Frankovsky, vice president of Hardware Design at Facebook and chairman of the Open Compute Project (OCP), sent me a Facebook message - how fitting – about a budding open hardware project that he was working on. At Rackspace, we immediately jumped at the chance to be among the first companies to join the community, as we believed Open Compute was poised to flip the hardware model much like we did with cloud software when we founded OpenStack.
The mood in San Jose vacillated between quiet and congratulatory as participants in the fifth Open Compute Summit shared both their plans and their successes in front of a crowd of 3,800 registered attendees, up 90 percent from the 2,000 who registered last year.
With OpenStack, we already have the open source software to run your data center. Now, we’re building the open source hardware to run it on. The Open Compute Project is a collaborative community of designers, consumers and innovators focused on building more efficient servers, storage and data center hardware designs for scalable computing at a lower cost.
When Open Compute Foundation’s COO Cole Crawford gave a presentation at the OpenStack Summit in San Diego six months ago, he asked how many people in the audience had heard of his project. Only three hands went up. Fast forward, six months later, in Portland, he asked the same question and most people raised their hands. Like OpenStack itself, Open Compute is gaining interest.
Academic and scientific research often involves the construction of mathematical and numerical models to solve scientific and engineering problems. Traditionally, these complex and intensive computational models have been implemented on super computers or high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure. These models are difficult to setup and operate, and can create a painful experience for researchers who often have to wait in a long line to use their university’s super computing infrastructure, whether it’s for a few hours or a few days.