Open Compute Project

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Open Compute Project
OpenCompute logo.jpg
Formation 2011
Type Industry trade group
Purpose Sharing designs of data center products

The Open Compute Project initiative was announced in April 2011 by Facebook to openly share designs of data center products.[1] The effort came out of a redesign of Facebook's data center in Prineville, Oregon.[2] After two years, it was admitted that "the new design is still a long way from live data centers."[3] However, some aspects published were used in the Prineville center to improve the energy efficiency, as measured by the power usage effectiveness index defined by The Green Grid.[4]

The Open Compute Project Foundation is a 501c6 non profit incorporated in the state of Delaware. Cole Crawford serves as the Foundation's Executive Director. Currently there are 7 individuals on the Board of Directors. Frank Frankovsky, formerly of Facebook is the Foundation's President and Chairman. Andy Bechtolsheim, Jason Taylor (Facebook), Jason Waxman(Intel), Don Duet(Goldman Sachs), Mark Roenick (Rackspace), and Bill Laing (Microsoft) are also Open Compute board members.

In 2015 March Apple, Cisco and Juniper Networks joined the project.[5]

Components of the Open Compute Project include:

  • Open Vault storage building blocks offer high disk densities, with 30 drives in a 2U Open Rack chassis designed for easy disk drive replacement. The 3.5 inch disks are stored in two drawers, five across and three deep in each drawer, with connections via serial attached SCSI.[7] Another design concept was contributed by Hyve Solutions, a division of Synnex in 2012.[8][9]
  • Mechanical mounting system: Open racks have the same outside width (600 mm) and depth as standard 19-inch racks, but are designed to mount wider chassis with a 537 mm width (about 21 inches). This allows more equipment to fit in the same volume and improves air flow. Compute chassis sizes are defined in multiples of an OpenU, which is 48 mm, slightly larger than the typical rack unit.
  • Data center designs for energy efficiency, include 277 VAC power distribution that eliminates one transformer stage in typical data centers. A single voltage (12.5 VDC) power supply designed to work with 277 VAC input and 48 VDC battery backup.[4]
  • On May 8, 2013, an effort to define an open network switch was announced.[10] The plan was to allow Facebook to load its own operating system software onto the switch. Press reports predicted that more expensive and higher-performance switches would continue to be popular, while less expensive products treated more like a commodity (using the buzzword "top-of-rack") might adopt the proposal.[11]
    A similar project for a custom switch for the Google platform had been rumored, and evolved to use the OpenFlow protocol.[12][13]
Open Compute V2 Server
Open Compute V2 Drive Tray,
2nd lower tray extended

OCP Solutions Providers[edit]

AMAX Information Technologies, CTC, Hyve Solutions, Penguin Computing, Quanta, Racklive, Stack Velocity.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rich Miller (April 14, 2011). "Will Open Compute Alter the Data Center Market?". Data Center Knowledge. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ Jonathan Heiliger (April 7, 2011). "Building Efficient Data Centers with the Open Compute Project". Facebook Engineering's notes. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ Cade Metz (January 16, 2013). "Facebook Shatters the Computer Server Into Tiny Pieces". Wired. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Amir Michael (February 15, 2012). "Facebook's Open Compute Project". Stanford EE Computer Systems Colloquium. Stanford University.  (video archive)
  5. ^ Charles Babcock (March 11, 2015). "Open Compute: Apple, Cisco Join While HP Expands". Retrieved March 11, 2015. 
  6. ^ Tom Schnell (January 16, 2013). "ARM Server Motherboard Design for Open Vault Chassis Hardware v0.3 MB-draco-hesperides-0.3" (PDF). Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  7. ^ Mike Yan and Jon Ehlen (January 16, 2013). "Open Vault Storage Hardware V0.7 OR-draco-bueana-0.7" (PDF). Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Hyve Solutions Contributes Storage Design Concept to OCP Community". News release. January 17, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  9. ^ Conor Malone (January 15, 2012). "Torpedo Design Concept Storage Server for Open Rack Hardware v0.3 ST-draco-chimera-0.3" (PDF). Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  10. ^ Jay Hauser for Frank Frankovsky (May 8, 2013). "Up next for the Open Compute Project: The Network". Open Compute blog. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ David Chernicoff (May 9, 2013). "Can Open Compute change network switching?". ZDNet. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  12. ^ Cade Metz (May 8, 2013). "Facebook Rattles Networking World With ‘Open Source’ Gear". Wired. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ Steven Levy (April 17, 2012). "Going With the Flow: Google’s Secret Switch to the Next Wave of Networking". Wired. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 

External links[edit]