The Open Compute Project initiative was announced in April 2011 by Facebook to openly share designs of data center products. The effort came out of a redesign of Facebook's data center in Prineville, Oregon. The leader of the effort is Frank Frankovsky. After two years, it was admitted that "the new design is still a long way from live data centers." 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.
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. Another design concept was contributed by Hyve Solutions, a division of Synnex in 2012.
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.
On May 8, 2013, an effort to define an open network switch was announced. 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.