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.
There are some in the hardware community that question the value of the Open Compute Project and believe that it represents a “race to the bottom” from a hardware design standpoint. These people seem to feel that any distinctive, interesting or innovative design principles will be pushed away due to competitive risks favoring something that solves for only the most basic or rudimentary requirements. I completely disagree with this sentiment.
Open-sourced hardware is hard. Open sourced software is more accessible for people to contribute to: a person can go grab the software out of the repository and work on it at night or the weekend and then run the commits up. There is a different kind of commitment to produce a something that is a physical resource or a device. It is sometimes confusing how people can get involved to shape this environment; however, it is fundamentally important for people’s voices to be heard.