Rivals Google, Facebook Team Up on Efficient Rack Design
The two hyperscale companies worked together through the OCP to develop a new Open Rack standard to drive data center efficiency and performance.Google and Facebook are fierce rivals with a common challenge: how to fit as much processing power into their data centers as possible to meet the always-growing demand for more capacity while keeping down the power and operational costs that come with adding servers. To address the issue, the two hyperscale players have looked beyond the ongoing competition for online advertising to work together on a new standard that could help each company in the data center. Google and Facebook worked together in the Open Compute Project (OCP) to develop what they're calling the Open Rack v2.0 standard, which officials with both said will increase the performance and efficiency in their respective facilities. The two companies will present the standard at the OCP Engineering Workshop Aug. 10 at the University in New Hampshire with hope of getting it approved. The new standard comes five months after Google joined the OCP, which Facebook launched in 2011 in hopes of creating open-source standards for highly energy-efficient data centers and IT hardware. Like other Web 2.0 companies—such as Google, Microsoft, eBay and Amazon—the social networking giant needed to find data center hardware that was more efficient than the major OEMs were selling, and turned to in-house development. Facebook engineers spent two years developing new hardware designs that were 38 percent more efficient and 24 percent less expensive to run than the systems they had been running.
The OPC has since grown to more than 160 member organizations—from tech vendors (including major systems OEMs like Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Cisco Systems and Dell) to end users—and encompasses all areas of the data center. Many system makers are adopting open designs in their hardware offerings.